Vayo Drywall Rally
On Wednesday, members and representatives of Carpenters Union Local 94 held an area standards rally on the site of the future Hampton Inn on George Street in Pawtucket, protesting the labor practices of Vayo Drywall, a contractor performing work on the site.
Vayo Drywall, which hails from New Hampshire, is alleged to have cheated a worker out of $3,000 on the site, while also incurring two safety and licensing violations and paying their workers well below the area standard wages for this type of labor.
“Area standards are crucial to maintain for the benefit of the construction industry as a whole,” said Benjamin Branchaud, a representative of Local 94. “When a contractor undercuts the standard wages of an area, it has a negative impact on the area’s economy and tax base. Each time this happens, we consider it an attack on the middle class; something we will not stand for.”
Community and labor advocates attended the rally after being invited during the May Day march in Providence on Monday. Fuerza Laboral, one of the community labor groups in attendance, is an advocate for all Rhode Island workers, but especially immigrant workers such as those working for Vayo Drywall.
“No one should have to decide between paying rent and feeding their family because of the greed of an unscrupulous employer,” said Raul Figueroa of Fuerza Laboral.
While Vayo Drywall is nearing completion of the Hampton Inn project, hotel work is their niche and all eyes are on them for future projects.
“We shouldn’t have to live in a world where workers do their part and get cheated out of their wages,” said Michael Holmes, business representative of Local 94. “The world is difficult enough without the worry of whether or not that check is coming. If every contractor did the right thing, members of the Carpenters Union wouldn’t have to assemble and call out egregious contractors like we did on Wednesday.”