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March 12, 2024 | Area Standards

Carpenters Calling Out Insurance Violations at Former State Insurance Location

Work halted when three builders were found without workers’ comp on a construction project benefitting from $13 million.

Union carpenters will be a regular presence in front of a construction project in Hartford to call attention to insurance violations and other workplace concerns. The union plans to rally, hand out leaflets, and display banners to bring attention to issues that plague the construction industry, undermining standards for workers and honest builders.

In the case of the redevelopment of 55 Elm Street, they are also a slap in the face to Connecticut taxpayers, as the project is benefitting from $13 million in state-awarded tax breaks. The final irony is that the workers’ comp violations by three companies, which led the state to order their work to stop formally housed offices of both the Connecticut Attorney General and the State Treasurer.

Spinnaker Real Estate Partners received approval for $13.5 million in tax breaks from the Capital Region Development Authority. On February 1, the Connecticut Department of Labor found three contractors L&M Drywall, Buddy’s Construction and AGM Painting and Home Improvements, all of Waterbury did not have legally required workers’ compensation insurance for their workers on the site and issued STOP WORK ORDERS. In addition, L&M Drywall was found to have misrepresented workers as independent subcontractors.

Studies have found that construction employers’ misclassification employees as “independent contractors” and paying workers in cash, “off the books,” costs taxpayers billions of dollars, hurts honest businesses, and exploits workers. In instances when a worker is not covered by workers’ compensation insurance and is hurt on the job, taxpayers are often burdened with the cost of care.

The contractors cited on this site, join a list of hundreds of contractors performing work on other construction sites throughout the state that have been issued “Stop Work Orders” for engaging in workers’ compensation fraud, worker misclassification, and other conduct in violation of CT law.

Union Representative Miguel Fuentes said the union will continue to chase bad actors in the industry and support all workers and honest builders.

“We object to contractors like this who do not play by the rules, and to developers like Spinnaker who that use them. Our union dedicates time and effort to educating and policing the industry. If the state and our union can find this activity so easily, there’s no reason people in charge of their sites can’t find it and eliminate it from our industry. We’re going to be out there to shine a light on it!”

To learn more about tax fraud in the construction industry, visit: