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      Trades workers protest

      Two striking workers from Moyle Construction rallied alongside community members in front of the future mBank Escanaba branch near the corner of North Lincoln and 23rd Avenue, Wednesday afternoon.

      The protesters say they hope to educate community leaders that they should insist on some kind of a community benefits agreement when developers come into the area. A field representative for the Michigan Building Trades said they support the two striking workers. According to their press release: Moyle employees suffer from low pay, lack of health care and retirement benefits, and no job security. The group picked the location for a specific purpose.

      "This doesn't involve mBank except we're asking them to please consider building with contractors that do, in fact, offer some benefits to their employees and treat them fairly," said U.P. Building Trades Field Representative, Mike Thibault.

      When Upper Michigan's Source contacted Tom Helminen, the President of Moyle Construction, he said, "The bulk of the protesters are not Moyle employees." He said "Moyle employs local labor, both union and nonunion." Helminen added a large majority of employees support the company. Over 90 percent voted against a union. He said, "The union used this tactic to discourage owners from hiring contractors who pay workers based on merit, not wage classification."