Nearly 100 workers, stranded last month in Columbia, still have not been paid by either of the companies they were working for or with at a student housing construction site south of town. As of Monday night, an Aspen Heights representative told ABC 17 News the company had not come to an agreement with contractor R-Energy, LLC. ABC 17 News first reported last month that Aspen Heights had terminated the contract with R-Energy at the construction site on Nifong Boulevard and Ponderosa Drive, but the company had left without paying its subcontractors. That left workers without money for food, their hotel or a way home from Columbia. Some workers have contacted ABC 17 News saying the companies owed them between $900 and $5000 for the work they say had been completed and signed off on. On January 25, Aspen Heights and R-Energy said they would have an agreement and money disbursed within the coming few weeks. But a soft deadline Monday passed without an agreement between the two, though leaders said they hoped to reach consensus within a matter of days. The stranded worker controversy played out after almost 50 Atlanta workers - framers and laborers - approached ABC 17 News that they had been brought to the Aspen Heights site under false pretenses. Those workers had responded to a Craigslist ad, promising room, board, food and $2000 in weekly pay. An ABC 17 News investigation found the company responsible for the ad - Everything Staffing - had worked with a company called Black Sparta, LLC. Black Sparta's listed address checked back to an extended stay hotel near Atlanta and its phone number had been disconnected. Since then, neither ABC 17 News nor Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB-TV have been able to get a hold of the company. The Atlanta workers have threatened legal action against either Everything Staffing or Black Sparta, LLC. So far, none has been taken. Stay with ABC 17 News as this story continues to develop.
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