Workers at Knoxville waterfront project say they haven't been paid

Workers at Knoxville waterfront project say they haven't been paid

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Instead of building the condo project, workers were picketing the jobsite Friday. Instead of building the condo project, workers were picketing the jobsite Friday.

By HANA KIM
Good Morning Tennessee Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- A group of local construction workers say their paychecks are two weeks late.

The men work for Siteworks, an Alabama-based company that is one of the contractors building the Cityview Riverwalk, a big part of the South Knoxville waterfront project.

Michael Williams says he is beyond desperate about the missing pay. 

"I'm very emotional," he said. "I'm a grown man. I have responsibilities. I don't know what to do."  

For someone who lives paycheck to paycheck, Williams says he fears one late payment could mean his family is out on the streets.

"We mash fingers and we get nails in our feet," he said. "It's a hard job. We earn our money. We're not asking for nothing we haven't earned." 

Instead of building the condo project, the men are picketing the jobsite.

"If they can't come up with a little paycheck for the guys, how can they build a $30 million project?" asked Jim Gray.

He says Siteworks owes more than 20 men close to $20,000.

After calling the company several times and getting no answers. Gray contacted 6 News, hoping for results.

"They made us wait after Thanksgiving to get paid for that holiday, and then they didn't pay us for Christmas," he said.

This literally has been the worst holiday I've ever experienced and I am 38 years old," Williams added. 

6 News tried to speak to a manager on site, but we couldn't get past a security guard.

Later, a manager did call 6 News back and said the company promised to pay the workers no later than next Wednesday.

The manager said the delay is due to a miscommunication between Siteworks and two other contractors, Focus Camden Development and Marathon Builders.

The apology from Siteworks, at least for Williams, couldn't come soon enough. "You've got people like us that come out here and work and bust our tails, and we don't get paid. What's wrong with this picture?"

The South Knoxville waterfront project is expected to take 20 years to complete. The total cost is projected at $1 billion. 

Cityview Riverwalk is an upscale private condominium development and part of phase 1 of the project.

A spokesman for Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam says the city hopes the dispute will be taken care of as fairly as possible.

 

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