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Members of the Ironworkers Local 7 in New Hampshire and Maine marched this week to call for Archer Western Contractors to hire local workers for the Memorial Bridge project that connects the two states. The union is calling for local workers to be hired to help local families and local economies and they aren't prioritizing union workers over local workers. Archer Western has a history of hiring workers from out of the area of the projects they work on, although they have suggested that they will hire locally.
The union recorded a video that showed that there was a significant number of qualified local workers ready to do the job. They also noted that much of the funding for the bridge construction came from local taxpayer funds and that the bulk of the spending on the project should go to helping the local area come out of recession and high unemployment.
Evidence that [Archer Western] does not hire local workers exists currently in the heartland. Walsh is building the University of Iowa’s PappaJohn Biomedical Discovery Building which is drawing criticism from Iowa workers.
There, local workers have been protesting over [Archer Western] using out-of-state workers since the project began in June 2010.
“They said they’d work with us,” Scott Smith, president of the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Building Trades, said of [Archer Western]. “But that changed over the course of several months.”
He said nonunion workers from a number of different states were brought to the site, largely shutting out union and nonunion Iowans.
“They virtually negotiated the work right from under us,” said Smith, who was surprised because, in the past, Walsh had been willing to work with local contractors.