Callahan, Inc: Bad Labor Practices, Bad Results

A survey of Boston-area residential apartments reveals that many residents of Callahan’s properties are dissatisfied with the construction quality of their units. Residents expressed particular concern with noise and the quality of materials in their units, writing comments such as “[c]an clearly hear upstairs neighbor walking. Entire apt. vibrates and rattles. Doors rattle from walking in apt.”

An organization called Tenant Consumer Protection Services, which has been generating surveys about consumer satisfaction in new residential apartment construction, produced the survey.

The survey included responses from Callahan-built residences in Malden, Chelsea, and Chelmsford, and asked residents to rate various topics (such as construction quality, noise level, value for money) on a scale from “very satisfied” to “very dissatisfied.” It also allowed space for general comments or concerns.

A resident of Chelmsford Woods Residences wrote “paint seems to strip off walls too easily. If there is a spot and it is washed, the paint comes off. Particularly, bathroom paint comes off.” Another requested that they “use better quality materials so things last longer & don’t break so quickly.” Others complained that the windows are extremely drafty and poorly insulated, and one wrote that they had to sleep with ear plugs in every night due to noise.

A resident of One North of Boston, in Chelsea, wrote that “building construction is cheap and does not protect from outside excessive noise.”

At 480 Main in Malden Square, residents complained again of excessive noise, writing “[for] the problem of noise, I can hear my neighbors snore…” and “[t]he walls are so thin and there is no sound-proofing, so I can hear my neighbors talk at 4am! Totally unsatisfied with this situation here.” Another respondent wrote “and now they are talking of increasing rent…I am very dissatisfied…”

Callahan’s business model relies on undercutting legitimate bids by hiring subcontractors who illegally misclassify their workers as independent contractors. Some of Callahan’s subcontractors also have a long record of lawsuits and safety violations. The survey results confirm that cutting corners impacts the final product in the case of these residences.

via and the New England Carpenters Union

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