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Giant Hand and Death Head Greet Drivers On Contra Costa Boulevard

A local union is using eye-catching visuals to make their case about what they say are unfair labor practices.

Traffic going back and forth past Sunvalley Mall on Contra Costa Boulevard has been treated to an unusual sight the last few days — a giant hand with its thumb pointing down at one driveway, and a ghostly death-head sheathed in black at another.

These are the visual dramatics that Carpenters Union Local 152 is using to draw attention to what it says is an unfair labor practice being sanctioned by the Taubman Company, which owns Sunvalley Shopping Center.

According to a flier union representatives are handing out, Taubman has hired J.R. Lennen Construction, Inc., of Stockton, for work at the mall, and that company is not paying prevailing wages.

Union representatives would not say more than “all the information is on the flier.”

A spokesperson for Taubman, Karen MacDonald, said, “We welcome union contractors and encourage union contractors to bid on our work. We have used union and non-union labor in the past when they meet our criteria. We give everyone an equal opportunity to competitively bid on projects. Decisions are made and contracts awarded based upon experience, quality and terms.”

Bill Schilz January 16, 2013 at 07:35 PM
Unfair labor practice? Who are you kidding? Hurts workers, families and communities? I'll bet the employees of JR Lennen Construction would disagree. They are probably thrilled to be working and being able to support their families. I'll bet the stores are grateful that Taubman put the job out to bid and chose the most affordable company complying with the scope of work. Those tenants end up paying those costs in their triple net costs, or if it's capitalized, allows Taubman to rent the locations more reasonably. Union shops needs to become lean and competitive! That's the bottom line... building owners & developers are not going to pay a 35% premium to hire a union shop. About the only organizations willing to pay that extra amount are our government agencies and we wonder why they are all sinking in a mountain of debt!
Donny Johnson January 16, 2013 at 08:46 PM
The Carpenters are not a real Union they just use the name to reap the benefits of a non-profit. They are ran by the McCarron crime family out of LA and often support anti worker legislation and candidates. The following is a link to a recent Wisconsin newspaper article where they perform as a backdrop in a photo op for Governor Scott Walker, BTW they endorsed him for Gov. http://watchdog.org/66363/wi-walker-and-union-friends-pitch-mining-job-creation-in-state-of-state/
Scott January 16, 2013 at 11:16 PM
Eloquently said Bill. I was a Mechanical Maintenance Engineer at Sun Valley Mall for years, and from what we saw, the bidding was all on the up & up and yes, the tenants pay ASTRONOMICAL rent and CAM costs (Care & Area Maintenance) So competitive bidding was always key. Taubman was always cost effective if nothing else.
John Irvivne January 18, 2013 at 03:30 AM
Thanks for bringing this to my attention (I didn't see/notice the giant hand). Unfair labor practice? Good! I'll be sure to shop Sun Valley Mall this weekend.

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