The Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council settled a lawsuit against Drive Construction Inc. for $1 million after they were alleged to have failed paying member benefits.
The settlement marks the largest payout to the Regional Council ever and is a major victory for our fight against wage theft and tax fraud in the construction industry.
“This agreement puts the construction industry on notice that the Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council will aggressively pursue action against any contractor who tries to cheat the system and exploit workers by lowballing them and withholding the family-sustaining benefits they depend on,” said Gary Perinar, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council.
You can read the full press release here.
Lawyers filed the lawsuit on behalf of the union of Drive Construction in 2019 when it was alleged that the company skipped out benefit payments for at least five years prior. The lawsuit argued that Drive was also paying its employees in cash far below area standard wages. More than 20 former Drive employees testified in court against Drive.
While Drive and Accurate deny any wrongdoing, the union’s lawsuit alleges that Drive utilized Accurate Construction, a non-union company, to funnel millions of dollars through fictitious companies set up by Drive Construction superintendents which was then converted to money orders and cash to pay Drive’s carpenter employees.
Based upon the strength of the union members’ testimony, the Illinois Attorney General launched its own investigation into Drive Construction’s payroll practices and currently has a case pending against Drive and Accurate in the Circuit Court of Cook County.
The Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council continues to fight wage theft in the construction industry and we will not stop until all cheating contractors stop abusing their workers by paying them sub-standard wages, not providing them benefits and providing safe job sites.