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April 11, 2024

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Local plasterer’s union pickets Oaks dining hall construction

Local+plasterers+union+pickets+Oaks+dining+hall+construction
Local plasterer’s union pickets Oaks dining hall construction

The Local 886 branch of the Plasterer’s Union will be picketing Shrader & Martinez’s construction of The Oaks dining center at McDonald Hall this week.

“[Shrader & Martinez] are not using local people and not paying area wages and benefits,” said Dan Rauch, a Local 886 business agent.

Chartwells, which is contracted for University dining, is also in charge of the construction of the two dining halls because of the contract. For the Oaks project, Chartwells hired Arizona-based Shrader & Martinez as the general contractor to oversee the project. Shrader & Martinez is then responsible for hiring subcontractors to complete specific jobs, such as plastering.

Rauch said most of the subcontractors working on the dining center are union members, except for Bredshall Plastering Inc., which is currently plastering the exterior shell of the building.

The goal of the picket, Rauch said, is to notify the public of the issue.

“We have a lot of local people out of work,” said Jeff Ousterhout, a Local 886 business agent. “We’re getting cut out of all that shell work.”

The choice to use Bredshall Plastering Inc., based out of Wilmington, Ohio, was a budgetary one, said Mike Dobler of Shrader & Martinez.

“Once a contractor can’t meet the bid amounts, we have to go with somebody who can,” Dobler said.

All workers are paid prevailing wages, Dobler said. A prevailing wage requires a subcontractor to pay its employees the same amount that a union worker would make.

“They provide to us every week with what they call a certified payroll report,” he said.

This report is notorized, signed and stamped to verify its authenticity. Dobler said the reports are submitted to the University.

“Their signs read that the plastering company is paying their employees substandard wages; that’s untrue,” he said. “So unless they can come up with a legal reason to picket, it is an illegal picket.”

All Ohio law is being followed by the contractor, said Dave Kielmeyer, senior director of communications for the University.

“Bowling Green State University is confident that prevailing wage is being paid on all jobs currently going on campus,” Kielmeyer said.

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