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Construction workers say Apex has broken promise to hire local  

Credit:  By Eric Baerren | The Morning Sun | www.themorningsun.com ~~

Unionized construction workers are accusing the company behind a major wind energy project in north-central Isabella County of breaking a promise to hire local workers, and plan to let people know about it all week.

Approximately 55 union workers picketed to let people know about it on Monday, said Chris Taylor, a representative with the Construction Labors Local 1098. Their focus of their ire is Apex Clean Energy LLC, but because the company’s office is tucked back into Rosebush they stood at the corner of Rosebush and Mission Roads for better visibility.

Taylor lives in Bay City, a part of the state where construction unions are at their strongest, but he said most of the people demonstrating are from Isabella County. The union workers picketing this week are mostly construction laborers, he said.

Taylor categorized the action as a community demonstration to let people know that while Apex came to town promising to hire local workers that they can’t get a meeting with the company. Furthermore, the company they went with, Fagen Inc., a company Taylor said has OSHA violations.

Shortly after the laborers started their demonstration, Apex issued a press release. Rather than dispute the laborers’ assertions, they instead pointed to Michigan companies – including some from mid-Michigan – currently working on the project that employ local workers.

Those include:

  • Central Concrete and Fisher Transportation, both of which operate from 900 S. Bradley St. in Mt. Pleasant. Central Concrete is supplying all of the concrete for the project and Fisher was hired to handle civil construction, including improvements to county roads and construction of access roads from public rights-of-way to the turbines.
  • Apex has also hired Mills Excavating of Ithaca to handle drain tile repair and replacement an other agriculture-related issues.
  • MJ Electric of Iron Mountain to handle transmission line construction.
  • Ten-Mile Paving, subcontracted through Fisher to handle road stabilization.

Fisher, MJ and Ten-Mile use 100 percent unionized Michigan workers, the press release says.

To help drive their point home, they brought a blow-up rat that Taylor said is his but that they bring to these sorts of labor-related actions.

Source:  By Eric Baerren | The Morning Sun | www.themorningsun.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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