- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Adams Morgan residents and unions are pushing back against a construction company for reneging on a labor deal struck in exchange for tax breaks, but the company says there’s no evidence of wrongdoing.

On Wednesday morning, about 80 people gathered at Unity Park in Northwest to protest The Line hotel construction and its subcontractor Power Design.

The construction project received a 20-year, $46 million tax abatement in 2010 from the District in exchange for promising the neighborhood to hire 51 percent local workers and to follow D.C. construction codes.

The hotel is housed inside a historic church on the 1700 block of Euclid Street NW.

Former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Bryan Weaver helped strike that deal. He told protesters that The Line hotel has not hired the quota of local residents.

Other protesters expressed concern over prior lawsuits against Power Design alleging wage theft.

“If you don’t hire local people and if you don’t pay them a livable wage, you lose the tax abatement,” Mr. Weaver said. “We need to hold them accountable.”

Power Design described the claims as “unfounded” and told The Washington Times that the company is in compliance with all the hiring requirements and had recently passed an audit of fair pay practices.

“They found that every one of Power Design employees got paid properly,” a company spokesperson said in a telephone interview.

The spokesperson said its prior lawsuits were focused on subcontractors, not Power Design employees.

“We offer high-quality, high-wage jobs that are way over minimum-wage jobs,” the spokesperson said.


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