By TIM ROWDEN
Downtown St. Louis – Decorators & Displaymen Local 39 and Teamsters Local 600 picketed outside Union Station Hotel recently to protest Alliance Exposition Services use of out-of-town, non-union workers for the World of Coal Ash Conference held there May 13-16.
Alliance, based in Sterling, Va., does not have a contract with and did not employ members of Local 39 or Local 600, Local 39 Business Manager Frank Condellire said.
“They came into town and didn’t hire any union trades – Decorators and Teamsters – to do their work. We approached them and told them what the standards were. They’ve been in this town before and they’ve subcontracted to union contractors. So we talked to them and they agreed to put some guys on, but they wouldn’t sign a contact. We put a picket up to let the public and the exhibitors know that they’re not using local contractors.”
In addition to not hiring locally or paying area standard wages and benefits, Condellire noted of the out-of-town workers, “None of those people probably paid the city earnings tax.
“No St. Louis workers are making any money setting those shows up and tearing them down,” he said. “They didn’t even hire any temp people from St. Louis; they brought them from out of town.”
Alliance was hired by Lodging Hospitality Management, located in Westport Plaza, which manages a number of St. Louis area hotel properties including Union Station Hotel, the Ballpark Hilton, Doubletree and the Sheraton at Westport.
Condellire said Alliance officials claimed Lodging Hospitality told them Union Station was not a union shop, and implied that that was why they were using non-union workers.
“They’re implying that the building told them to be non-union, that they’re a non-union facility,” Condellire said.
But, he noted, Lodging Hospitality is using union building trades contractors to renovate and rehab Union Station and build a new aquarium there.
“I think Alliance may just be using them as an excuse.” Condellire said. “We intend to sit down with Lodging Hospitality Management.”