The owner of a Long Island event management services company said Wednesday that stagehands who worked a Rolling Stones concert last month in Buffalo and whose paychecks bounced will finally get satisfaction as the company makes good on the checks.
Sea Cliff-based Big Whitey Productions -- named after owner Dennis White -- was hired by concert promoter AEG Live to handle stagehand labor and payroll services for the July 11 Stones show. About 100 of the 204 stagehands who set up and broke down the venue reported that their checks had bounced, a result of a frozen business account.
White said the account that held the payroll funds for the mostly union workers was frozen last week amid a divorce proceeding with his wife. White said a judge lifted the freeze on Monday and now those who did not deposit their checks should be able to do so without any issues. He said he will reissue checks to those whose deposits bounced.
"This morning I checked, and the accounts are freed and people are starting to cash their checks," White said yesterday. "It's being fixed. The guys will get their money."
Many of the workers initially received their checks by mail around July 27 and deposited them. Days later, many found that the checks had bounced.
Gary Syracuse Jr., business agent for Local 10 of the International Association of Theater and Stage Engineers, found out when his wife, who works at a credit union, called him when she noticed that his check had bounced, he said.
Syracuse said he has been in contact with White since the notification and was told around 10 a.m. Wednesday the issue was being resolved and workers who had not deposited their checks could now do so.
"Our guys did flip out a little bit, but [White] resolved this in a swift manner," Syracuse said. "I know he tried his best to resolve this as fast as he could." The payroll for the job was about $77,000, Syracuse said.
Some workers have reported that their checks were deposited and processed without incident, Syracuse said. But those whose checks bounced reported they were charged bank fees of between $10 and $30, he said.
White said he will reimburse stagehands who incurred fees.
"I'm covering all canceled bank fees," he said. "It will come out my pocket."
Stagehands can be paid $25 to $50 an hour, depending on skill level.