Pa. contractor fight stalls U.S. Taiwan project

Taiwan construction workers have stalled work on the U.S. government's main office in that country because of a dispute with West Chester-based water systems contractor Weston Solutions Inc., reports the South China Morning Post here. (Thanks to the reader who passed the story along.)

"Weston Solutions in 2009 won a US government contract worth US$54.4 million to design and build the first phase of the new American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) located in the capital city’s suburbs," writes the Post. "The AIT has represented US interests in Taiwan since Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.

 "But three Taiwanese subcontractors say that since November 2011 Weston Solutions has been defaulting on payments" to 160 workers at the firms, according to the Post. They say they are owed about HK$122 million, or about US$16 milllion.

A Weston official did not immediately return my call for comment. The Post said it also failed to get Weston's side.

The Post says up to 60 picketers from the three companies, including Wei Chuan Arch Contracting, have been demonstrating and shouting slogans like "Pay me the money due".

AIT spokesman Mark Zimmer said the agency hopes "the dispute will be settled in an amicable manner." The building is scheduled for completion in 2015.