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Local 91 leader says workers may be illegal

He is calling for an investigation.

Local 91 Business Manager Richard Palladino, an outspoken critic of Norampac and its construction of a $430 million, 250,000-square foot containerboard plant in Niagara Falls, with heavy local and state tax subsidies and incentives, estimates that 80 percent of the job is non-union and more than 50 percent of the workforce is from out of state. 

Palladino told the Reporter that, on any given day, out of 150 cars in the two parking lots at the site, 60-75 are from outside New York. 

“And remember, the out-of-state workers car –pool, since they are staying at hotels and temporary residences together, and some of them don’t have cars,” he said. 

“I’d like to know what country the Spanish speaking workers are from,” said Palladino. “They told us said they are from Tennessee, employed by a contractor who is working on the job site here. But I doubt it. I think the contractors are just a front. Where are the workers from? If they are not from Tennessee, I suspect they are coming from outside the USA.”

 Could they be illegal? 

“I am suggesting they are illegal and it requires an investigation. Imagine the absurdity. Local taxpayers pay a French-Canadian company to hire a Tennessee company which hires foreign, illegal workers,” said Palladino. 

Russell Quarantello, Business manager for the international brotherhood of electrical workers, Local 237, agreed. 
“Somebody should follow the cars of the foreign workers at Norampac and check the license plates. They don’t look like they are legal workers.” 

In any event, the bulk of the Norampac job is now completed.. 
“Talk about irony,” Palladino said. “The ironworkers watched as the largest structural steel building in Niagara Falls was built next to their building – non-union.”



Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com Aug 28 , 2012