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K.C. Carpenters Sticking to the Union

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Carpenters on strike against Turner Construction voted unanimously May 25 to keep being represented by the St. Louis Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council. The union went on strike after its contract with the New York-based company expired. Turner’s main priority was eliminating a clause that required subcontractors to use union carpenters, Mark Iammarino, the company’s local general manager, told the Kansas City Star. The company also wanted to cut wages and benefits by $15 an hour, said Dave Wilson, the Carpenters’ regional director of organizing. Turner is now using exclusively nonunion labor, and most of its 50 union carpenters have found work with other contractors. But the vote by the 18 remaining members means “Turner doesn’t have a choice,” said Judy Ancel, a Kansas City labor educator. It’s “trying to get rid of the union,” she added, but “it can’t get out of its union contract by refusing to negotiate. Turner will be obliged under the law to sit down and negotiate in good faith with the union.” The union doesn’t plan to picket on Turner job sites as long as the company negotiates in good faith, Wilson said. Read more

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