Area union members gathered along U.S. 250 outside of Cadiz this week to rally against the use of outside workers in a pipeline project. Bruce Allen Construction of West Virginia, a non-union company, is performing the work and protesters fear more out-of-area companies will take away opportunities for local jobs.

Business Manager Clint Powell, of Local 809, said the project began around July 9 and was just the beginning and the unions wanted to create public awareness.

“We’re out here to make sure they are hiring local people,” Powell said. “Not just us, but we’re supporting local jobs. Ohio still has a 7-percent unemployment rate and there are a lot of people from this area [without jobs]. This is the next big thing and we want out-of-state contractors to hire local people.”

The newspaper also contacted Bruce Allen officials, who said local workers were used and the company has regularly worked in Ohio.

“I don’t feel we’re not local,” said Owner and President Allen Ferrell. “We’ve got people living within driving distance of the job. They may not live in Ohio but we hire local people and do business with Ohio companies.”

Ferrell said about four new workers were hired from the area and employees typically drive less than two hours to the sites. He also mentioned it was a non-union company.

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NH Photo/AMY GAREIS