Conflict between companies leaves workers without checks

About 150 workers building a pipeline near Parachute have been left jobless and without pay for about two weeks of work as two companies are in a $2.5 million dispute.

Workers for contractor U.S. Central Pipeline had nearly completed an expansion of a 14-mile pipeline when the company accused the project’s owner, Energy Transfer Corporation, of failing to pay for a portion of the project.

Workers reported that U.S. Central Pipeline officials told employees Friday, on payday, that as a result they would not be paid.

Spokeswoman Vicki Granado of Energy Transfer Corporation disputes the claim, saying the company even made extra payments to U.S. Central Pipeline, and the issue is between U.S. Central Pipeline and its employees.

She said the company is in the process of hiring a new contractor to finish the job, which would enlarge a pipe to haul gas from wells to a main line.

“Unequivocally, it is not true,” Granado said. “We paid them in full. We paid in excess of the agreed-upon contract. (U.S. Central Pipeline) walked off the job on Friday and have not, unfortunately, paid their employees. You never want to hear when something like that happens. It’s really an issue, at this point, between U.S. Central Pipeline and their employees.”

Attorney Patrick Owen, who is representing U.S. Central Pipeline, said Energy Transfer Corporation violated its contract by not paying his client about $2.5 million.

“I would hope they’re mad at the right people,” he said of the unpaid workers.


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