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Union to protest UPC Wind in Bath

Members of several area labor unions plan a protest today against UPC Wind, a wind farm company developing projects in the Cohocton area.

Tom Stephens, business development specialist for the International Union of Operating Engineers in Rochester, said the protest concerns what he called “UPC Wind’s plan to use non-union, out-of-state labor” to construct the wind farms.

The protest will take place at noon at the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency office at 7234 Route 54 in Bath.

The agency is considering an agreement allowing UPC Wind to make payments in lieu of taxes on its Steuben County projects.

UPC spokesman Lawrence Mott denied that the company is using only non-union, out-of-state labor.

“We are hiring local employees,” Mott said. “We are finding some good skilled local people. We have (local) International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (members) on the job. The statement that we are not hiring union workers is a lie.”

Mott said he could not immediately estimate what percentage of UPC Wind workers on the Cohocton jobs are union members.

By Larry Wilson

Star-Gazette

27 September 2007