Union painters walk off Mountain House High job site
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Sep 05, 2013 | 3315 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MOUNTAIN HOUSE — A group of union painters shut down the construction of Mountain House High School for a day on Aug. 29 as they picketed the hiring of nonunion painters.

According to Harry Smith, a construction executive for Turner Construction Co., the protest and the shutdown were nothing out of the ordinary.

“It’s a common thing to happen,” Smith said Tuesday, Sept. 3. “We have union painters protesting the fact there was a nonunion painter on the job.”

Four painters from Turman Commercial Painters who do not belong to a union were working on the trim of the administration building, Smith said.

Members of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades started picketing outside the construction site on Mustang Boulevard between 6:30 and 7 a.m. Aug. 29. Union workers already at the site walked off the job in solidarity, and arriving workers refused to cross the picket line.

Lammersville Unified School District Superintendent Kirk Nicholas said on Aug. 29 that Turner Construction was responsible for the project and would be in charge of resolving the problem. He deferred all questions to Turner officials, though he did say a resolution was reached by early that afternoon.

According to Smith, the picketers halted work on the school for roughly 24 hours.

He said the management set up two entrance gates at the construction site — one for union members and another for nonunion workers.

Everyone was back to work by the morning of Friday, Aug. 30.

Smith said the financial loss caused by the one-day delay was inconsequential, similar to the impact of a rainy day on the construction schedule, he said.

The high school is still on pace to open in August 2014, Smith said.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.

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