Federal project, or tenant build out?

Obama archives labor protest

A labor dispute broke out in Hoffman Estates at the facility along Golf Road that will temporarily house archives for the future Barack Obama Presidential Center. Union members are trying to find out if the conversion is a federally funded project, or a tenant build out. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley

View a video from the Hoffman Estates labor dispute by going to the Fox Valley Labor News YouTube channel

HOFFMAN ESTATES — It seems inconceivable that a temporary archives facility, set to house archives for our DEMOCRATIC president in the Barack Obama Presidential Center, destined to be built in CHICAGO — ground zero for the LABOR MOVEMENT, is currently being worked on by non-signatory contractors.

What’s unclear, and what union leaders are trying to determine, is if the conversion of the archives facility is a tenant build out, or a federally funded project that should adhere to the Davis-Bacon Act.

Until it’s figured out, one thing is clear: Union members will be out along Golf Road with Scabby the Rat fighting this labor dispute.

Davis-Bacon, passed in 1931, requires private contractors to pay “prevailing wages” to employees on all construction projects receiving more than $2,000 in federal funding.

“If this is a federal project, Davis-Bacon applies,” said Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 Organizer Eric Olson.

Obama archives labor protest

Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 Organizer Eric Olson, left, brings State Rep. Marty Moylan up-to-date on the status of the building trades labor dispute against Mid-Continental Management. Moylan came out Aug. 22 to talk to union members about the situation. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Unfortunately, Olson is being told by Mid-Continental Management owner Andrew Staskevicius that it’s not a federal project and that the end-user will be the National Archives and Record Administration.

The building is owned by Hoffman Estates Medical Development LLC, which hired Mid-Continental Management as the general contractor. Local 73 put up Scabby the Rat Aug. 17. A labor rally was held Aug. 22, where several building trades members, retirees and local politicians, like Representative Marty Moylan and State Sen. Laura Murphy, came out.

Obama archives labor protest

From left, Mid-Continental Management owner Andrew Staskevicius talks with Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 Organizers David Sylvester and Eric Olson about signatory contractors that may have bid on the job for the conversion of the former Plunkett Furniture store that will house the temporary archives of the future Barack Obama Presidential Center. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

As he has in days past, Staskevicius came out Aug. 22 to talk with members, specifically SMW Local 73 Organizers Olson and David Sylvester. Again, he indicated the conversion project is a tenant build out.

“I’m getting paid by the owner of the building. He is leasing to the government. There are government funds when the government actually taking over,” Staskevicius said, indicating the project is partially funded by the government.

Obama archives labor protest

State Sen. Laura Murphy, talks with Chicago & Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council President Ralph Affrunti about the situation during the construction at the Barack Obama Presidential Center. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Sylvester said it’s a federally funded job that was a no-bid contract. “This is a 74,200-square foot facility that’s being leased out for $11.6 million for four years, with a two-year extended option.”

Staskevicius indicated women would be working on the project. “For cleaning, and stuff like that, it’s going to be women.”

Obama archives labor protest

State Rep. Marty Moylan gives his full support to union members who are involved in the labor dispute. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer