Local union pickets for better health care benefits

first_imgInternational Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 11, a union representing electrical workers in the Los Angeles area, increased its picketing efforts Monday on Jefferson Boulevard near the construction site of the new Roger and Michele Dedeaux Engemann Student Health Center in response to the USC administration’s decision to employ Bergelectric Corp for construction projects on campus.Benefits · Members of IBEW Local Union 11 picketed against Bergelectric, an electric company often hired by the university. Union workers want better benefits. – Photo courtesy of Kevin NortonIBEW Local Union 11 is accusing Bergelectric, a Los Angeles-based electric contracting company, of not meeting Los Angeles County’s worker health benefit standards.The objective of the picketing is to convince USC to pressure Bergelectric into providing appropriate benefits for its workers, according to Kevin Norton, organizing director and political coordinator for IBEW Local 11.“We [want] to have people out here making good wages and having proper benefits.” Norton said. “We want them to meet area standards like medical insurance for families, while not undermining our ability to have good construction.”Norton said the union will continue to protest until Bergelectric changes its policies.“[Bergelectric] aware of our feelings toward them, and until they meet standards, we are not going to stop protesting,” Norton said.The university is uses Bergelectric for construction projects because of the competitiveness of the electrical company’s contract bid, according to Kristina Raspe, vice president for USC real estate development and asset management.“Several IBEW-affiliated contractors submitted bids that were not as competitive as the non-union bidder, and as a result, the non-union electrical subcontract bidder, Bergelectric, won the contract,” Raspe said in an email. “USC continues to enjoy long-standing and strong relationships with the construction unions in the city, and looks forward to working with them extensively on future projects.”last_img read more