SAN FRANCISCO - Construction workers at one San Francisco hotel say they've worked without pay for months. The Beacon Grand Hotel, formerly the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, is once again open and welcoming guests after closing their doors last year and undergoing a major remodel.
Now, some of those who labored on that remodel say they've done the work, but haven't been paid. "I haven't been paid in five months, other guys haven't been paid in seven months, eight months, and there's more people that aren't here right now," said laborer Wayne Roberts. "So, it's probably 10 more."
Workers shared invoices, showing the hotel owes one couple $83,000, others say they're owed as much as $120,000. Wayne Roberts led KTVU into the Beacon Grand, and showed us the rooms at least a half dozen workers have been staying in on a non-guest floor while working at the hotel. The workers say because they aren't getting paid, they've lost vehicles, tools and now have no way to leave or make money on another job.
"We don't know what happens now," said former project manager Brain Loop. "This group right here, we need help. We need help badly. We're like everyone else, we just want to get paid for the work that we did and go home."
The workers say they've repeatedly tried talking with the hotel management about what's happened, and they say the hotel has had different stories, including that the hotel had paid a contractor for the work, and that the workers should get their money from him." The hotel told us that they paid the contractor to pay us then he took off with the money," said Roberts.
San Francisco's Office of Labor Standards Enforcement confirms the agency is investigating what is going on at the beacon grand, including on site visits. The Office of Labor Standards Enforcement didn't offer a lot of details about what investigators have learned so far, but did say it is "investigating any potential labor violations that would include any responsible parties."
Many of the workers live out of state and in some cases are undocumented immigrants, some have already moved on looking for work elsewhere. Those who've remained say they've become family, united in their struggle to get paid for the work they've done. "Just up against the wall, you know," said Roberts. "Just don't know what to do. Thank God that we've kind of familied up here, you know?"
The Beacon Grand issued a statement saying the hotel "is actively working to resolve an ongoing issue that has arisen between a general contractor, who was engaged in the hotel's renovation, and one of its subcontractors. While we are not actively involved in the dispute, we are committed to the equitable treatment of all associates and are working with both parties to help ensure the matter is resolved in a fair and timely manner."