Second union to banner the project in two weeks
By SHERI GASSAWAY
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.
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.