Simply Finance


Additional pressure from CWJ and the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters resulted in an in-person meeting Friday morning with BluSky Chief Operating Officer Mike Erekson and Eric Helgemoe, vice president of BluSky’s Lenexa, Kansas, office. The company said in a statement that it was "surprised and disappointed to learn of the ... allegations," and that "BluSky has provided those crew members with payment for work completed, as well as additional money to return home to Texas." The crew, which has been staying at a local church since Monday, plans to head home this weekend once they do receive that payment. They're hopeful their actions will inspire others in similar situations to speak up so that no other workers will face the same hardships they have. "We aren't just workers, we are brothers, heads of our households," Hector Contreros, one of the workers, said in an interview translated by the Register. "We are people with feelings, we have responsibilities, we are human beings. "If there are other workers ... don’t be afraid to raise your voice so that they don’t get away with (not paying you)." CWJ says the company also promised to present action items in another meeting Saturday that they will take to avoid situations like this in the future. "This is part of a much broader problem," consultant said Robin Clark-Bennett, a board member for CWJ. "It's rampant in this industry across the state and country. So it's important that this initiates actions by companies and lawmakers to strengthen workers' rights." BluSky is named in a 2019 Minnesota federal lawsuit alleging wage theft and other violations of state and federal labor laws. The case remains pending, and BlueSky is appealing a pretrial ruling to argue that it is not subject to Minnesota jurisdiction.