Sunday, October 18, 2009

Contractor accused of racial pay scale

From the NY Times:

During the city’s recent construction boom, developers could not build fast enough to meet the demand for luxury housing and hotels, contractors had more work than they could handle and many union workers made a lot of money.

But according to a civil suit filed Thursday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan by the state attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, one contractor routinely shortchanged hundreds of immigrant workers and forced them to work as many as 70 hours a week. The contractor, Michael Mahoney, chief executive of EMC Construction, instituted a three-tiered wage rate in which Irish workers were paid $25 an hour, African-Americans about $18 and Latino employees $15, the suit says.

The lawsuit is seeking $4 million in wages and overtime pay from ECM and Mr. Mahoney’s other companies as well as an end to discriminatory practices.

The workers did concrete and carpentry work for ECM and other companies controlled by Mr. Mahoney at about 10 hotel and condominium sites in Manhattan, several of them owned by Sam Chang, a prolific developer who emerged in recent years as the budget hotel king of New York.


Anonymous said...

They should have paid those Irish people with potatoes.

gov. arnold schwarzenegger said...


Anonymous said...

Remember, the Irish workers didn't ask the contractor to pay others this way. He did it himself, and I guarantee the cheaper workers got more work.

If he paid the Irish more, part of it may have been the involvement of powerful unions or relatives.

None of these people are Saints. They pay as little as they can to everyone.

Anonymous said...

so mr mahony put a gun to their heads and forced them all to work for the pay agreed upon or else ?
LM@O--and will all the downtrodden now be expected to pay taxes ? with interest ??? LOL !!!!!!!!!!

if mahony has a good lawyer,he has a good case.
HIS business.
Those employeed knew what THEIR wages were.
what's the problem ?

Anonymous said...

I worked for a General Contractor in Middle Village and he did the exact same thing - The Ecuadorians sued but lost. Between wages and OT the Ecuadorians made $100,000.00the Irish/Italian carpenters made only $55,000.00. They got most of the overtime because their pay scale was lower. But of course they worked longer hours for it.
Every one knows what their hourly wage is - if they dont like it they can get another job.