At the headquarters of Centex in Dallas, homeowners and members of the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA) chanted outside, then walked inside to protest in the lobby until they were kicked out.
A short time later, the group inflated a two-story-tall pig designed to call attention to the company's profits and what protestors say is a role in the collapse of the real estate industry. Many economists believe the bursting of the real estate bubble was a major factor in the recession and faltering of the American economy over the last 18 months.
Centex is a subsidiary of Pulte Homes, Inc. According to the companyâs Web site, Texas is the second largest market for Pulte, with 33 constructed communities.
The protest groupâs concerns were twofold.
First, worried homeowners say the company sold them homes in communities where they were promised amenities, only to have the company change the terms of the agreement.
Priscilla Windsor of Raleigh, NC says sheâs âappalledâ at the Centexâs response to its customers.
Windsor says residents in her community were promised a recreation center when the planned development hit 80 percent capacity. But when the community made that goal, she says Centex chose to build more homes. The move effectively dropped the community below 80 percent capacity and Windsor says the rec center was never built.
Workers with LiUNA say theyâve been treated unfairly by the homebuilderâs subsidiary. Some claimed theyâd been fired after trying to organize a union at their job site.
A subsidiary of Pulte has filed suit against a similar group, claiming that a company meeting in Missouri was interrupted by what amounted to a mob.
According to the court complaint, employees of the company say they were harassed, verbally threatened and even physically assaulted by protestors who showed up unvited to a hotel conference room.
Centex officials in Dallas did not meet with the group.