‘An attack against one of us is an attack against all of us’

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JeffCo Labor Club building trades reps unite behind local unions bannering two businesses for using non-union labor

By SHERI GASSAWAY
Correspondent

WE ARE ONE: Building trades business representatives and union members from the Jefferson County Labor Club joined together to banner the Oak Valley Golf Course & Resort in Pevely for using non-union contractors that pay below the area standards in wages and benefits. The banner was established by the Carpenters Regional Council. Taking the message to the public are (left to right) Bricklayers Local 1’s John Hopkin, Carpenters Local 92’s Butch Manning, Painters District Council 58’s Shawn Oster, Sheet Metal Workers Local 36’s Tom Leonard, Operating Engineers Local 513’s Keith Zacauske, Laborers’ Local 110’s Rob Reed, Carpenters Council Steve Pinkley, Floor Layers Local 1310’s Ezra Bragg and Electrical Workers Local 1’s Chuck DeMoulin. – Labor Tribune photo

In a first-of-its kind effort, building trades business representatives from the Jefferson County Labor Club are standing as one in the fight against the use of non-union Labor.

On June 7, they joined two local unions to assist them in bannering two Jefferson County businesses for using non-union contractors that pay below the area standards in wages and benefits negotiated by those unions.

‘CONTINUATION OF OUR FIGHT AGAINST PROP A’
“An attack against one of us is an attack against all of us,” said Chuck DeMoulin, club president and an IBEW Local 1 business representative. “The way I see this new effort is a continuation of our fight against Prop. A (so-called right-to-work).”

“We helped defeat that measure on the ballot because we all joined together as one to educate the public on what RTW really means,” he added.

OAK VALLEY GOLF COURSE
Club members joined the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council on its June 7 banner at Oak Valley Golf Course & Resort at 1230 Abbey Lane in Pevely. The property was formerly the home of the Teamsters Union Hills Course.

New owners Tauqeer Haider and Younus Shah, of St. Louis County, bought the course in 2016 and leased it to another company for two years. The owners took over operations at the course in early 2018 with new improvement and upgrade plans.

NUMEROUS ATTEMPTS TO NEGOTIATE
Labor club business representatives have tried to negotiate with the owners and the general contractor, Innovated Construction, numerous times in the last six months to no avail, DeMoulin said.

“After so many attempts, we’ve all come to the conclusion that they can’t be reasoned with,” DeMoulin said at the June 10 Labor club meeting. “They believe if they hire one or two union trades, the rest (of our unions) will just allow it to happen.”

Many local, charitable organizations hold fundraisers at the golf course and request donations from the Labor Club to support their efforts.
“Unfortunately, we are not going to support any events held at the golf course,” DeMoulin said. “But we will do our best to support our charitable organizations that need help without involving Oak Valley. We are boycotting them 100 percent and that is from every trade this Labor club represents.”

DO NOT PATRONIZE: Jefferson County Labor Club building trades business representatives also on June 7 joined IBEW Local 1 and Carpenters Regional Council picketing at the new Autozone under construction at 1704 Catlin Drive in Barnhart. Standing as one were (left to right) Sheet Metal Workers Local 36’s Tom Leonard, IBEW Local 1’s Chuck DeMoulin, Rick Dinella and Rich Niehaus, Painters District Council 58’s Shawn Oster, Carpenters Regional Council’s Steve Pinkley, Floor Layers Local 1310’s Ezra Bragg, Laborers’ Local 110’s Rob Reed, Bricklayers Local 1’s John Hopkin, Carpenters Local 97’s Dave Gleich and Carpenters Local 92’s Butch Manning.– Labor Tribune photo

BARNHART AUTOZONE
Club members also joined IBEW Local 1 and Carpenters Local 2214 on those union’s banners June 7 at the new Autozone under construction at 1704 Catlin Drive in Barnhart. Bricklayers Local 1 bannered the company in April for using non-union bricklayers.

Ohio-based general contractor Dalo Construction has used some local union companies for work on the project, including signatory contractors from Laborers’ Local 110, Operating Engineers Local 513 and Sheet Metal Workers Local 36. But it has hired many non-union companies as well that don’t pay area standard wages and benefits.

A FIRST FOR LABOR CLUB
DeMoulin said the June 7 Labor club banners mark the first time that the club and its building trades business representatives have stood together on an issue like this.

“I hope it’s something we see more of and that it will inspire Labor clubs throughout the area to do the same,” he said. “We must continue to stand as one if we are going to succeed.”

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