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Union Members Protest Outside of Menard's

IBEW 176 protesting lighting contract.

Members of the International Brothers of Electrical Workers Local 176, based in Joliet, protested the Bolingbrook  contract with non-union, Glen Ellyn based U.S. Lighting, Inc.

Wendall Perkins, a Kankakee resident and member of IBEW 176 since 1996, said the organization was protesting because the Menard's store chose a non-union contractor for a lighting project instead of supporting one of the local union contractors who purchase from their store on a regular basis.

"It's not fair for them to come in and take our business," Perkins said. "Doesn't help the economy for the little guy."

Perkins and fellow IBEW member Pete Frazer said they have done a lot of work in Bolingbrook over the years, including contracts with Walmart, Kohls and new homes on the west side of town.

A Menard's manager said the protest was an informational picket only and that the union members were already gone by lunchtime.

Steve April 20, 2011 at 04:59 PM
I saw them early this morning, but could not read their signs, as the print was too small with too many words to read while driving.
Joe April 20, 2011 at 05:20 PM
"Doesn't help the economy for the little guy"... Is not the non-union shop considered the "little guy" when going up against organized labor and the IBEW?
Joe Phillips April 20, 2011 at 05:21 PM
I wonder what the price difference was between the union contractor and the non-union contractor? Keeping prices low at Menard's helps the economy for the little guy.
Gina April 20, 2011 at 06:53 PM
I saw them too but couldn't tell what their deal was while I was flying down rt. 53 this morning.
A.M. June 08, 2011 at 04:09 PM
Interesting article, I had to laugh. The little guy is in fact the contractor that got the job and in fact uses Menards very often. Union contractor was much higher. I myself have been in the Union for over 21 years and sadly I see them going the way of the dinosaur. BTW did you know that picketers are paid to be there....
Duncan Idaho June 17, 2011 at 09:58 PM
Those on here who deride and scoff at these union protesters are really undermining their own futures. If you think it is so right to get the lowest price electrician, what is not to say that someone believes that your job can be replaced by the lowest paid worker or someone over seas. Be careful of the contempt you show to others because it may someday be directed back at you.

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