COLUMBIA - Seven Atlanta construction workers will be out of the EconoLodge hotel if expenses are not paid by Wednesday. The workers said they were hired through Craigslist to work at a local student housing development site, but never received any pay.
The laborers are part of a group of 50 construction workers from Atlanta who claim they have been stuck in Columbia since they responded to a Craigslist ad posted on Jan. 14, 2013, which promised them $1,000 a week and reimbursement for travel and lodging, in return for conducting construction work at the Aspen Heights apartment construction site located at Ponderosa Street and Bethel Road.
Worker Barceneas Cosby said the hired laborers soon realized they were not being paid as promised, so they left the site Thursday and have been living at the EconoLodge since then. Cosby said 11 of them did not have money to get home to Atlanta and have been relying on food donations from local churches.
KOMU 8 News tried to contact Everything Staffing supervisor Michael Hill, but was unable to reach him. The workers said Hill changed his number shortly after they refused to keep working without pay. Cosby has multiple blueprints from Aspen Heights and said his only wish is to get home.
"Right now we don't know if we are going home or what. We don't even know if we are going to be in the cold or what," said Barcenuas.
Neither Black Sparta--the supposed subcontractor in charge of the workers--nor R-Energy--the project's main subcontractor--returned any of KOMU 8's calls on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.