Action Reporter tries to help workers receive back pay from contractor

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - By A.J. Giardina – bio | email

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - "We've been working seven days a week, sometimes 10 to 15 hours a day and they're just not paying us," Construction worker Mark Roberts told WLOX News.

Roberts and several other men say they have worked since September laying utility lines for a government funded public housing project. Hired by Great American Rebuilders from Louisiana, Roberts and others like Victor Boykin say they never dreamed they'd be fighting to get paid.

"I got two checks from them," Boykin stated. "They keep on telling me come back, they're going to give me my check but never give me my check."

Richard Ladner said he's owed $1400, and he needs to pay bills.

"I've lost my house, my phone is cut off, my truck is repossessed," Ladner said. "We all worked daylight to dark out here seven days a week and everyone of these guys were busting their back to do everything that they wanted done."

I talked to Jason McMahon of Great American Rebuilders about why the workers haven't been paid.

"Only reason we haven't gotten one yet is because we're on a 30-day pay-opp and that's why these guys haven't gotten their money yet," McMahon replied.

McMahon tried to explain that workers know they have to work a month before they get their checks, but the workers say that's not what they were told.

While I was interviewing McMahon, construction worker Mark Roberts wanted to set the record straight telling McMahon, "You told me when you hired me that I get paid every week, every week!"

McMahon then told me Great American Rebuilders had not been paid by the main contractor on the job.

I contacted the main contractor in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and spoke with CB Constructors president Mike Taylor. He told me he paid Great American Rebuilders, and promised to get to the bottom of the problem and make sure the workers get paid quickly.

Late Wednesday afternoon, I spoke with Great American Rebuilders field manager Steve McMahon.  He confirmed to me that 22 workers have received their pay checks.

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