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Published: Friday, 8/23/2013 - Updated: 10 months ago

Union protests out-of-town workers at Franklin Park

Mall criticized for hiring Detroit-area contractor

BY CHIP TOWNS
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A local union is upset that Westfield Franklin Park brought in workers from outside the area to do work at the Toledo mall.

Members of Laborers International Union of North American Local 500 picketed outside the mall Thursday. They said they plan to keep doing so until the issue is resolved.

David Fleetwood, the Local 500 business manager, said a Detroit-area contractor was hired to repair sidewalks and handicap ramps at the mall. He said the contractor is paying less than the standard wage. He said he wasn’t sure if the workers were union.

Mall officials had little to say.

Erika Williams, the mall’s general manager, read a brief statement: “Westfield has no comment on the union’s dispute. They are welcome to air out their grievances on public property in accordance with the law.”

Mr. Fleetwood said workers from his union built the mall, have worked on the mall’s expansion projects over the years, and have patronized its stores and eateries.

He said he doesn’t like the idea of out-of-town workers taking their pay and spending it elsewhere. Hiring local workers would help the Toledo economy, he said.



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