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Members to demonstrate in Worcester Posted by on

Members in Central Massachusetts will gather Friday morning to protest the use of substandard contractors at building being renovated for eventual lease to the Worcester County District Attorney??s office.

Northpoint, the General Contractor on the project, has hired a New Hampshire-based company by the name of Drycon to do metal stud and drywall work. Drycon took over from Metro Walls, another New Hampshire-based company that was debarred from performing public work in the state of Massachusetts as a result of misclassifying workers.

The protest rally will take place from 8am-1pm at 184 Main Street in Worcester. All members are invited and encouraged to attend.

The building is owned by 184 Main Street Associates, which is owned by Robert Oftring. The project received a $2.8 million dollar loan from Mass-Development, $600,000 for Historic Tax Credits, and is now seeking $550,000 in Tax Increment Financing from the City of Worcester.

Carpenters welcome students back to Quinnipiac Posted by on

Members of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters greeted students and parents arriving yesterday for the fall semester at Quinnipiac with some questions and concerns about the school??s judgment when it comes to its building practices.

The school is in the midst of a 10-year building plan but has had some problems recently with contractors hired to do work. Two flooring contractors were issued Stop Work orders by the state while working directly for the college on small rehab projects.

??Union carpenters and union contractors have done work at Quinnipiac and will in the future, I??m sure?? said NERCC Organizer Jeff Wolcheski. ??But we think the way they??ve made some of their decisions leaves a bit to be desired. It??s understandable, given they are educators, not builders. Maybe they??re getting bad advice from outside experts who only care about bleeding profit out of the school. Maybe President John Leahy has too many outside interests or has grown complacent when it comes to details and follow-through after so many years here.??

Wolcheski and the union have been making a point that their issue is not strictly a matter of nonunion contractors working on campus. Union carpenters have worked alongside nonunion carpenters at Quinnipiac and on other sites. Union organizers have even built relationships with nonunion carpenters, offering to help them if they encounter wage or safety problems. What??s troubling is the lack of concern for quality and legal compliance by contractors allowed to bid and work on campus.

??We make our living in the construction industry,?? says Wolcheski. ??We know the good guys, the bad guys and the really bad guys. We know all the scams and shortcuts that hurt not just workers in the industry, but owners like Quinnipiac and the local communities. For the University to simply fold their arms and claim ??we know best?? seems shortsighted and needlessly close minded.??

The New Haven Register published a story, which includes video comments by NERCC Representative/Organizers Jeff Wolcheski and Bill Jordan. It can be seen here.

A story also appeared on, an investment information site.