Oil Boom Causing Growing Pains
As you can imagine, the movement of hundreds of oil field workers and construction equipment into the Shale areas of west and south Texas is causing real pain for construction workers hired to build new hotels and apartments in cities like Midland.
CBS affiliate KOSA Channel 7 in Midland reports on one site where the construction workers were brought in from El Paso to build a new hotel. As of the time of the report, the workers had not been paid and were forced to live in shipping containers without facilities. Rudy Vegas, one of the workers, talks about living inside a storage unit:
“This is about it right here for 9 guys. We have 1 bathroom for 40 people and it's not even a real bathroom, we had to build it. I came over here to make money, not to dig a hole.”
When the general contractor on the project, Jimmy Henderson, owner of Greenstreet Construction in Lubbock, found out that subcontractor Above & Beyond had not paid his workers and was forcing them to live in deplorable conditions, he removed them from the project.
Not only were the workers not paid, they were abused in the process. Now they have no choice but to leave Midland and go back to El Paso, that is unless maybe they can go to work for the next subcontractor who gets the job to finish the hotel.
The report also notes that there are Help Wanted signs up all over town for workers in the restaurants and service organizations who are providing support for the boom economy brought about by the Shale play in Texas.