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Valencia: Union members protest project’s hiring practices

Posted: April 4, 2013 5:23 p.m.
Updated: April 4, 2013 5:23 p.m.

From left, Rory Hunter, Steve Gesselman and Paul De Alejandro, all members of Ironworkers Local 433, protest the construction of a new medical office building by what they say are non-union workers at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia on Wednesday. Signal photo by Jonathan Pobre

Representatives from a local ironworkers union protested outside Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital this week, saying a new construction project on the hospital campus employs non-union workers.

Five members of the Ironworkers Local 433 turned out Wednesday morning carrying picket signs reading “Unfair for ironworkers.” At least four were on hand Thursday.

Lifelong Valencia resident Rory Hunter was one of the demonstrators.

“There are a lot of local union tradesmen that could be working on this project,” Hunter said Wednesday. “But now that’s money that’s going elsewhere.”

Representatives from the union plan to demonstrate at the construction site daily, Hunter said.

Katreena Salgado, a spokeswoman for Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, said the project is being built by Beverly Hills-based G&L Realty Corporation. The hospital does not own the building and has nothing to do with its construction, she said.

“Although (the building) will be housing some of the hospital’s education functions and doctors’ offices, the hospital is not in charge of hiring the construction teams, nor does the hospital award construction contracts to contractors,” Salgado said.

G&L can construct medical office buildings on the campus under an agreement worked out previously with Henry Mayo.

Harvey Englander, a spokesman for G&L, said the building’s contractor, Intertex General Contractors Inc., was hiring the construction workers.

Bob Lyon, a vice president for Valencia-based Intertex, said Thursday both union and non-union contractors are working on the project and the company does not consider union involvement when deciding whom to hire for projects.

“It’s about what makes business sense,” Lyon said. “It doesn’t bother us in the least to use union or non-union workers.”

Lyon said the company is building the “shell and core” of what is projected to be a three-story, 78,000-square-foot medical office building.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney




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