Bricklayers picket apartment job

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Bricklayers Local 1 members (from left) Seth Jones and Aaron Swanson protest substandard wages and benefits at the Watermark Apartment complex in Chesterfield.

Bricklayers Local 1 is taking its message to the public that Integrated Construction, a non-union, Indiana-based brick contractor building a high-end apartment complex in Chesterfield, pays substandard wages and benefits.

Pickets were placed July 21 by Bricklayers’ Business Representative Johnny Walker after learning that the 345-plus apartment complex with underground parking is being constructed by a scab, out-of-state contractor. The complex is located on 13 acres west of Chesterfield Mall and south of Central Park, at 16300 Lydia Hill Drive.

The developer, Watermark Residential Communities, has built other complexes, primarily in Texas and Oklahoma.

“As soon as the picket went up, about 30 guys – plumbers and ironworkers – walked off the job,” Walker said. “I’m really pleased with the support we’ve gotten, especially during these times of fighting anti-worker legislation and working to repeal so-called ‘right-to-work’ in Missouri.”

Walker said when unskilled, poorly paid workers build a residence, they are not only being cheated, they are cheating those who will live there.

“Concrete was shut down for the day after plumbers with Kolb Grading Company halted their installation of the water main at the site,” Walker said. “There are union plumbers, but Ellison Construction, a second plumbing company at the site, is non-union.”

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