Lemay – The belief in, and support of, union members by politicians was clearly evident recently when one politician crossed an IBEW Local 1 picket at the Lemay Aquatic Center and a second absolutely refused to do so even though it was the project’s topping out ceremony and many dignitaries were invited.
Supporting Local 1’s picket and refusing to cross was State Representative Bob Burns (D-Affton), a retired member of Teamsters Local 600.
Ignoring Local 1’s picket was St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley who will face challenger Steve Stenger, a strong union supporter, in the Aug. 5 Democratic primary. Stenger has the endorsement of all unions in the region.
At dispute is the use of a non-AFL-CIO electrical contractor affiliated with the Carpenters’ Electrical Workers Local 57, working as a subcontractor for Wright Construction Services, Inc.
In addition to Burns’ refusal to cross the picket line, Teamsters concrete truck drivers from Atlas Supply Co. and Riley Ready Mix & Materials also refused to cross the picket line to deliver materials and concrete.
Putting the icing on the cake, Wright Project Manager Jason Bibb marched down to the picket line to complain to Local 1 Business Manager Frank Jacobs that the use of the carpenter electrician was “a little thing” and that the union’s picketing was “costing us money.”
To which Jacobs replied, “A little thing? Really? I’ve got 800 electricians out of work that not having this work costs them a lot that goes to putting food on the table for their families!”
Bibb had no reply. Instead, he called the Park Rangers and County Police who after showing up at the site told Bibb the union was exercising its legal rights.