April 9, 2018

Carpenters union, N.J. company reach $15K settlement on Worcester project

Photo/Grant Welker
A subcontractor working on the 145 Front at City Square project has recognized a union and hired back a carpenter it fired.

A local carpenters union and a New Jersey-based construction company that helped to construct luxury apartments on Front Street in Worcester have reached a settlement in a labor case with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board after a carpenter was fired after attempting to organize.

According to the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, New Jersey-based subcontractor P&B Partitions has recognized the union and has hired back the fired carpenter.

Last April, the Worcester Carpenters Union began assisting five non-unionized carpenters who allegedly had been cheated out of wages and overtime pay while working at the 145 Front at City Square project.

The union alleges a carpenter working for P&B Partitions began speaking with the Worcester Carpenters Union and other employees about organizing. That employee was fired shortly after those conversations began, the union said.

The settlement, announced by the union Monday, includes $15,000 in lost wages for the fired and rehired carpenter.

In statements, local officials praised the outcome of the settlement.

"I'm proud of the successes we're seeing in Worcester's economic development, but I'm not proud of stories like this," said City Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson. "I'm pleased that this unfair labor practice has been resolved."

According to the union, the wage theft complaints of the five carpenters has grown to 12. That case is ongoing.

Malden-based Roseland Residential Trust, the developers of the project, announced in February leasing has begun for the new residential development at 145 Front St., a key component of the $565-million City Square project seeking to bring more than 22 million square feet of new development to the heart of Worcester.

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