By: Charlie Sprang – Trade Media
Is Faulkner Mazda, one of the dealerships comprising the family-owned and operated Faulkner Auto Group, biting the hand that has helped feed it all these years?
It certainly appears that way.
This location on Street Road in Trevose PA has a building project underway and it is almost entirely a union job with one exception – the glazing work is being done by Malvern Glass Inc., a non-union contractor.
“We heard there was all union contractors on the job except for the glaziers,” said Ed Paley, business representative for District Council 21 of Glaziers Architectural, Metal & Glassworkers Local 252. “I don’t know why, maybe they felt they could bring the numbers (cost) down a little.”
Malvern Glass pays its employees less in wages and benefits that the United States Government recognizes as being standard for this type of work in this area. Sure, that may lower the cost, but that doesn’t make it right.
Paley and representatives from District Council 21 met with Axis, the construction management company, in an attempt to find common ground and have one of the local’s contractors do the work.
“Initially we had some good correspondence with Axis, but they awarded the job to Malvern Glass,” Paley said. “We wanted to have one of our contractors work as a sub or take the project over. Communication was going well with them, but the numbers weren’t quite there although we were getting close. We couldn’t quite get the number to a point we both could agree on. The last conversation we had we told them we were dedicated to working things out, but they never responded. They cut off all communication and Malvern is in there.”
Still, despite that setback, District Council 21 has continued to put its best foot forward to demonstrate its desire to resolve this situation amicably and professionally.
When they discovered two other locations they were picketing – one in Harrisburg and another in Northeast Philly – were franchise operations and not directly owned by the Faulkner organization, they pulled their picket lines from those sites. And when they set up the picket lines in Trevose, and the other unions on the job did the honorable thing and didn’t cross, District Council 21 found a way to take the high road and still get its message across.
“All the other trade unions on the job didn’t cross,” Paley said. “Only Malvern crossed. But, out of respect for the other trades, we took the pickets down and went to a banner campaign.”
District Council 21 feels like the Faulkner Organization has turned its back on the union. After all, as Paley said, a “ton of glaziers have bought cars from one of the Faulkner Dealerships over the years.” The very least they should receive in return is an opportunity to resolve their differences.
“It doesn’t look like we’ll get to work on the exterior package,” Paley said. “Malvern has that. But there is still a whole interior package…”
District Council 21 will be calling Axis to discuss that interior package. The least Axis can do is pick up the phone.