A construction company employee fell to his death Thursday at downtown San Jose’s Silvery Towers, a highrise project already tainted by claims of wage theft and slavery.
Cal OSHA launched an investigation into the 643-unit twin-tower apartment complex at 188 W. St. James St., where work has been suspended until next week. According to the Mercury News, the decedent worked for Swinerton Builders, a consultant hired by China-based project developers Full Power Properties.
Full Power, Swinerton and the project’s contractor, FPC Builders, are working with Cal OSHA to find out what caused the man’s death. In a statement to the Merc, Swinerton officials said the death was unrelated to construction.
The Silvery Towers have grappled with delays and bad press since a federal investigation last year resulted in the arrest of a subcontractor, Nobilis Construction CEO Job Torres Hernandez, on suspicion of human trafficking. The U.S. Department of Labor then got Full Power to pay $250,000 in back wages to 22 workers.
The wage theft judgment announced last month prompted trade unions to demand that Santa Clara County adopt stricter laws to weed out unscrupulous developers. The Santa Clara and San Benito Counties Building and Trades Association held a rally last week outside the Silvery Towers site to put the pressure on county and city leaders and to rechristen the project as “Slavery Towers.”