14 inflatable rats on Joliet’s Larkin Ave: ‘It’s about unity’
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JOLIET, IL – Friday at 1590 N. Larkin Ave. An all-union meeting was held in Joliet to protest general contractor Englewood Construction. Englewood is building a new Starbucks coffee house in the former North Ridge Plaza parking lot.
According to Juan Rico, CEO and organizer of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 176, Lemont-based Englewood Construction uses contractors who pay low wages and undercut local contractors.
“It’s about unity,” Rico told the Joliet Patch editor Friday morning.
Rico said Englewood Construction goes out and gets bids from local unions for its projects, “and they take the union donation and hire non-union members and basically pocket the difference.”
Joliet’s North Ridge Plaza, Englewood has four projects, Rico said.
In addition to Starbucks, Englewood is overseeing contract work on North Ridge Plaza’s upcoming DD Discount Store, as well as Threading Station and American Freight, according to Rico. DD Discount will fill the Marshall’s Store slot.
Englewood will also build a future Smoothie King on Joliet’s West Jefferson Street in one of the outdoor spaces near Walmart and Murphy’s Express, Rico said.
“We’ve been here all week and we’re going to keep going as long as we can,” Rico said.
As for the cars, trucks and semi-trailers hitting Larkin Road, “we’re getting a lot of support,” Rico said.
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