Carpenters Union Protests New Ross Dress for Less Store
The under-construction Sunset Hills location has drawn the attention of St. Louis-area carpenters.
The Carpenters' District Council of Greater St. Louis and Vicinity is letting Ross Dress for Less and area consumers know it isn't happy.
Since July 10, the Carpenters have been setting up a banner twice daily on weekdays on the Lindbergh Boulevard roadside outside the Ross Dress for Less store currently under construction.
Keith Taylor, the union's representative for Sunset Hills and surrounding areas, said it is a way of "peacefully expressing opinion." He said Ross has hired out-of-town contractors to "do our own work and for non-area standard wage." The handbills distributed by the union say the disputed contractor is Piper Construction.
"We're just trying to keep money in the local economy," said Chris Basil, a Carpenters handbiller at the Sunset Hills location. "We'll be out here however long it takes to get a response."
The manned banner stands from 6 to 9 a.m. and from 3 to 6 p.m. to attract rush-hour traffic. Taylor said he has tried to work with Ross to ensure the protest is conducted respectfully.
"We've been in discussions, trying to make contact with (Ross) for eight or nine months," Taylor said. "We haven't heard back from them."
Ross Dress for Less, a California-based company, also has current locations in Chesterfield and Fairview Heights and another being built in Ballwin. Taylor said the union will be holding similar protests this week.
"Good businesses make use of local contractors and carpenters," Taylor said. "Now local workers are discouraging friends and family from doing business there."
The Sunset Hills Ross Dress for Less store is set for an October opening.