C/COBCTC to stage informational picket at John Glenn International Airport

Airport Board rejects CBA on $2 billion construction project

At a time when wage theft and employee misclassification are rampant in the construction industry nationwide, the Columbus Regional Airport Authority (CRAA) Board of Directors is moving ahead on a $2 billion publicly-funded terminal construction project without a Community Benefits Agreement. The proposed CBA contained local and diverse workforce goals and guaranteed equal rights, equal treatment and due process for construction workers of all races and genders.

Hensel Phelps Construction Co., the company hired by the CRAA Board to serve as Construction Manager at Risk on the project, has been accused of wage theft and agreed to pay the state of California for its investigation costs, and the cost of administering an $8 million unpaid wages settlement.

The U.S. Department of Justice accused Hensel Phelps of manipulating a federal subcontract designated for a business owned and operated by disabled veterans. The company admitted to wrongdoing in a settlement agreement with the federal government.

Though CRAA claims to have a handshake agreement to protect workers of color, tradeswomen and other construction workers on the new terminal job, the airport authority refuses to enter into a CBA that guarantees the same health insurance and retirement benefits for all workers, and a grievance procedure to enforce their right to Prevailing Wages.

“Hensel Phelps and CRAA CEO Joe Nardone have made empty promises to our community about how workers will be paid and treated on the Columbus airport project,” said Dorsey Hager, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council. “The CRAA Board of Directors owns the construction project and all decisions related to worker rights. The Board needs to step up for this community and make an agreement that rejects carving out or excluding some workers, no matter who they work for or their background when it comes to equal rights, equal treatment and due process on this job.”

The C/COBCTC will hold an informational picket on Feb. 27 from 2 to 4 p.m. at John Glenn Columbus International Airport to raise community and worker awareness of the CRAA’s rejection of a CBA on a $2 billion terminal construction project.

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