Contractors at the Trump International hotel and tower in Washington are expressing frustration with the president’s decision to cancel their jobs amid construction of a $1.6 billion, 250,000-square-foot hotel, the White House said Thursday.
The decision to shut down the project came after the president canceled a series of events scheduled for Jan. 21 and Jan. 22 in an effort to address a deadly, police-involved shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., last month.
Trump has denied the incident was racially motivated.
In a statement, the hotel said construction of the hotel is still under way, though it’s not clear when it will be complete.
“Our goal is to bring a new, premium hotel experience to Washington and the nation, and that includes a hotel in the nation’s capital,” the statement said.
“As construction continues, the administration has not made a decision on the future of the project.
However, the decision to end the project is not an announcement of any specific construction projects, but is simply a show.”
The White House issued a statement on Thursday saying the president had directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to work with private industry and other private organizations to determine whether the project can continue.
The statement said the Trump Hotel is still “a project in the planning stage” and that the president is working with private entities to complete it.
It’s not yet known how many construction workers will be affected, but one contractor said it was concerned about how the cancellation would affect the workforce.
“We’ve been working for about two years, so it’s going to affect a lot of people,” said Richard R. Young, who runs the American Construction Council.
“I think it’s a sad day for our community.
It’s sad for the construction industry, it’s sad that we’ve lost so many jobs, and I think it is a sad loss for the country.”
Young added that the Trump Organization “wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing” if the project had not been canceled.
“It’s a show, it doesn’t matter what you say,” Young said.