Fighting for a sustainable future
Carpenters in the capitol bring the Reaper to weigh in for area standard wages and benefits in the building of the new Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op.
Carpenters Local 46 is continuing its campaign for the payment of area standard wages and benefits in the Sacramento area. This fight has brought them to the doorsteps of the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op.
The Co-op and local developer Separovich Domich have selected non-union general contractor Westfork Construction to build a 40,000 sq. ft. grocery store and two-story parking structure to the tune of $21 million on the corner of 28th and R streets in Sacramento.
Paul Cultrera, the Co-op's general manager, has made it perfectly clear that he has no intention of requiring Westfork or its sub-contractors to pay area standard wages and benefits to Carpenters on this project.
Since the building is being built for the co-op, the co-op has ownership-like responsibilities to make sure area standard wages, worker training and other factors are met.
In a recent Sacramento Bee article, Mr. Cultrera said, "Somehow, I don't see how it is our job to tell Westfork how to run its business."
The union has another view: Since the building is being built for the co-op, the co-op has ownership-like responsibilities to make sure area standard wages, worker training and other factors are met.
"This is a real estate deal structured in a particular way, and it's a 'build to suit' building, so it's not like the co-op does not have any control," Paul Cohen, spokesman for the Carpenters Union, told the Bee. "I think customers have the impression, as we did, that they really mean what they say about being sustainable and giving back to the community. Apparently, that has its limits and the co-op draws the line when it comes to construction work."
It does seem like a peculiar stance for a company that preaches sustainability and buying local to benefit the community. After all, what's more sustainable and of greater benefit to the community than living wages and benefits for workers?