CLINTON — Members of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters picketed the Clinton Middle School construction site on Wednesday; an act that the local project manager and Quad Cities Builders Association is calling illegal.
Hundreds of carpenters with Local 4, Davenport, as well as Local 166, Milan, have been on strike since last Wednesday after the union failed to reach a new contract agreement with the Quad Cities Builders Association. A number of union members have been legally picketing throughout the Quad-Cities for the past week.
The handful of picketers at the Clinton Middle School site identified Estes Construction as the target of their picket.
Vice President of Construction for Estes Construction George Roland sent a letter to Local 4 and Local 166 informing them that Estes is acting as the construction manager advisor only and is not self-performing the work of the local union or other trades.
“Therefore, we demand that you cease this illegal picket immediately. Failure to do so will cause us to consider your actions as secondary in nature and we will look to your union for damages,” Roland wrote.
Steven Tondi, president and CEO of the Quad-Cities Builders Association, said a new contract with the carpenters’ union could not be reached because of wages. Negotiations with the other area contractors he represents have all been settled with the exception of the carpenters, Tondi said.
He also said the picket in Clinton was not legal because the union does not have a contract with the school, which is the employer, giving the union no authority to picket.
“They should not be picketing there,” Tondi said. “Our position is that this is an illegal secondary picket.”
A representative of Local 4 did not return phone calls from the Clinton Herald.