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Union Carpenters in southwestern Connecticut held an area standards demonstration yesterday at Commons Park on Crosby Street in Stamford to bring attention the business practices of Baker Concrete. The Ohio-based company does not meet area standards for wages and benefits for carpenters on all of their projects.
Baker is currently performing concrete work as part of the massive development at Harbor Point. The owner and development of the project is Building and Land Technology (BLT). Baker Concrete is the latest in a string of questionable subcontractors used on BLT developments. Subcontractors on BLT projects have been the subject of at least eight "Stop Work Orders" for misclassifying workers and other violations. One subcontractor, Heritage Drywall, was ordered to pay more than $100,000 in owed wages and penalties on a BLT project.
Ted Duarte, a Representative of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters said trades workers and community members will be demonstrating because Baker Concrete's attempts to undermine area standards is not only bad for the area construction industry but the regional economy.
“Most workers on this project are from out of state and that’s obviously not a good thing for area residents," he said. "It's taking jobs from local people, taking money out of the local economy and undermining standards for local workers in the future."
The demonstration was covered by local media, including the Stamford Advocate and video of Duarte commenting at the site of the demonstration were posted on YouTube (see below)