Downtown across from the library on Cascade there is a picket sign in front of GE Johnson Construction. My friend says it has been there for a long time. This company builds huge projects all over the area. What’s the deal?– Jamie Lynn

Answer: The banner has been there probably 18 months and is NOT a picket line or picketing action. GE Johnson Construction Executive Vice President Dave Ivis said it is part of a several-year national campaign by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters “protesting that we have used a local drywall contractor, Spacecon.” However, Ivis pointed out, “there are no union local drywallers in Colorado Springs.”Ivis said, “They don’t have a dispute with us (GE Johnson); they have a problem with us hiring Spacecon. But we have a bargaining agreement with the union. We can hire nonunion.”Why not protest outside the Spacecon office instead? For one thing, it’s not on a main downtown thoroughfare.Here’s an interesting tidbit: The people manning the union’s protest banner outside GE Johnson are apparently not union workers. They’re day laborers hired by the union. Yes, we asked them after they had walked back across Cascade Avenue after lunch at the soup kitchen.You’ll see the banners in Denver and other cities nationwide where the Pennsylvania-based Spacecon has worked on projects. Complaints by Carpenters’ District Council of Kansas City & Vicinity against Spacecon include using nonunion workers, “misclassification of workers as independent contractors to avoid withholding taxes” and using undocumented workers.


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