Frequently Asked Questions
Who is involved with the protests?
The protests are being organized by the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters out of Los Angeles. Locally, the protests are being supported by Carpenters Local 55.
What does the Union hope to accomplish?
Union bannering campaigns attempt to punish local businesses for using non-union contractors. In other words, the employees of those firms have chosen not to belong to a labor organization. The desired outcome of bannering is to bully and intimidate construction project owners into abandoning their contracts with nonunion construction firms. They’d rather have the work, usually remodeling or tenant improvement finishing, go to construction firms that are a party to a collective bargaining agreement.
What is the union protesting and how true are its claims?
The union wants that work underway to be performed by union members. This isn’t a “labor dispute” as the banners claim – a conventional “labor dispute” is an expiration of a contract, an issue over work rules, or the like. Most bannering campaigns claim a contractor is not paying area standard wages (i.e., union-scale wages) and benefits. The contractors on the job sites (“merit shop” or non-union) can demonstrate they pay their workers fair wages and other benefits – the difference is that their employees do not belong to a union.
Will my construction project be delayed?
Bannering should not result in work stoppages or project delays. Most merit shop contractors have the tools to keep projects on time and on budget despite union attempts to cause distractions or delays.
Are these union members who would normally be working on a construction project?
Not generally. The practice in Denver has been to hire day laborers from a temporary labor pool, pay them a minimal hourly wage, and have them hold the banners.
What action can I take if bannering or picketing is taking place on my property?
Discuss a strategy for reacting with your contractor. The best response usually depends on circumstances related to the property itself. Federal law allows union organizing on public property, but it is not allowed on private property without the consent of the owner. If you do not want them on your property, the best tactic is to insist they leave immediately. You can call the police to enforce your property line boundaries and avoid interference with your workers, guests and visitors. Bannering may be lawful, but blocking the access or egress of the public or workers is not. The banner should not disrupt traffic flow, present public safety issues or redirect foot traffic.
How should I deal with the media?
Local media and other businesses can be strong allies in the effort to debunk misleading propaganda. Media outreach will likely put your company in the spotlight in hopes of exposing the union’s mischaracterizations. While media attention frequently yields positive results, this outcome is not always guaranteed.
What do I tell my tenants/customers?
The best strategy is to ignore the protestors. And you do have rights. You, your employees and guests have the right to access your property without physical interference. Picket lines cannot be used to block access. And you have the right to ignore the pickets, the banners, and any shouts or chants from the bannering crews. We have put together a Fact Sheet with information on the bannering campaign that you can share with your tenants/customers.
What is KC³ ?
KC³ is a group of general contractors and subcontractors who have joined together to start telling the “other side,” that this is union organizing intimidation, not a “labor dispute.” While not at all intimidated by the bannering, the confusion among their clients has become enough an issue that it has to be addressed. Their customers know that using union contractors results in higher costs – because of the union dues, benefits contracts and the like. Building owners have made the business decision to control costs by using the most-qualified contractor. In many cases, that’s a merit contractor.
What is Union Bannering?