June 20, 2008 Volume 109 Number 12

Carpenters strike Robinson Construction

The Carpenters Union launched an unfair labor practice strike in Oregon June 2 against general contractor Robinson Construction. On June 9, more than 100 people paraded a half-mile down North Basin Street on Swan Island to a United Parcel Service (UPS) hub expansion project where Robinson is the general contractor.

The Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters filed ULP charges May 22 with the National Labor Relations Board after Robinson “unilaterally changed the terms and conditions of employment” and “unlawfully threatened employees with termination if they did not resign from the union.”

Robinson has been signatory with the Carpenters since the mid-’90s, said Pete Savage, regional manager for the PNWRCC. Over the past six months, Savage said Robinson stopped using the Carpenters hiring hall and implemented new insurance and pension benefits. The contractor then sent letters to its unionized workforce saying they had until May 23 to resign from the union.

Savage said the Carpenters now will leaflet Robinson construction sites throughout the Western United States to inform customers at UPS, Costco, Toys R’ Us, and elsewhere that the contractor is undermining area standard wages and benefits.


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