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MILFORD, CT-About 100 members of union trades affiliated with the Connecticut Laborers District Council participated in an informational protest in front of Turner Construction Co.’s offices here on Wheeler Farms Road to complain about what they term Turner’s decision to “selectively ignore union relationships and community standards on Connecticut projects.”

The protest staged on Wednesday was sponsored by the Connecticut Laborers District Council based in Hartford. Chris McFadden, director of communications for Turner Construction, tells GlobeSt.com that the firm has no comment on the protest or the allegations made by the Connecticut Laborers District Council.

Charles LeConche, business manager of the Connecticut Laborers District Council, notes that Turner Construction hires all union-labor at its projects in New York City, Chicago and elsewhere, but for some unknown reason has elected to work as a construction manager in Connecticut rather than a general contractor. While working under Project Labor Agreements negotiated with the Connecticut State Building Trades Council, LeConche alleges that Turner lets out bids that have gone to non-union companies on some of its project work in Connecticut. He says by acting as construction manager instead of general contractor on these projects, the firm while operating under the PLA has been able to put out work for bid that can go to either union or non-union companies as long as the firms pay prevailing wages.

“It’s a real shame. Turner Construction officials have decided to single out Connecticut workers and selectively ignore regional labor standards [regarding union relationships],” LeConche says. “Although Turner Construction has these industry standards in place in Massachusetts and New York State, this global construction management company has decided to turn their backs on Connecticut workers and Connecticut families.”

He adds “for many years, Turner Construction was a good labor partner for Connecticut workers. However, with profits in mind, Turner Construction’s Connecticut office has decided to shamefully become a poor community and business partner.”

Turner Construction provides general contractor and construction management services nationwide. The firm posted construction volume of $8.6 billion in 2006. The firm has worked on a host of high-profile commercial projects in New York and Connecticut. The firm recently broke ground on the $250-million cancer hospital project at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven.

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