Collinsville, IL – If you need proof that being a union member means something, look no further than Fairmount Park Race Track.
When members of Roofers Local 2 set up an informational picket today (Tuesday, March 31) to draw attention to the fact that Fairmount had hired Allstate Roofing – a non-union contractor from Olathe, KS, paying below area standard wages and benefits negotiated by Local 2 – it didn’t take long for their action to have an impact.
Union employees at Fairmount – members of Laborers Local 44, Teamsters Local 525 and IBEW Local 309 – honored the informational pickets at the track's two main entrances and a secondary entrance at the rear of the facility before the eight-race card on Tuesday, which had been scheduled to start at 1 p.m.
Fans were unaware of the issue until they started arriving at the track and were eventually told the day’s races had been cancelled
Fairmount employees parked on the other side of Collinsville Road from the racetrack and watched as would be customers drove away – many honking their horns in support of the Roofers and Fairmont workers – and took their betting money with them.
“That was really something,” said Local 2 President and Buisness Manager Dan O’Donnell. “All of them stuck together and they cancelled the races.
“We just got wind of the project,” O’Donnell said. “We’re trying to get some kind of resolution.”
Marvin Bell, a member of Laborers Local 44, wasn’t scheduled to work, but came out to stand with his fellow workers.
“I’m not working today, but I support the Roofers,” he said.
Local 2 Field Representative Todd Heisserer said he had tried for several days to reach track management by phone prior to setting up the picket.
(See full coverage in the April 9 edition of the Labor Tribune.)