** The video is here.
About 200 union workers interrupted a meeting of mortgage bankers at a posh hotel Wednesday.
The protest — aimed at the Pulte Group, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders — quickly turned into a scrum as workers wearing hardhats and shouting through bullhorns overwhelmed the security staff at the JW Marriott, bursting into a crowded conference room before a stunned crowd of bankers.
Shouting “Where are the jobs?” and “Where is the money?” the protesters from the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association and the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, many in overalls and helmets, said taxpayers have provided $900 million in tax breaks to Pulte with the aim of creating jobs. They said they haven’t seen the results they were promised.
“Those tax breaks were supposed to create jobs,” Wayne Peworchik, one of the protesters, said. “That was President Obama’s and Congress’s intent.”
“Instead, Pulte laid off workers,” Peworchik said.
But, the reason the union members are not working is because they would not accept a pay freeze – they demanded a raise back in June.
Via The Daily Reporter:
A Milwaukee contractors association representing 80 employers began a lockout Monday after contract negotiations with a local sheet metal workers’ union failed.
Jeffrey Remsik, spokesman for the Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ Association of Milwaukee, said the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association Local Union 18 wants increased wages and benefits, and the association will not grant the request.
Seventy-five union workers went on strike Friday, said Patrick Landgraf, Local 18 president and business manager. In response, the association locked out 1,800 union members Monday, he said.
The two sides have been negotiating since April, Remsik said.
“With the construction industry in the worst times we’ve seen since the 1930s, we feel we need to cut and lower costs,” he said. “We want to make ourselves more competitive so we can get more work.”