Administrative issues and alleged threats of violence stall payroll payments to relief workers

Some hurricane recovery workers are upset after the company that hired them failed to pay up.
 
A tense scene at the Sulphur location of Coastal Staffing, Friday.
 
The Calcasieu Sheriff's Office responded after the company said threats of violence continued to escalate. 
 
A crowd of over 100 workers filled the parking lot, refusing to leave without their pay. The workers tell 12News they worked 12 hour shifts for two weeks and were scheduled to be paid today. 
 
One of the owners of Coastal Staffing, who asked for his name not to be released over safety concerns, says the company has been operating under stressful conditions for the past few weeks. He called Harvey a "natural catastrophe unlike anything any of us has dealth with," adding many workers were hired on the spot to fill the extreme need.
 
The owner tells 12News the crews were sent into areas throughout Southeast Texas to remove sheet rock and perform other remediation type work in an effort to save flooded homes. The work was not funded by FEMA and is in no way tied to the federal agency.    
 
He says workers will be paid and they are simply having a "minor hiccup" getting through the payroll process. 
 
The company was evicted from their Beaumont facility following a similar scene, leaving workers forced to make the trek to Sulphur in an effort to get paid. One worker told 12News, "it's like they robbed us, it's just like the robbed us. People got to come way out here for gas and they didn't pay us a dime."
 
The owner says, "what I need now is time to process the payroll. We were making some pretty good headway this morning, but I've got now to set up away from this location because this location will be closed until further notice."
 
The owner says, they will begin mailing checks out as early as Saturday. 
 

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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