Apartment residents feeling the “heat” from union protest


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s within these worker’s rights to picket and get people to honk for local jobs.

That protest is keeping repairs from being made to the air conditioning system, and with age and health concerns, it has become a major concern.

“It’s extremely hot in my apartment, resident William Philo said. “When it’s 80 degrees outside, it’s 100 and something. It’s like I said, I live on the 10th floor.”

Shelley, who didn’t give her last name, lives at Riverfront Apartments and says repairs are at a standstill.

“The cooling unit came in Wednesday, yesterday, but the crane company would not cross the picket line,” Shelley said.

But besides the building being too hot, many, including William Philo are concerned UPS won’t cross the picket line either.

“If UPS won’t come and deliver, then people are gonna be without their medications, such as diabetics, diabetes medicine, heart medicine,” Philo said.

UPS says arrangements were made to pick-up the one package delivered this week, and they are arranging future deliveries so the driver doesn’t cross the picket line.

Those picketing say contractors from Grand Rapids are doing the work, and the bidding process was unfair.

“We’re just out here to let people know that there are qualified workers in Lansing that can do this work, Robert Long said.

Shelley says she’s all for local jobs for local workers, but, the work needs to get done.

“I myself have emphysema and COPD, and when it’s hot, it’s hard to breathe,” Shelley said.

Rohde Construction says they don’t know when the project will be completed.

The management company First Housing Corporation issued a statement saying in part “We are currently working with our on-site contractors to resolve the issues for our residents so they will not experience further disruptions due to this unrelated, private dispute.”

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