UNION PICKETS CONSTRUCTION SITE

May 08, 2002 12:00 am
Informational picket: Larry Lovelady, left, of Oregon City and Richard Koenig of Echo hold picket signs outside of Eastern Oregon University's science center construction project on Tuesday morning. Lovelady and Koenig are members of the International Union of Operating Engineers. ().
Informational picket: Larry Lovelady, left, of Oregon City and Richard Koenig of Echo hold picket signs outside of Eastern Oregon University's science center construction project on Tuesday morning. Lovelady and Koenig are members of the International Union of Operating Engineers. ().

By Dick Mason

Observer Staff Writer

Picketers representing the International Union of Operating Engineers greeted people traveling by two Eastern Oregon University construction projects Tuesday morning.

A total of eight picketers stood outside EOU's science center project on University Boulevard and its integrated services building project on Gekeler Lane.

They held signs but did not prevent workers from going to the construction sites or harass anyone.

Theirs was an informational picket. The International Union of Operating Engineers representatives are objecting that one of the construction projects' subcontractors, Oregon Excavation of Clackamas, is using workers who do not belong to a union.

Jim Anderson, a field representative for IUOE and a Portland-area resident, believes that Oregon Excavation should use union workers because they would be able to receive superior pension and health insurance benefits if they did.

The picketers stood outside the construction sites from 7 a.m. to noon.

Oregon Excavation has seven to eight employees at the projects. All are Oregon residents, said Chris Garrison of Union, an Oregon Excavation employee.

Garrison said Oregon Excavation employees will be working on the projects at various times throughout the next year.

Darlene Morgan, EOU's vice president for administration and finance, noted that the science center and integrated service center projects were not bid as unionized jobs. This means that the contractor and subcontractor are not required to hire union members.

Anderson said IUOE representatives will return to Eastern next week and resume picketing.

The university's $33.5 million science center project should be completed in about two years. The 67,000-square-foot addition to Badgley Hall includes a 7,500-square-foot biotech lab, classrooms, many other labs, an auditorium and a 5,000-square-foot greenhouse.

The 26,242-square-foot integrated services building will be used by state human services agencies. It is scheduled to be finished by November.

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