Carpenters Strike Contractor At GOP Convention Site
NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Carpenters went on strike today against a contractor at the Superdome, where the Republican National Convention is to be held next month.
About 110 members of the 2,700-member Carpenters Union Local 1846 struck King and Co. Inc., a plastering contractor, at numerous sites around the city, said business representative Larry Bourg.
″The other crafts are honoring the picket lines,″ said Bourg.
But convention spokeswoman Nadeen Wong said workers were continuing to prepare the arena for the GOP meeting, which takes place Aug. 15-18.
Wong said she believed that King and Co. was working on a network broadcast center, rather than on any projects for the convention itself.
″The workers that need to be there today are here. The work that needs to be done today is being done,″ she said. Wong said she did not know specifically what work was going on Monday.
″What I’ve been told is what needs to be done today is being done,″ she said.
There were pickets at at least two doors to the Superdome and at entrances to the adjacent New Orleans Center, a shopping mall scheduled to open shortly before the convention.
Bourg said the local voted Monday night to strike because King and Co. wanted to cut 47 cents an hour from salaries and stop paying a $1.30-an-hour contribution to the union’s pension fund.
The carpenters’ pay was cut by about $3 last year, and they are now earning nearly $12 an hour, Bourg said.
Officials at King and Co. would not say what projects it was working on at the dome or the New Orleans Centre, said Tanya Acevedo, a secretary.
″Their comment is no comment,″ she said.