Wal-Mart Using Frazier Masonry in Oakland, CA

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The Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local #3 and Hod Carriers Local 166 in conjunction with other Alameda County Building Trades will begin picketing the construction of Wal-Mart in Oakland on Friday, February 4, 2005 at 6:00 am. We would like to express our concerns that Frazier Masonry does not meet area wage and benefit standards. The Wal-Mart is located on Edgewater Drive, Oakland, CA on the west side of 880 at the Hegenberger exit. It would be appropriate for representatives of the community to show their support by attending this job action.

Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local #3 and Hod Carriers Local 166 are committed to continue job actions until the issues of area wage and benefit standards are appropriately addressed by Frazier Masonry and Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart only requires “contractors and subcontractors to follow all laws … and do the right thing” (http://www.walmartfacts.com, January 24, 2005). Wal-Mart fails to address the issue of local community standards and the economic impact of allowing the use of a contractor that pays substandard wages and benefits and employs out of state workers. Currently, Frazier Masonry is paying below the area wage and benefit standard, which does not appear to be the “right thing” to do. By admission through Wal-Mart’s policy regarding subcontractors, they (Wal-Mart) are supporting the degradation of the wage and benefit standards that the citizens of the community have spent years to establish. Frazier Masonry and Wal-Mart are not attempting to create jobs for local workers during construction. The out of state workers are not spending money locally or paying taxes here. Local 3 has approximately 200 members who live in the Oakland area who are professional masons that are more qualified to do this work.

Currently, Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local #3 health coverage is more than $7.25 per hour (approx. $14,000 per year) and our retirees just received a 40% increase in their premiums. Union workers are indirectly subsidizing companies like Frazier and Wal-Mart who don’t fully cover insurance for their employees and dependents. Frazier Masonry only provides partial coverage for its employees and no coverage for dependents.

As you know Wal-Mart is no friend to it’s employees or the men and women who build their facilities. Their disregard for the local community seems to contradict their latest public relations campaign and creates an environment that will exploit the standards of wages and benefits of the people that live in the community. Wal-Mart will move into the neighborhood, devour our local businesses and lower community living standards.

Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers represents approximately 3,000 Bricklayers/Stonemasons, Tile Layers and Finishers, Pointer Cleaner Caulkers, Marble Setters and Finishers, Terrazzo Mechanics and Finishers, and Refractory Bricklayers who work various aspects of the industry in the Northern 46 counties of California.

We ask you to attend our action on Friday, February 4, 2005 to show support in defending the area wage and benefit standards that the citizens of this community have established. Please contact our office as soon as possible so that we may meet with you regarding this issue.

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James C Bresnahan
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