Union to Picket Severstal North America

Union to Picket Severstal North America

More than 300 members of Laborers’ Local 1191 are picketing in front of Severstal North America today, in protest of the integrated steel company’s use of an out-of-state, non-unionized company for its demolition project.

Laborers’ Local 1191, one of the state’s largest construction unions, will begin picketing at the site at 14661 Rotunda Drive in Dearborn at 6 a.m. today. The group is challenging a decision by Severstal North America to use Boston, Massachusetts-based Global Demolition to tear down a dilapidated furnace.

Mike Aaron, president of Laborers’ Local 1191, said that his organization met with Severstal officials last week, and that Severstal had committed to working with 1191. However, there has been no follow-up by the company.

“Not only can we do the work in a way that’s safer and more cost-effective, it is a slap in the face to hire non-unionized workers to do the job in the home of organized labor,” said Aaron. “We wanted to send a message to Severstal that we won’t sit still for such disrespect.”

Aaron also notes that his union represents the best trained and most experienced workers to do the job.

“Right now, Severstal is in a no-contract with Laborers’ Local 1191,” Aaron said.

Laborers’ Local 1191 is one of the state’s largest construction unions, with 3,500 members. The group, an affiliate of the Laborers International Union of North America, has undertaken some of the state’s most ambitious projects, including helping with the construction of the McNamara Airport Terminal-where they did the state’s largest cement pour — and the Gateway Project. 1191 operates three state-of-the-art training facilities in Wayne, Perry and Iron Mountain, Michigan.

Aaron noted that Severstal’s mission statement claims that it is a ‘company of which our employees and their families can be proud.’

“This is hardly a proud moment for them,” Aaron said.

Source: Laborers’ Local 1191

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