From the Daily News:
Construction worker Carlos Guaricela has a wife and two small children to support, so he jumped at the $32 an hour he was paid at an East Harlem job, even though it's $17 an hour less than required by law.
"I got rent, food to pay for," the Ecuadoran immigrant said through an interpreter.
Guaricela, 33, is one of several workers questioned by U.S. Labor Department investigators probing whether workers were cheated out of wages at the nation's first stimulus-funded affordable housing project. Federal law requires workers on the project receive the so-called prevailing wage, roughly equivalent to union pay.
Guaricela worked at the stimulus-funded development on E. 103rd St. known as Hobbs Court doing interior demolition that should have paid him $49 an hour under federal law. His records indicated he was paid $32 an hour - the same as an unskilled union cleanup worker.
Guaricela also said the job site was unsafe, with no fall protection and no proper place to attach safety harnesses.
Since June, the job has been hit with two separate stop-work orders for unsafe conditions, records show.
Members of Construction and Building Laborers Local 79 have picketed Hobbs Court to protest what they call unfair pay and hazardous conditions.
"This is just the opposite of what the stimulus program is supposed to do," said Local 79 organizer Luis Montaldo.