Pipeline workers: Company owes us

Work stopped on project late last month; some owed thousands

Yunni Perez says he doesn’t know how he’s going to get his wife and two children home to Guatamala after the companies he was working for building a pipeline in Garfield County laid off 150 workers without paying them for their past three weeks of work. About a dozen former employees of Energy Transfer Company and U.S. Central Pipeline protested Tuesday in front of the Mesa County Courthouse and the Grand Junction City Hall.



About a dozen former employees of Energy Transfer Company and U.S. Central Pipeline protested Tuesday in front of the Mesa County Courthouse and Grand Junction City Hall, between Fifth and Sixth streets on Rood Avenue.

The protesters said their former employers have not paid them for three weeks of work.

The men and women carrying signs and placards had been working on a natural gas pipeline between Rulison and Parachute in Garfield County.

Work on the pipeline unexpectedly ceased late last month, putting 150 employees out of work. 

Now, the former pipeline workers face an uncertain future, as many of them came to Colorado from all corners of this and other countries, and some say they are in dire straits.

“We want our money for the work we have done,” said Matt Caldwell, an equipment foreman who came to Colorado from Arkansas to work on the pipeline.

He said the energy companies owe him $6,700.

Dale Williams Sr., a cleanup foreman, said the energy companies owe him and his wife $11,000.

He carried a sign: “First Exxon now USCP.”

“All we want is the money we are entitled to and move on,” Williams said.

Many of the protesters said they are stuck in Grand Junction with no money for the holidays.

“It is kind of scary. Every day my kids are asking for toys for Christmas,” said Yunni Perez, who came from Guatemala to work on the pipeline. “We ain’t got no money.”

Some of the former pipeline workers have joined forces and hired an attorney.

The protesters marched in front of the Mesa County Courthouse and Grand Junction City Hall throughout the day Tuesday. They plan another protest in Parachute today.


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