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Cricket World Cup Stadium Contractor Has Multiple Wage Theft and Safety Violations

LandTek Group, the cricket pitch contractor, has had violations from the New York Department of Labor and OSHA

Amir Khafagy

Jun 14, 2024

Nassau County Cricket Stadium - IND v IRE. Photo: Wikipedia/NCanny2

Cricket may be a niche sport to most Americans but with a nearly 2.5 billion fan base, it is one of the world’s most popular sports.

In preparation for the Cricket World Cup, being hosted for the first time in the United States alongside several West Indian countries, a temporary cricket stadium was constructed from scratch on Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, New York. Dubbed the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, it is able to seat 34,000 fans. Major League Cricket paid for the $30 million stadium, which was constructed in just three months. After it was completed, the stadium became the largest cricket stadium in the U.S. and the world’s first modular cricket stadium.

Also Read: Wage Theft: What to Know If You Think Your Wages Are Stolen

But the project is not without controversy. Two developers were tapped to build the stadium, Arena Event Services and the LandTek Group. Arena Event Services was tasked with building the actual stadium while LandTek was responsible for the construction of the pitch, outfield, and drainage. Although it appears that the construction of the stadium was handled fairly smoothly, LandTek has had a track record of unsafe work practices.  

Between 2015 and 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued LandTek six serious safety violations on worksites in New Jersey.

In June of 2016, OSHA found that LandTek employees were working in a 10-foot-deep unprotected trench at a suburban New Jersey high school in violation of federal safety laws. OSHA’s investigation found that the company willfully ignored safety protocols for exposing workers to cave-in hazards. Workers were directed to dig a trench without proper cave-in protection or safeguards. The company was ordered to pay a $115,996 fine.

“Without needed protections in place, an excavation can quickly become a grave as thousands of pounds of soil collapse upon workers below ground,” said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA’s Parsippany Area Office in a statement issued in 2017. “The Landtek Group must re-examine its safety procedures and take all available precautions – including installing shoring or other means – to prevent unexpected movement or collapses of the soil that can lead to disaster.”

Previously, in 2013, the New York Department of Labor (DOL) found that a LandTek subcontractor, James Rough, underpaid wages and benefits to his employees on the public work project in 2010. The state found that Rough willfully underpaid its workers $15,361.04 between August 21, 2010, to September 18, 2010. As the primary contractor, the state ordered LandTek to pay $25,533.84 in restitution and penalties. 

More recently, in 2023, LandTek is facing a class-action lawsuit filed by immigrant workers for unpaid wages. According to court documents, beginning in 2017, workers for LandTek allege that the company engaged in a systematic practice of ordering its employees to report to their facility early in the morning before transporting them to various job sites without paying them for that time. In addition to that, the lawsuit also alleges that LandTek failed to pay workers prevailing wages on public work projects, nor were the workers paid for any overtime worked.

LandTek did not respond to Documented’s multiple requests for comment on its current labor practices. Christopher Boyle, Director Of Communications for Nassau County Executive Bruce A. Blakeman, also did not respond to Documented’s multiple requests for comment regarding the county’s knowledge of LandTek’s violations.

Amir Khafagy

Amir Khafagy is an award-winning New York City-based journalist. He is currently a Report for America corps member with Documented. Much of Amir's beat explores the intersections of labor, race, class, and immigration.

@AmirKhafagy91

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