Marquette, MI – June 12, ’13 – Picketers protesting the hiring policies of a local construction site gathered by US-41 and Brickyard Road with signs that read: “HONK for Local Workers.”
Organizer John Kleiber explained that the construction site of the new cosmetics store, ULTA Beauty, located next to TJ Max and PetSmart, is made up of workers hired from other cities and states with lower standard wages.
Masonry and construction workers from Marquette, he said, then either aren’t employed or see their wages beaten down by low-paying companies from Wisconsin and other states.
Kleiber claims that every dollar earned in the community gets spent seven times over again within the local community–at restaurants, grocery stores, hardware stores, etc. The wages earned at this construction site will largely be spent elsewhere.
“Marquette’s a consumer-driven economy,” he said. “By not investing in local workers, they’re taking money out of local consumers’ pockets.”
Kleiber pointed out that the store going in will rely on Marquette’s higher wage standard in order to thrive in this community.
“This isn’t about union or non-union,” he said. “It’s about the local economy.”