Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wilbros denies picketers’ claims that it’s paying substandard wages on pipeline construction jobs

JACKSONVILLE, Texas – Wilbros began work in March on a 143-mile Energy Transfer Partners’ natural gas pipeline that passes through northern Cherokee County on its way to Minden, Texas, from Maypearl, Texas.
Officials with Willbros Group, the construction company building the pipeline, have said they will employ as many as 1,200 workers at its peak.
At least two union groups have been picketing Willbros Group’s local headquarters in protest of the company’s hiring practices.
“We’ve been picketed at several locations over the years,” said Harry New, Wilbros project director for the natural gas pipeline.
New said some of the reasons the Texas picket line formed aren’t true –specifically, allegations concerning the company’s employment pools and pay scales.
“All the people we hire are legal to work in the U.S.,” New said. “We’ve also implemented a 401K and offer benefits. It’s up to the employee to elect to take advantage of them.”

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