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On Tuesday morning, August 3 starting at 9:30 am members of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters will protest in front of the site of the future headquarters of United Illuminating on Orange Street. Chief among the union??s concerns will be the screening, hiring and supervision practices on the site, where a subcontractor was issued a ??Stop Work?? order on Friday for not having proper workers?? compensation coverage.
??We have noticed a pattern of problems with subcontractors hired by Whiting Turner,?? said Tim Sullivan, a Representative of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. ??Throughout the process, we have also been concerned with United Illuminating??s seemingly cavalier attitude toward the screening contractors and subcontractors. Construction is a dangerous and often ruthless business. To have workers on the job without any protection should there be an accident is appalling.??
Davis Tree and Logging was the subcontractor on site ordered to stop work from proceeding with work after investigators from the Department of Labor Friday. They join a list of multiple subcontractors for Whiting Turn on multiple other sites who have been issued ??Stop Work?? orders or other legal citations.
??On Friday, the state found a subcontractor on this site without workers?? compensation coverage,?? said Sullivan. ??If a worker gets injured in that situation they are likely out of work and out of luck for a long, long time. Our concern is that, with Whiting Turner??s track record of hiring, we??ll see more violations of tax and insurance laws. Maybe workers being underpaid or not being paid at all. These things happen every day and they happen because companies like Whiting Turner and United Illuminating turn a blind eye and pretend that everything??s alright.??
Sullivan said the union will continue to visit the site to monitor compliance and to notify the public of any and all violations that occur.
The New England Regional Council of Carpenters represents more than 22,000 union members in six states who are employed by more than 1,500 union contractors. As part of their mission to bring fair wages and working standards to all carpenters, they regularly work with nonunion workers, educating them on their rights and helping them seek legal recourse when necessary.