Wage Theft at the Home Show Expo

This past Saturday Iowa CCI members were out in the heat at the Des Moines Home Show Expo – but not to see the houses.

We visited the Home Show Expo in Ankeny to stand up for worker justice in Iowa by informing Iowans that two roofers still have to be paid for their work installing the roof of one of the houses in the home show. We passed out flyers in the Home Show parking lot for over an hour and talked with a lot of concerned people.

Here’s a report from CCI member and Ankeny resident Gini Wolf about her day:

I had great responses from the people I spoke with.  A couple of guys said they had done roofing – they won’t work unless they get paid daily.  Another fellow identified himself as a laborer and was sympathetic.  Another group of men identified themselves as contractors – and they know that this situation happens sometimes.

The situation on House# 7:

4107 NE Bellagio Circle by Grand Homes and Renovations: The workers who installed the roof have not been paid by their employer, Chris Kern of Double C Corp.

Chris has not answered our calls or letters and Iowa Workforce Development is now investigating unpaid wages for work on this property.  We will fight to win the wages for our members, but this instance also begs the question: How many other homes in the Home Show Expo have left workers waiting for wages?

Photo of 4107 NE Bellagio Circle after the worker finished his roofing job.

The Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Des Moines — and Grand Homes and Renovations — should not allow wage theft on their projects, plain and simple.  When we asked a representative from the Home Builder’s Association to call Chris and tell him to pay his workers, he refused.  They don’t think it’s their problem – but when they showcase a house built with wage theft – it becomes their problem.


You can stand up to wage theft too, just like the members who talked with Home Show go-ers on Saturday.  Three people need to hear from you:

  1. Creighton Cox, Executive Officer of HBA Des Moines
    (515) 778-5516
    The HBA needs to take responsibility and call Chris Kern and tell him to pay his workers.  They should not tolerate wage theft, especially on a house they use to showcase the best of the best. Let Creighton Cox know you think its a shame the HBA is showcasing wage theft and that he needs to work to resolve this problem ASAP.
  2. Carrie Norris, Grand Homes & Renovations
    (515) 967-6195
    Carrie is an owner of Grand Homes & Renovations, who built house #7 and hired Chris Kern to do the roof.  CCI staff have spoken with Carrie and she called Chris once, but she needs to take the problem more seriously and ensure that Chris pays his workers. Carrie is also the Vice President of the HBA of Greater Des Moines.
  3. Chris Kern, Double C Corp
    See if you can get Chris on the phone and tell him to meet with CCI! Our calls so far have not been answered or returned.
After you’ve made a call or sent some emails, let us know how they went!


Pictures from Saturday:




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