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September 22, 2010

Local union to picket Trader Joe's, Chuck E. Cheese

Trader-joes-bag Look for picket signs to show up soon in front of Rochester's new Traders Joe's and Chuck E. Cheese, both being built out at former Cost Plus World Market and Linens N Things building (which is the former Econofoods store) at 1200 16th St. S.W.

Wes Urvig of the Southeast Minnesota Building Trades unions in Rochester says his groups are concerned that the workers doing the build out are not local. Here's some from a note from Urvig.

"Two out-of-state, non-union general contractors are currently remodeling an existing Rochester building into a Traders Joes grocery store and Chuck E. Cheeseā€™s restaurant. The vast majority of the sub-contractors are also non-union. The SE MN Building Trades unions are concerned that the wages and benefits of the Chuck-cheese workers on those projects do not meet area AFL.CIO wage and benefit standard."

So starting Thursday monring, the unions will begin what is formally known as "a regular Area Standards Picket" while the construction is underway.

Given the intense popularity of both establishments - particularly Trader Joe's, I wonder how much support the picketers will generate in Rochester.



I'm guessing that the contractors doing the work, were the low bidders. Not every tradesman belongs to or wants to belong to a union.
And also, while these guys picket, who's doing the jobs that they are supposed to be doing?

Many times with a large corporation, they have one nationwide contractor who does all of their buildouts. This makes complete sense because it allows for a consistent product without having to re-train local contractors do make sure the product is completed in a certain way. Its far more efficient and cost effective to have one company that does the work nationwide.

"...are concerned that the wages and benefits of the workers on those projects do not meet area AFL.CIO wage and benefit standard.."

If the workers aren't concerned, why should the union be concerned?

This is the part about unions I can't stand. I get that you want to make working conditions better for your members, but this is just bullying.

look at the japanese auto makers-they dont use a union and they build some great autos, they dont believe in the union. just seems like they are always striking for some reason.

"Its far more efficient and cost effective to have one company that does the work nationwide."

Until you get a "national" contractor who doesn't understand local conditions. We had a great example of that in Rochester years ago when a contractor built some apartments and didn't take into account the climate differences from the more balmy conditions they were used to.

Any local contractor worth their beans should be able to build something to a well defined spec./blueprint/whatever.

Let me cry a few crocodile tears, boo hoo hoo, the unions priced themselves out of a job. Maybe the union leadership should look at the cost structure they've set up.

Back in the 1920's and 30's unions played their necessary part to create safe working environments, fair pay and benefits. Now in my humble opinion, the time for unions has passed. There are a few exception, mainly those that still deal with dangerous jobs, oil rigs come to mind, just from the safety aspect. Unions almost helped bring down all of the Big 3 automakers, and put all of their members out of work, instead of trying to negotiate and compromise over their issues. Instead the unions said no to pretty much everything the Big 3 proposed in order to stay alive.

This seriously makes me sick. The previous poster who called it "bullying" hit it pretty much on the nose.

I can't imagine this will hurt CC or TJ's; if anything, it'll just bring in free advertising to them so that the whole city knows that they're coming. EXCELLENT! :)

So anyone see if they are out there in this rain?

going home for lunch in a moment - will let you know if they're signing in the rain (Oh, I'm funny today!)

So just so I understand how this picketing thing works - this involves guys who could normally make money by doing construction walk around getting paid no money. I bet if instead of carrying the signs they just did some simple calculations of what their real wages are they would leave the union in a heartbeat. Real wages would be Hours Paid (in $) / (Hours worked + Hours spent picketing or on the bench). Sometimes it's better to take the lower paying job and put food on the table. Plus they would save paying the wages of their union masters too.

Some of the people the unions pay to put on the picket lines, would make more money and have benefits if they went to work for the people they were picketing.

"Back in the 1920's and 30's unions played their necessary part to create safe working environments, fair pay and benefits."

actually, they didn't. Productivity increases enabled companies to be able to afford to do those things. It's not like nonunion workers at the time weren't getting those benefits.

Unfortunately for some reason unions get away making this claim even though it isn't much different than Al Gore inventing the internet.

Actually Allen, by your argument, unions are needed now more than ever. Non-union construction workers today do not receive the same pay and benefits that workers in a union do. Here are some statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: Union workers make 28% more in weekly earnings, are 53% more likely to have employer paid health insurance and are 285% more likely to have a defined benefit pension plan. So today, if you want these benefits, you have a far better chance of getting them if you are in a union. That is why we get away with making that claim.

Of that 28% increase in pay, you have to subtract 30-35% of the over all total going towards union dues. So an example would be a non-union person making $15/hr. A union person would make $19.20. Subract 30% for union dues. The union person would then make $14.24/hr. Not a big benefit.

all that unions have become is a high priced personnel employment company and they have to keep those dues high to pay their high priced over staffed employee's that use the benefit argument to justify there existence. With several hundred on the bench for a year or more these Bennys are worthless no work no benny's but don't miss those dues payments or you get slapped with high late fees

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