(Chuck Muth) – The Reno Gazette-Journal reported last week that CAI Investments is in the process of redeveloping the Harrah’s Reno hotel “into a non-gaming mixed use project called Reno City Center.”
The building would be converted into “rental apartments and retail space consisting of grocery, gym, restaurants, bar, coffee shop and entertainment within a park like setting.”
Sounds like a great downtown project for an otherwise empty, abandoned building.
But because the hotel is over a half-century old, “workers must have the requisite environmental certifications in order to properly conduct asbestos abatement and deal with potentially hazardous materials during interior demolition.”
“To get the remodel done on schedule,” the RGJ reported, “CAI needed to find 60 workers within a two-week period.”
However, such trained and certified workers were not readily available in the area. So CAI decided to “hire and train 60 non-union workers.”
And LUINA Local 169 union boss Skip Daly had a conniption over it.
Last week he erected a 10-foot high inflatable rat in front of the construction site with a sign on its chest reading “Shame on Chris Beavor.” Beavor is CAI’s chief executive officer.
“They just went out there and put my name out and a rat up,” Beavor told the RGJ, “without even reaching out to me.” Daly’s response…
“We had given some information and dropped it off at the CAI office in Las Vegas … but (Beavor) may not have received anything. We did what we could.”
Oh, yeah. Really bent over backwards.
Beavor said he “looked into potentially using union workers for the job,” however, the local unions “did not have the qualified workers in the numbers that the developer needed.”
“The union in Reno doesn’t even have enough labor that’s certified with EPA and environmental,” Beavor said. “They were picketing me for something they don’t even have.”
Daly doesn’t care.
If a construction project doesn’t use his over-priced union workers, he’d rather kill the project than allow it to go forward with non-union workers.
“We don’t want to have underpaid workers performing this work,” he told the paper.
But they’re not “underpaid.”
The workers are offered work at a specific wage which they voluntarily accept. That’s called the “free market.” And here’s the difference…
As Mr. Beavor noted, if the project has to pay over-priced union labor for the project, the monthly rental rate for an apartment at Reno City Center would be an estimated $2,000 a month.
By paying market wages, the rent would be around $1,400.
Daly doesn’t care.
And he’s willing to harass, intimidate and browbeat developers into using his over-priced union workforce because…well, after all, the dues from those over-priced union workers are what pays him his six-figure salary.
It’s all about the Benjamins, baby!
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