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More Dissatisfied Callahan Customers

by admin on July 28, 2016

The South Shore YMCA parking lot, a Callahan project, has officially taken more than twice as long to tear down and re-build as the Empire State Building took to build. 

This was just one of the many complaints voiced by Quincy resident and South Shore YMCA neighbor Laurel Blanchard, in an interview with the Patriot Ledger last week. The project has taken 30 months so far (as opposed to just 14 months for the Empire State Building), and is still not finished. Neighbors say the construction noise and dust has been unbearable, and that the lack of a barrier between the parking lot construction and their homes has “disrupted the quality of their lives” (Patriot Ledger, 07/22/16). 

City Councilor Margaret Laforest said that while the YMCA is a great organization, the project itself has been a “lousy neighbor.” Mayor Thomas Koch agreed that “this hasn’t been the easiest process.”

The new South Shore YMCA opened in January of 2014, though reports continued to pour in of leaking ceilings, peeling floor boards, and other construction disasters. Callahan began demolishing the old YMCA building in February of 2014, promising a new parking lot by May of that year. Now, more than two years later, the old building is gone but the new parking lot is not yet complete.

Workers came forward in December of 2015 stating that they had not been paid for months of work on the demolition of the old YMCA, and concerns were raised about possible mishandling of asbestos after it was found in the building. Copies of the checks from these workers show that no state or federal taxes were taken out, and when the workers tried to cash their paychecks, the checks bounced. 

Callahan’s business model relies on a network of subcontractors with illegal and unethical business practices. It is clear that this business model results in project delays and dissatisfied customers. 


Callahan subcontractor Force Corporation was recently forced to pay more than $4,500 in back wages to three workers after being confronted by community groups about the wage theft. The workers, who installed windows and doors on a Pulte Homes project in Weymouth, said Force Corporation had not paid them in many weeks. A letter to Force and Pulte from the workers states, “our families should not have to go another day without our hard earned wages.” 

This kind of behavior is commonplace for Force Corporation, who was recently fined $91,000 for OSHA violations, and whose predecessor companies were sued just last month for $1.3 million in outstanding OSHA fines and fees. Force was also the target of a Boston Globe article exploring wage theft on the CATS academy project in Braintree. Force Corporation worked for Callahan on their Pinehills Independent Living Facility in Plymouth, and is currently working on Callahan’s Assembly Row project. 

Callahan was also recently caught using Lighthouse Masonry, a company whose violations are well documented by area newspapers. In 2010, the state ordered all exterior wall panels removed from the federal courthouse being constructed in Salem after a panel fell on a worker, causing serious leg injuries. DCAM later ruled that the accident was entirely due to Lighthouse Masonry using the wrong type of screw, and they were debarred for a year. Now, Lighthouse is doing the masonry work on Callahan’s “The District” project in Burlington. While we have primarily focused on Callahan’s choice in carpentry subcontractors, it is clear that it shares the same disregard for safety, quality, and workers’ rights across all trades. 

The regularity with which subcontractors such as Force Corporation and Lighthouse Masonry are hired by Callahan Inc. is well documented, and should give pause to any end user considering hiring Callahan as a general contractor. 


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