HOUSTON (KIAH) — A local group of workers hired to conduct COVID-19 testing gathered to protest outside The Grinder Group offices in North Houston, claiming they were not paid what they were promised.
Former employee Johanna Sanchez said fighting for her rights is fighting for her son’s future. She began conducting COVID-19 tests four months ago for The Grinder Group, which obtained contracts with Harris County to carry out testing.
“I didn’t have enough to pay my rent, to pay my bills, one has to sustain the home, and he paid us basically what he wanted,” said Sanchez as she protested on Thursday. She adds they were promised $10 per test, requiring a daily fee for at least 20 tests.
According to Cesar Espinosa, co-founder of FIEL Houston, Inc., an immigrants rights organization, people without legal residency were targeted to carry out the tests.
“Unfortunately, that is a reoccurring theme we see in some of these wage theft issues,” said Espinosa.
FIEL also tell CW39 that in the next couple of days, they will be petitioning members of Congress to start a federal investigation on the company, claiming that the company could have possibly misused federal funds.
Mickey Weaver, a spokesperson for the Grinder Group, said the company is working on solutions for their employees. “We are working with them and will have answers sometime next week,” he said.