Sunday, August 7, 2011
Holiday Inn Austin Midtown Built with Stolen Wages!
On Thursday, August 4th at Holiday Inn Midtown (6000 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin TX) a dozen construction workers will lead a protest to reclaim over $10,000 in wages from a recent remodel at the hotel. "It's just not right that we worked hard and didn't get paid" said Quirino Juarez, a construction worker who performed framing and drywall work at the Holiday Inn Midtown. Juarez along with 11 other workers worked under Mely's Construction, a San Antonio-based sub-contractor, in January and February of 2011. Over thirty workers are owed wages for work on the hotel, although only 12 have come forward so far. WDP has attempted to negotiate a fair settlement with the general contractor and Holiday Inn management. However, all parties have avoided responsibility, promising to pay numerous times but never following through. "The job is done, the rooms look really great. They raised their rates and are benefitting from the remodel but we've received nothing", said Heladio Liborio who is owed two weeks of wages for drywall work at the Holiday Inn project. "It's been hard to pay my rent, bills and take care of my family." According to Bloomberg News, InterContinental Hotel Group, owner of the Holiday Inn franchise, saw a 38% increase in profits in 2010 due mostly to remodels like that done by these workers1. The worldwide makeover has given the company a fresh new image and a higher level of revenue. Meanwhile the workers who helped remodel Holiday Inn Midtown in Austin have yet to receive payment for their work. "Holiday Inn has an opportunity to be a leader in corporate responsibility by ensuring that those that work so hard to make it one of the nations most profitable hotel chains are compensated for their work" stated Patricia Zavala, Workplace Justice Coordinator at WDP. A ZGraphix Video Production. http://zgraphix.org Video produced for Austin Indymedia by Jeff Zavala http://austin.indymedia.org Photography by Jason Cato Learn more about Workers Defense Project/Proyecto Defensa Laboral: http://workersdefense.org