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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.