Frustration Mounts With Delay of Evansville Hotel Construction

Published 04/02 2014 07:06PM

Updated 04/02 2014 07:10PM

Even though ground has been broken on the downtown hotel the same sandbags and busted rocks remain on the site. Each day that passes labor unions grow more eager to start construction, but with Tuesday's setback workers won't be on the job site anytime soon. "It bothered me. My members a lot of them had been hoping to go to work on this project." President of Laborers' Local 561 Barry Russell says many of his members worked on the construction of the Ford Center and were looking forward to building the downtown hotel as well. But with a number of delays and setbacks workers are growing weary. "It's just all of the obstacles that has come up over the last year or so on this project. It's been really frustrating," said Russell.
Construction is seasonal work. With each passing day the empty lot stays empty, it's a workable day wasted, and a dollar out of pocket. "Unemployment has run out for a lot of our members. So they don't have anything going." Russell says his members have a sour taste in their mouths over this delay. He says some of them feel like this is a class conflict between a wealthy business owner throwing up a roadblock and the blue collar workers that are out of work. "There is that and like our members they look at that and they think that's all it is, is greed."

Russell says he's trying to keep morale high and hope the issue is resolved soon. "At the end of the day I've got a lot of people that are upset.  Outside of them wanting to go out there and walk picket on these people's places and businesses. We don't do that. We don't want to do that. We try to tell our people to be calm. Things are going to happen. We will see."
Russell estimates 200 workers will be hired for the hotel construction. Which would be much needed for all labor unions in the area.

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