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IKORCC Stands Against Wage Discrimination

  • admin
  • 24 May 2017

Posted: May 24, 2017 11:03 AM EDT
Updated: May 24, 2017 3:37 PM EDT

By Chris Otts

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- About 100 construction workers helping to build the Omni Hotel downtown walked off the job early Wednesday.

The workers, almost all of whom are Latino immigrants, said they recently discovered they're being paid less than others on the project. They hang and finish drywall and install metal studs, they said.

"We are the only one underpaid on this job," said Marco Cruz, who described himself as a safety worker. "Everyone else is making like $40-$45 an hour and we're doing like $20 an hour. So we feel like we were discriminated by our gender, our race, and that's what we're demanding, just fair salaries."

David Suetholz, a labor attorney helping the workers, said it's their right under federal law to come together and demand a conversation with their employer about their wages. 

"They are the only workers -- the only workers -- on this project that are being paid a residential rate," Suetholz said. "Every other classification of workers on this project are being paid commercial rates, and it's my sneaking suspicion it's because they're immigrants."

A spokeswoman for the Omni project did not immediately return a call. Neither did a spokeswoman for Brasfield & Gorrie, the general contractor.

Antonio Ramos, a business representative with the Indiana-Kentucky-Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters Local 175, said the workers are employed by subcontractors called PCC and PDC, which WDRB could not immediately verify.

The workers are not organized by the carpenters union, but Ramos said the union supports them.

Suetholz said he assumes the workers have legal status in the United States because employers are required to verify that.

"As an advocate for working people, it’s none of my concern because I want these people to be treated the same way everyone else on this project should be treated," he said.

About half the cost of the $289 million hotel and apartment building is being picked up by city and state taxpayers through a special taxing district.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has said the construction workers on the project would be paid the same "prevailing wages" the state has set for publicly funded construction projects.

The Republican-led state legislature repealed the prevailing wage requirements in January, but the new law applies only to projects that were not already in the works. 

Copyright 2017 WDRB Media. All rights reserved

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Rossford Open House Competition Winners

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  • 18 May 2017

Congratuations to our 2017 Rossford, Ohio winners! 


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Richfield Open House Competition Winners

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  • 18 May 2017

Congratuations to our 2017 Richfield, Ohio winners!


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Columbus Open House Competition Winners

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  • 18 May 2017

Congratuations to our 2017 Columbus, Ohio winners!


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Monroe Open House Competition Winners

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Congratuations to our 2017 Monroe, Ohio! 

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Hobart Open House Competition Winners

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  • 18 May 2017

Congratuations to our 2017 Hobart, Indiana winners! General Carpentry - Edward Livergood, Local 1485; Interior systems - Juan Miranda, Local 1485Millwright - Matthew Michels Local 1076.

Warsaw Open House Competition Winners

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  • 18 May 2017

Congratuations to our 2016 Warsaw, Indiana winners! General Carpentry - Kenny Allison, Local 615; Interior systems - Jose Mendez-Flores, Local 232; and Millwright - Kyle Van Ness Jr., Local 1076

Good News — May 15: Carpenters volunteer to build playground for elementary school

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  • 17 May 2017

Published: May 14, 2017 - 10:06 PM

Members of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 285 Members Action Committee recently donated their time and skills to build a playground for the elementary branch of Summit Academy on Leland Avenue in Akron.

Click here to read the full article.

Video: Indiana GOP Leader Admits Repealing Prevailing Wage ‘Hasn’t Saved a Penny’

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  • 16 May 2017

By  - May 2nd, 2017 09:18 am


MADISON, Wis. — With the Republican-controlled Senate Labor Regulatory Reform Committee poised Wednesday morning to vote for a misguided repeal of prevailing wage laws for public works projects, video has surfaced from a forum April 24 in Milwaukee where Republican Indiana House Assistant Majority Leader Ed Soliday angrily reveals that similar legislation passed in Indiana which went into effect in 2015 “hasn’t saved a penny.”

“We got rid of prevailing wage and so far it hasn’t saved a penny,” Soliday says during the question and answer session last week hosted by the Wisconsin Transportation Development Association in Milwaukee. “Probably the people most upset with us repealing [prevailing] wage were the locals. Because the locals, quite frankly, like to pay local contractors and they like local contractors to go to the dentist in their own town.”

One comprehensive analysis showed repealing Wisconsin’s prevailing wage laws will result in a projected $500 million in construction value being completed by out-of-state contractors on an annual basis and a yearly total of over $1.2 billion being lost due to reduced economic activity. A second analysis revealed 885 public construction jobs left Indiana after repeal of prevailing wage and 770 jobs popped up across the border in Kentucky.

[inartilcead]One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said he “wasn’t surprised the Wisconsin Republicans are using lies and deception to level yet another attack on Wisconsin workers.” Ross said the list of Republican co-authors on the bill was “a who’s who of Wisconsin’s anti-worker extremists.”

In the video obtained by One Wisconsin Now, Republican Soliday also mocks the outrageous claims about savings made by right-wing organizations like the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity. In Indiana, anti-worker groups claimed prevailing wage repeal would save taxpayers 22 percent on construction costs. Both the Wisconsin Americans for Prosperity and the Bradley Foundation-funded MacIver Institute have claimed prevailing wage repeal would save 23 percent in costs.

“The exaggerations in those hearings that we were going save 22 percent,” Soliday says. “Well, total labor costs right now in road construction is about 22 percent, and I haven’t noticed anyone who’s going to work for free. [They claim] there’s some magic state out there that’s going to send all these workers into work for $10 an hour and it’s just not going to happen. There’s not 22 percent savings out there when the total cost of labor is 22 percent. It’s rhetoric.”

Soliday adds, “So far, I haven’t seen a dime of savings out of it.”

Wisconsin’s independent Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported no fiscal impact nor budget savings for taxpayers by repealing prevailing wage laws.

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values

Thank You Memorial Hospital of South Bend Indiana

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  • 15 May 2017

Memorial Hospital of South Bend, a Beacon Health Systems property, has made the commitment to utilizing fair area standards contractors. Most recently have just completed a $50 million children's hospital and are committed to our ICRA standards. Thank you Memorial Hospital.


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