America’s Incredible Pizza owner and chairman Richard Barsness got a lesson on St. Louis unions and opted to go with IBEW Local 1 after the local bannered the newly remodeled restaurant and game room at 5254 S Lindbergh Blvd. in South St. Louis County, just hours before the restaurant was planning to host a Union Night.
“He came to us when he realized there was a problem and wanted to make it right,” IBEW Local 1 Business Representative David Roth said.
Barsness, who recently moved to St. Louis from Springfield, Mo., said he wanted to go all union on the remodeling of the restaurant and game room but was misled.
Barsness had hired Reinhold Electric – an electrical contractor sponsored by the Carpenters’ District Council and paying below area standard wages – and Streib Electric Co. – a non-union contractor also paying below area standard wages – on the advice of construction management on the project.
Barsness reconsidered that advice after Roth and five journeymen wiremen showed up to banner the restaurant on Dec. 18 as the restaurant was preparing to host a Union Night.
Barsness contacted Roth and, after learning of Reinhold and Streib’s status, ordered both of them off the job.
Barsness has since hired Kaemmerlin Electric Co., an IBEW Local 1 affiliate from St. Louis, to finish the remodeling work and handle any future electrical work at the restaurant and game room.
As a result, IBEW Local 1 members may be having a slice or two of incredible pizza next time they’re in South County.
“We appreciate the fact that Mr. Barsness came to us and wanted to use us, and we want to patronize him,” Roth said.