Update - Union says Trader Joe's is good neighbor
Here's some from an update to the posting I made Wednesday on Rochester building trade unions. Unions opinion of Trader Joe's has changed.
I have a full article in today's paper that is posted here.
An interesting side tidbit that came up with this issue is that top execs at Trader Joe's, possibly including the CEO, read this blog.
Construction of Rochester's new Trader Joe's grocery store and Chuck E. Cheese pizza place is attracting the attention of the local construction union.
And that attention has been both negative and positive.
First, the Southeastern Minnesota Building Trades unions announced plans to start a protest Thursday of the construction at 1200 16th St. S.W., where Trader Joe's and Chuck E. Cheese are under construction side-by-side.
Both are expected to be completed yet this year.
The point of contention was that the non-union general contractors might have been paying sub-contractors wages and benefits below the AFL-CIO standard.
However, the general contractor for the Trader Joe's project quickly responded.
"We do use union subs (subcontractors) where ever we can," says Steve Schnadenberg of Indianapolis-based MDC Construction, who estimates that about 75 to 80 percent of workers at the site are union members.
He also says that half of the 15 to 30 workers at the site at any given time are from Rochester.
"Both of those contractors are not union. However, the one working on Trader Joe's is hiring mostly union and that contractor is paying the area standard," says Wes Urevig, who represents the building trades unions in the Rochester area. "It looks like they are being a good neighbor."