Carpenters speak out for local hires in Worcester
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Union carpenters in Worcester had their message heard last night at a City Council meeting called to discuss redevelopment of an unused courthouse in the city.

New Hampshire Developer Brady Sullivan was seen by power brokers to have the inside track on buying the property and building market rate apartments and retail space. But what some of them didn't know is that such a move might lock local workers out of a chance to participate.

Jack Donahue, Regional Manager for Central and Western Massachusetts, spoke at the meeting and expressed his well-founded concerns that "locals need not apply" if the property was sold to Sullivan. Donahue was joined by the Worcester Community Labor Coalition.

Sullivan is currently developing the Junction Shops on Beacon Street in Worcester where not only are locals being locked out, but state investigators recently stopped work because of insurance violations by a project contractor.

Interior Partition Specialists did not have a workers compensation insurance policy in place when state officials visited the site recently, leading to a "Stop Work" order. Such orders automatically result in the contractor being unable to work on or bid on state funded work for a year.

After hearing the concerns of local workers, the Council voted to have the issue discussed by its economic development committee, which will meet next week.