Superstorm Sandy workers not paid for cleanup

April 12, 2013 3:10:00 PM PDT
There are a whole lot of angry workers asking where their money is for all their Superstorm Sandy cleanup work.

They came from all over the country and were promised jobs to clean up the devastation.

They stayed for months.

But the people who were paying them are long gone.

Friday afternoon, Eyewitness News met with 29 workers who've gone weeks with no money.

Most are from New York, but others came from Florida and Georgia, right as Sandy rolled in.

They came to help with the clean up and were promised good pay, but it was a promise broken.

"It's been rough. I've been eating ramen noodles and moving hotel to hotel every night," said Rodney Qualls, an unpaid worker.

Rodney Qualls is close to losing his home back in Florida.

He spent the last few months clearing downed trees from city parks.

They now sit at Floyd Bennett Field waiting to be turned into mulch, but with no pay the work has stopped.

It's still confusing who actually owes for what to wrap up this project of cleaning up trees damaged in Superstorm Sandy.

The original Long Island company that got the contract subcontracted to another, and then to another, and then to a third.

The bottom line is that a lot of workers still aren't getting paid.

The subcontracting company that was running things up and left, leaving only a vacant trailer on site.

Roi Wood lives in Crown Heights and like everybody else, he's broke.

"I've actually been borrowing money to come to work, to buy food, I have children at home. My refrigerator has gone empty," said Roi Wood, an unpaid worker.

Late Friday afternoon though, workers got some good news; the original company, even though it didn't have to, called everyone back to that trailer and offered to pay for the subcontractor who wouldn't.

Park police were called in just to keep the peace.

One worker was told he's getting $7,000.

"That's great news?" Eyewitness News asked.

"Absolutely, as long as it happens today because you know we're all broke," Qualls said.