Guys, construction workers are not always poor, and people who don't do manual labor can often make less money than those who do. Why do we even care anyway, it's not like he's denigrating the laborer. He's just stating something that struck him as out of the ordinary to help illustrate his point about how bad the water problem was. Get over it.
That sucks for the company you dad works for, TiE... I hope they have flood insurance!