If you haven’t read “The labor dispute” please do so, here, as it gives context to this post.
The protest is the same but the action has changed. I’ve noticed that these protesters are going between holding up their big sign (no more than three at a time) to actually standing in the entrance and exit areas of the business park where Cataldo’s new office is located. They are on each side of the Caribou/Uncle Frankys part of the pavilion and they are armed with fliers.
Click here to read their updated information.
The flier confirms what Cataldo’s office commented, that Karkela Construction used a drywall contractor. They also go on to mention that the workers were paid less then the area standard wages and benefits.
It also continues to ask the reader if they’ve received any cost benefit for their “hoarded savings” onto their cost of dental care.
It sounds like the tactics aren’t going to stop anytime soon. I had heard from an unconfirmed source that one of the protesters admitted to being paid for their work. Word on the street is it pays $10/hour. Not bad…Perhaps I’m in the wrong business…Granted I get paid quite a bit more, but I’m required to think. Holding fliers and not talking is easy…The source also claims they are not workers in the union being represented.
This all gets me thinking. I should buy me some protesters and see what I could blackmail people into doing. Perhaps if I hire enough to picket a Caribou, they’ll give me free coffees for life, mmm.
Technically what they are doing falls under a First Amendment right. What I’m not clear on is their ability to be on the property of that business park. I suppose it would require the actual owners of the physical property there to call the police. I should remind my readers if they become obscene, pushy or violent at any point you should call the police as these aren’t legal tactics and are not protected by the First Amendment. Protests should be a peaceful affair as positive action speaks more legitimately than negative, granted not always as loudly.
At one point, the protesters had actually entered Cataldo’s office. I believe this to have happened in February when the protest first began (allegedly very near or after the completion of the build-out). They were essentially picketing inside the building trying to get Brent Cataldo to sign a document saying he would agree to use union labor in the future. This type of tactic becomes illegal after the business owner or representative asks the party to leave, which I’m assuming they did forthrightly.
Recently there has been quite a stir in Minnesota over the idea of prevailing wages. Kare11 has done two stories (Part I and Part II) on this particular topic. We, as taxpayers, should be concerned about this because we are affected in two major ways; 1. The cost of infrastructure and MN workers, 2. The impact of high prevailing wages to what the state can do because of budgetary constrictions.
Now, no one likes to lose a good deal but the basic gist of this is that prevailing wages have gone out of control. We end up paying state contracted/direct workers really high wages (in many cases) simply because it’s an inflated number that has been high over the years. With the Governor announcing huge cuts in education it makes me nervous. The worse education gets because of budget tightness the lesser quality of workforce we create. If we have a big inflated prevailing wage issue, why not deflate it to make room for what is more important?
Furthermore, I think that if all areas of the state are heavily scrutinized, why isn’t this issue? I know that it’s sensitive because there are unions and other organizations involved, but I think even those organizations need to recognize the economy and the labor-driven workforce is evolving. With the demise of unions over the years, it’s only going to get worse, so I’d say we all need to work together to take a second look at this or we’ll end up cutting things farther than we need, upsetting many families and driving businesses out.
So let me know what you think…I’m sure it could be a hot topic. I’m back to rock music and scripting.