HARTFORD — A regional carpenters union staged a lunchtime demonstration Wednesday, protesting the hiring of a subcontractor on a downtown office renovation whom the union says does not pay area “standard” wages and benefits to its workers.
Two dozen members of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, Local 43, carried signs and marched in front of Goodwin Square on Asylum Street where the subcontractor, Champagne Drywall Inc., of Agawam, Mass., has been hired by United Bank’s general contractor to work on the renovations of its new headquarters.
“This is about increasing the wages for the workers that are working for Champagne and raising the threshold … earning wages and benefits that are sufficient to support a family in Connecticut,” Marc Okun, a business agent and organizer for the union, said. “This is about raising the standards of all carpenters. We want them to make as much as we do.”
Okun said Wednesday’s demonstration was not aimed at Champagne because it is not unionized. The union also was not trying to pressure the bank to use more unionized labor, Okun said.
United Bank declined comment Wednesday and Champagne did not return a call seeking comment.
United Bank expects to relocate its headquarters and administrative offices to Hartford from Glastonbury later this fall and bring 200 employees downtown.
Okun said members of the union earn $56-$57 an hour in wages and benefits. Without benefits, wages are $32 an hour, he said.
Champagne pays $22-$28 in wages but does not provide benefits to its workers, Okun said.
“One of the reasons why this is particularly hurtful to us…
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