Big win for Chicago’s carpenters
The Illinois Department of Labor has issued a $1 million judgment in favor of the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters as they found the developers of a Northbrook senior residence of violating the state’s prevailing-wage law. The news was announced by the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters this week.
The Council found the developer of the Lodge of Northbrook, a 164-unit senior housing project, and two subcontractors guilty of wage theft for violating the Prevailing Wage Act. The guilty party is announced to deliver a total of $1.1 million in back pay to workers on the development. According to the union, the Lodge of Northbrook was developed by Essex Corp.
The contractors were McShane Construction, the carpentry contractor was Horizon Carpentry and the drywall contractor was Russ’s Drywall. The Labor Department judgment called on Horizon to pay its workers an additional $692,000, Russ’s Drywall to pay an additional $249,000, and Essex to pay a penalty of $188,000. The case was fought by the union on the Prevailing Wage Act.
The act states “requires contractors and subcontractors to pay laborers, workers, and mechanics employed on public-works construction projects no less than the general prevailing rate of wages (consisting of hourly cash wages plus fringe benefits) for work of a similar character in the county where the work is performed.” Bonds bankrolled the Lodge of Northbrook which were issued through the Illinois Finance Authority.
Union Executive Secretary-Treasurer Gary Perinar said, “Wage theft and the loss of tax revenue affects everyone.” He added “It takes advantage of workers, many of whom are unaware of their right to receive fair wages and benefits for themselves and their families. It puts signatory union contractors at a disadvantage for competitively bid projects. And it cheats communities out of tax dollars to increase future growth, new projects, and public services.”