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Union pickets building site of new south Fulton fire station

Union pickets building site of new south Fulton fire station

November 15th, 2010 in News

Photo by Don Norfleet

A job action effort by a union wanting to organize employees of Glov-Con Construction Co. of Fulton have been picketing part of the time during working hours at the construction site for the new Fulton Fire Station on Tennyson Road.

Nick Pavia Sr. of St. Louis, a union organizer representing Laborers Local 662 of Jefferson City, said the pickets are protesting that employees of Glov-Con are not members of a union.

Pavia said a sub-contractor at the fire station site is Rottger Brothers Foundation Co. of Old Monroe, Mo. Pavia said a representative of the foundation company subcontractor complained to him about the pickets.

"Since the only firm working at the site now is Rottger Brothers Foundation and they are represented by a union, we have decided to discontinue our picket line for now but we plan to be back later," Pavia said.

He said members of Laborers Local 662 have been picketing the site on and off for the last week. He shut down the picket line at about 10 a.m. Friday.

Pavia said earlier in the week Laborers Union Local 662 erected an large yellow inflatable rat labeled Glov-Con at the work site to symbolize the union's displeasure that Glov-Con was using workers who are not unionized.

"We call such firms rats," Pavia said.

The inflatable rat was not at the site Friday.

Pavia said because it is a government project, the contractor is required to pay all employees working on the construction job the state prevailing wage - whether it is a union contractor or not. The prevailing wage is usually set by the state at the rate received by union contracts in that region.

Laborers Local 662 covers the Mid-Missouri counties of Callaway, Cole, Miller and Moniteau.

Pavia said the main difference between the prevailing wage paid to employees on government projects who are non-union and unionized employees is that many non-union contractors do not provide health insurance and pensions, which are made available through union contracts to unionized employees.

Wages for a general laborer who is a member of Laborer Local 662 includes basic pay of $20.31 an hour plus $10.09 for welfare, pension and other benefits. The total pay package amounts to $30.40 an hour, or $243.20 for eight hours of work.

One of the union members manning the picket lines said the union was paying him $50 a day to walk the picket line.

"That isn't bad pay if you're unemployed," he said.