Construction workers protest, claim wages were withheld by future freshman residence Callaway House

Miles Hutson

About 200 construction workers and supporters marched in West Campus on Friday in a protest against Callaway House, a private luxury freshman residence hall which they claimed withheld wages from about 30 workers until Thursday.

The protest was organized by Workers Defense Project, an organization based in Austin and Dallas that seeks to protect low-wage workers from unfair conditions and treatment. Organizers claimed the wages totaled $24,800 and were paid only when the protest became imminent.

Ethnic studies senior Lucian Villasenor said the construction workers came to the Worker’s Defense Project for help.

Despite the pay issue being resolved, workers marched around UT’s campus and into West Campus. They also went to the sites of past construction worker deaths in West Campus construction accidents.

“Just because they got paid this time doesn’t mean that the situation is never going to happen again,” Villasenor said.

Villasenor said chains of subcontracts are routinely used by developers to distance themselves from liability for paying their workers.

The Callaway House could not be reached for comment.