Union carpenters behind call for Olivia on Main boycott
By Ann Marie Shambaugh
As the Olivia on Main continues to take shape at Old Meridian and Main streets, drivers circling the roundabout at that intersection also might see protestors holding a big yellow sign urging a boycott of the five-story project, which includes luxury apartments and retail space.
The protestors are from the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters, and according to a handbill they distribute they are calling for the boycott because The Olivia on Main is being built, at least in part, by Midwest Constructors, which it states “does not pay its carpenters Central Indiana’s area standard wages and fringe benefits.”
Midwest Constructors did not return a call seeking comment, but its website states that it is affiliated with the Associated Builders and Contractors, a “professional construction trade association dedicated to … the free trade enterprise system.”
Michael Patarino, senior vice president of Keystone Realty Group, said in a statement that the picketers have been calling for boycotts at non-union projects in the area for years and that they have not directly contacted his company.
“Our project is currently using non-union carpenters for the concrete and wood framing work,” Patarino stated. “Indiana law does not require the use of union trades on construction projects, but it does allow unions the right to picket construction project sites as long as they avoid disrupting construction operations and remain on public property.”
Carmel police said they have not received any complaints regarding the picketers, who stand at the intersection weekday mornings.
According to the picketers’ website, supportlocalcarpenters.com, the union is calling for boycotts at dozens of places in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.