West Central Ohio Labor Council

Northwest Ohio Building Trades are Boycotting the Home Depot in the Toledo Area

TOLEDO – The Northwest Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents over 10,000 construction trades workers in NW Ohio and SE Michigan, has instituted a BOYCOTT of all area Home Depot Stores. The dispute centers on the use of out of state, non-union workers on the 650,000 square foot Home Depot Distribution Center that is currently being built in Findlay, Ohio.

“Home Depot has slapped our members in the face with this decision” said Mike Haupricht, Executive Secretary of the Building Trades. “Home Depot takes all the tax breaks and incentives and then refuses to reinvest in the community’s workforce. It is shameful.”

Haupricht stated that all crafts of the Building Trades have asked their members, retirees and contractors not to shop at Home Depot for their professional or personal needs. “It’s a two-way street. We will support businesses that support our members,” said Haupricht.

The Building Trades selected Black Friday as the beginning of the boycott and a notice has been sent to the local management and corporate offices of the Home Depot. The group plans to notify the public through the use of large banners in front of the area stores, as well as the distribution of handbills asking people not shop at Home Depot.

In a Letter to Chairman and CEO of the Home Depot, Frank Blake, Electrician Mark Ehrenfried made his case for the boycott.

There are over 10,000 members of the Northwest Ohio Building Trades. We are carpenters, electricians, plumbers, sheet metal workers, roofers, cement masons, bricklayers, laborers, insulators, pipe fitters, iron workers, pretty much your main target demographic. The majority of trades have a four or five year apprenticeship, OSHA 10 training, and a drug test program. We take a lot of pride in doing quality jobs such as the Walgreens Distribution Center in Perrysburg, Ohio, on time and on budget. Collectively, our organizations own millions of Home Depot Stock in our pension plans. Unfortunately, our current unemployment is around thirty percent. It is our understanding that Home Depot received a forty-five percent tax credit from the State of Ohio and a sixty percent tax abatement from Allen Township and Hancock County. We are extremely disappointed that the construction for the new distribution center is going to mostly out of state workers. We live here, work here, pay taxes here, and shop here.
I sincerely hope that Home Depot reconsiders their approach on this project.

According to Haupricht, the boycott will continue “…as long as necessary. Due to the economy, hundreds of local construction workers are laid off. It’s unfortunate that Home Depot has chosen to take this road, but we are a resilient group,” concluded Haupricht. Please advise your friends, family, and membership to avoid patronizing the Home Depot stores in Northwest Ohio until this situation is resolved.

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