Operating Engineers 513 banners new Club Fitness under construction in Fenton

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Second union to banner the project in two weeks

By SHERI GASSAWAY
Correspondent

SHAME ON CLUB FITNESS: Operating Engineers Local 513 journeyman Jeremy Moore (left), apprentice Dan Hennen and the giant rat take the message to the public that the new Club Fitness under construction in Fenton is using a non-union subcontractor for trench and excavation work. It’s the second job action at the site from a local union in two weeks. – Labor Tribune photo

Fenton – For the second time in two weeks, a local union – this time Operating Engineers Local 513 – is bannering the new Club Fitness under construction at 739 Gravois Bluffs Blvd. for using a non-union subcontractor.

Local 513 set up the banner, which included the giant inflatable rat, on July 30 to alert the public that Russo Construction Co. hired Silver Stone Construction LLC, a non-union subcontractor that pays far below the area standard wages and benefits established by the union, for trench and excavation work.

LABORERS 110 BANNERED PROJECT TWO WEEKS AGO
Two weeks earlier, Laborers Local 110 set up a picket in front of the gym on July 18 for the same reason when Russo hired B. L. Haverstick Concrete, LLC, another non-union subcontractor, for demolition work on the project.

DO NOT PATRONIZE: Laborers Local 110 Business Agent Rob Reed manned a picket July 18 to alert the public that the new Club Fitness in Fenton is using a non-union subcontractor for concrete work. Shortly after setting up the picket, Reed was harassed by the president of the general contractor. The day before, the jobsite was shut down by the Fenton Fire Department due to high carbon monoxide levels caused by equipment being used by the subcontractor. – Labor Tribune photo

Club Fitness is using Russo, a non-union contractor, for renovations inside the new gym, which formerly housed Gander Mountain. B.C. Construction, a union contractor, is renovating the exterior of the building.

SUBSTANDARD WAGES, BENEFITS NOT THE ONLY PROBLEM
The day before Local 110 set up its picket, the Fenton Fire Department evacuated the jobsite due to unsafe carbon monoxide levels caused by gas equipment being used inside the building by Haverstick workers.

Fire officials tested the carbon monoxide levels, and some were over 80 parts per million. OSHA’s standards state that the levels can’t be over 52 parts per million in an eight-hour period.

Workers were allowed back in the building later in the day after carbon monoxide levels returned to normal, and the subcontractor agreed to bring in different equipment to lessen carbon monoxide emissions.

UNION REP HARASSED
The day Local 110 set up the picket, Business Agent Rob Reed got a visit from Tony Russo, the president of Russo Construction.

“He sped up and swerved by me in his truck,” Reed said. “Then he sped through the parking lot, came back and asked me ‘What can I do or pay you to make you go away?’

“I told him ‘First don’t swerve toward me in your truck, and second, hire a reputable subcontractor,’” Reed said.
Russo apparently didn’t get the message.

DO NOT PATRONIZE
Locals 513 and 110 are asking the public not to patronize the new Club Fitness when it opens this fall.


 

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