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State investigating use of shelter workers at Boston Marriott Posted by on

A prominent article in the Boston Globe today revealed that state investigators are looking into the use and treatment of out-of-state shelter workers in the renovation of rooms at the Boston Copley Marriott. Union carpenters, painters and other union members have been demonstrating twice a week for months at the site against Baystate Interiors, Inc. of Woburn for undermining area standard for carpenters' wages and benefits.

Baystate is renovating several floors of rooms at the pricey downtown hotel owned by Host Hotels and using a California-based company named Installations Plus. Installations is using workers from a missionary shelter in Philadelphia to do work at the Marriott and allegedly violating wage and hour laws to do it.

The workers come from a drug and alcohol rehabilitation shelter in Philadelphia run by Victory Outreach International, an evangelical group based in the San Diego area.

“Our concern is that Host Hotels is trying to take advantage of the recession by bringing in out-of-state laborers to do work that has traditionally been done by local union tradespeople,’’ said Mark Erlich, president of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters.

The investigation is not the first trouble enforcement authorities have found on the site. The subcontractors working on the project--including Installations Plus--have been issued "Stop Work Orders" and paid fines for not having proper workers' compensation insurance.

Click here to view a NERCC-produced video about the demonstrations at the Boston Copley Marriott.

A Look Inside - The History Wall Posted by on

There are various touches throughout the facility that not only highlight carpenters work but add character to the building. One such feature is the History Wall located on the second floor.

Fourteen sepia-toned photographic images, mounted on ¾?? Plexiglas, hang on the walls starting at the second floor lobby and running down the hall in to the open area at the communicating stair that connects the first and second floors.

Twelve of the images are mounted on 3??x6?? panels and two images, which mark the beginning of the History Wall in the lobby, stretch across six 3??x6?? panels.

A memorial to the trade and its workers, the images date back to 1881 and run through present day, including three shots taken during the construction of the Carpenters Center.

The History Wall celebrates the membership of the Carpenters Union and the evolution of the craft through the years.