UConn resolves issues with workers, but union still has concerns
Workers protested outside of Gampel Pavilion, shown above, over workplace concerns. UConn has since resolved the issues, but the workers union still has concerns. FILE PHOTO/The Daily Campus
UConn has resolved its contention with the workers hired to build the new basketball facility, and construction on the facility is expected to be completed on schedule.
Workers protested outside of Gampel Pavilion a few weeks ago because they were concerned that workplace violations, including under-the-table payments and employing undocumented workers, were continuing.
When a stop work order was issued by the Department of Labor against Intext on Feb. 24, Enfield Builders, the subcontractor that hired Intext, hired Acoustics Inc. to fill in.
But according to UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz, the workers' concerns are resolved.
"The university received a message on April 4 from a representative of the union who said he wished to express his thanks for UConn's work to resolve the issues," Reitz said.
Once the stop work order was released, Intext was legally permitted to return to the site. The decision to bring back Intext was made by Enfield Builders, according to Reitz.
The general contractor for this project selected subcontractors who may then subcontract duties to other companies. But UConn's contract is only with the general contractor, Daniel O'Connell's Sons, and that contract has remained in effect.
The lag in the building schedule has not affected the budget for the project, according to Reitz.
"We remain confident in the quality of work provided to us by both Intext and Acoustics Inc., and look forward to the project's completion this summer," Reitz said.
Tim Sullivan, organizer for the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, said the situation with this specific contractor has been resolved, but they still have concerns.
"We are concerned that without a clear policy affirming UConn will only use responsible contractors, there will be a repetition," Sullivan said.
But Sullivan said his organization does not believe it is fair to raise problems without solutions. The NERCC brought recommendations to the university, such as involving the community by using local workers for UConn construction jobs.
"UConn is the flagship university of our state. We are all justifiably proud of the sport and scholastic achievements of the students," Sullivan said. "A clear policy that is well thought out will help restore the focus to the great things UConn students do."
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