Carpenters' Unions Continue Picketing Macomb Company

Macomb, IL – A few men stood in front of Trotter General Contracting in Macomb Monday morning to protest what they say are unfair labor practices.

William Carlile is a field representative for the Mid Central Illinois Regional Council of Carpenters. He and his associates believe Trotter should be paying the state-mandated prevailing wage for all projects. At present, the company is only required to pay prevailing wage for projects financed by taxpayer dollars, such as those at schools or government institutions.

"We get a lot of thumbs up," says Carlile of people who pass by on Jackson St. "There [are] a lot of people that realize that this prevailing wage helps the whole community. Pay these guys more money, they spend more money, it's good for the whole community."

The MCIRCC also had members stationed in Springfield, where Trotter currently has a project. The company is building a new Dairy Queen on Wabash Ave., which is not a taxpayer financed project.

Trotter General Contracting Project Manager Tim Shields says the company would not be able to stay in business if it paid roughly $45/hour plus pension and benefits for every project it worked on, which is about what prevailing wage pays. But, he says he understands the union's position.

"I'm not going to begrudge them for doing their job," says Shields. "They're told they have to picket us, and if they don't, they get fined."

Shields says about 75 percent of the company's projects pay a prevailing wage.