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Bemidji Regional Event Center on schedule for October opening

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

A daylong work stoppage at the Bemidji Regional Event Center will not impact the opening of the Bemidji Regional Event Center.

Members of the Local 49 International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers began picketing outside of the BREC Monday.

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Then on Wednesday, about 75 of the BREC union contractors on Wednesday walked off the job, leaving about 25 workers remaining.

Kraus-Anderson, the construction manager, then set up two separate entrances to the BREC, which resolved the situation.

BREC workers returned to their jobs Thursday, according to City Manager John Chattin.

The end result was just a one-day work stoppage, which will not impact the planned Oct. 15 opening of the BREC, Chattin said.

"Everyone is back to work," Chattin said.

The issue began Monday, when two members of the Local 49 International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers began picketing outside of the BREC.

The two picketers said they could not comment on the dispute and referred questions to their business manager, Dick Webber of Duluth, Minn., who has not returned phone calls seeking comment.

The issue is between the Heat and Frost Insulators Union and Franks Mechanical Insulation, Inc., of Bemidji, a subcontractor of Peterson Sheet Metal of Bemidji.

A letter that the Heat and Frost Insulators union sent said Franks does not pay wages and benefits according to the Minnesota Prevailing Wage set by the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry Labor Standards.

Prevailing wages are required to be paid on state-funded construction projects, such as the BREC, which has received funding from the State Legislature.

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Bethany Wesley
(218) 333-9200 x337
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