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Unveiling Simon's lies in Merrimack Posted by on

The Simon Property Group opened the doors on its new Merrimack Premium Outlets yesterday, but the first ones at the door weren't eager shoppers looking for deals, they were union carpenters giving out warnings.

Members are upset that Simon failed to live up to commitments it made regarding how the property would be built.

“The developer came to us…and asked for our help getting the project through a complex zoning and planning process that included a city-wide vote that produced the highest voter turn-out in Merrimack’s history,” said Liz Skidmore, NERCC Representative.

“In exchange for our support and help, they committed to building the entire project union. If they had, they would've used local crafts workers being paid decent wages and benefits. They reneged on their promise and wound up with people coming in from out-of-state and at least seven contractors who broke the law on the project according to the NH DOL.”

Simon is still trying to have it both ways. When carpenters and other building trades workers protested at the mall's opening, the company claimed it used some union workers. At the same time, they were trying to get police to strip union members of their rights to demonstrate.

The demonstration was covered by the Merrimack Patch.
 


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Simon Says...Lie! Posted by on

Members from Local 118 gathered with other Building Trades members in front of the Merrimack Premium Outlets in New Hampshire to protest Simon Property Group’s broken promises and lack of support for union workers.

Simon Property Group is building the $100 million dollar outlet mall, which will be home to more than 100 high end and designer retailers.

Local union members first stepped up to support the project in 2005.

“The developer came to us…and asked for our help getting the project through a complex zoning and planning process that included a city-wide vote that produced the highest voter turn-out in Merrimack’s history,” said Liz Skidmore, NERCC Organizer.

“In exchange for our support and help, they committed to building the entire project union. They reneged on their promise.”

Instead of hiring local, responsible contractors, Simon Property Group hire out-of-state contractors who brought out-of-state workers, a number of whom are illegally misclassified as independent contractors and aren’t covered by workers’ compensation.

Simon management released a statement in response to the demonstration.

“We have cooperated with the unions from the beginning of the project. The project was always planned as a publicly bid open shop.”

Construction workers from about 30 states have been helping to create the new shopping center, including tradesmen from as far away as Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas.

Various building trades members gathered at the mall to bring to light their frustrations from these broken promises, in an effort to drive more local jobs as fit out work continues on site.

The Merrimack Patch ,Nashua Telegraph , and Union Leader covered the rally.

Members were meeting at the site once again this morning and are considering a rally on opening day at the mall, which is scheduled for June 14th.