Union workers gathered at the Bancroft building holding bright orange signs as they stood in front of a giant inflatable rat. They are protesting the use of non-union labor for construction at the Bancroft and Eddy buildings.
"We gave them the chance to hire some local guys and they turned us down," said Chris Taylor with Michigan Laborers Local 1098.
A management company based out of Ohio purchased the buildings. The company said it will invest $5 million into downtown Saginaw. Work is currently under way.
"I am in complete shock that the laborer's union is picketing in front of this vital and important project to the city of Saginaw. We have hired local residents on this project and we are committed to creating long-term employment for the local economy," said project manager Luann Stockfleth.
A representative with the Laborers Union said he contacted the company about hiring local union workers but they declined.
"We got all these people on this line, these are all out of work local people that we're just trying to get jobs for," said Taylor.
The management company insists it is committed to hiring qualified local employees with experience in historic renovation and maintenance for long-term positions within the company.
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