Workers Protest Cloquet Housing Project’s Choice of Contractors

You couldn't miss them with their signs and this big inflatable rat that represents non-union contractors.

CLOQUET, Minn. – Members of the Duluth Building and Construction Trades Council were also at the groundbreaking for White Pine Apartments.

They were there to protest how they believe the Cloquet Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) hired contractors from out of state instead of choosing local workers.

You couldn’t miss them with their signs and this big inflatable rat that represents non-union contractors.

“It hurts because our people live in these communities and they pay the taxes, the property taxes, the school taxes, the county; and being denied to work here is just a slap in the face to the trades,” said Duluth Building and Construction Trades Council President Craig Olson.

The Cloquet HRA says if they would’ve hired all union workers there would’ve been a 30 percent increase in total costs,¬†and some contractors that will be working on the project are local.

Cloquet HRA Executive Director Debra Shaff says the goal wasn’t to provide jobs, but rather offer affordable housing.

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