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Over $100,000 in Wage Theft Claims Against Minn. Vikings Development

Nicole Neri/Minnesota Reformer

Workers on a new Minnesota Vikings branded 200 acre development are claiming they have not been paid what they are owed; a sum amounting to over $100,000. According to a report by the Minnesota Reformer, the workers were routinely overworked and underpaid by subcontractors.

35 workers organized by the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters (NCSRCC) have filed complaints against the subs with state labor authorities . At least 25 of those claims originated at the Viking Lakes project.

The Carpenters Union stepped in after receiving reports of poor working conditions, subpar wages and unfair labor practices. The situation prompted Union officials to launch an investigation.

Initially, Union carpenters were heavily involved in the NFL team's new look, having been instrumental in building the new Vikings' stadium, TCO Performance Center, TCO Eagan’s medical office building and sports medicine center, and the Omni Viking Lakes Hotel.

However, when it came time to bid on the remainder of the projects, the Wilf family, owners of development arm MV Development and company executives, passed on signatories and hired companies the NCSRCC claim have long, public histories of labor violations and worker abuse. When the list of subcontractors were announced, Union leaders were incensed, particularly by the inclusion of two companies, Absolute Drywall and JL Schwieters Construction.

“The (Vikings) ownership group chose the worst subcontractors that we track around the region,” said Adam Duininck, government affairs director for the carpenters' union. “It was honestly a betrayal of trust.”

Absolute Drywall and another subcontractor, Property Maintenance and Construction, are now being hit with the Viking Lakes lawsuits alleging wage fraud and worker misclassification.

The Viking Lakes complex is a multi-use development that will include apartments, a training facility, a hotel, and the NFL team's new Headquarters.

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