Unionized Ironworkers Aid Non-Union Jobless

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. –  Proving once again that unionists jump to the aid of all workers – union or not – the Ironworkers are trying to find jobs for 280 non-union colleagues left high and dry without pay when a large non-union Michigan contractor suddenly shut its doors last month.  And the union hopes they’ll eventually become members, too.

The crisis arose when Lamar Construction Co., a large, long-time nonunion contractor headquartered in Hudsonville in west Michigan , abruptly closed July 9, throwing about 280 workers onto the jobless rolls.

Lamar, established in 1938, shut down after a bank cut off its credit line, MLive reported.

The company employed about 170 workers in Michigan and also operated in Kentucky and Colorado.  Lamar’s statement said it would continue operating its structural steel erection business, but nothing else.  That prompted quick offers of help for workers from the Iron Workers International Union and the anti-union Associated Builders and Contractors.

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Lansing Prevailing Wage Law Upheld in Michigan Court of Appeals Decision

LANSING — A prevailing wage law passed by the city of Lansing does not violate the Michigan Constitution nor home rule restrictions passed by the Michigan Legislature, a divided Michigan Court of Appeals panel decided Wednesday.

The decision overturns a lower court ruling in favor of Associated Builders and Contractors, which had challenged the Lansing ordinance as unconstitutional, and says a 1923 court decision that barred cities from setting prevailing wage laws has been superseded by decisions over the last 90 years.

Lansing’s ordinance requires contractors working on city construction projects to pay a prevailing wage, which ABC had challenged as being outside the city’s authority under state law. ABC also cited a 1923 Michigan Supreme Court decision that barred the city of Detroit from enforcing a prevailing wage law. That opinion concluded that unless the state had given cities the authority to set such laws, cities could not enact rules governing wages.

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(Copy of Decision)