Roxbury Workers Plan to Shut Down Construction Areas

Members of the United Community Construction Workers (UCCW), a black Roxbury-based labor union, will attempt within the next two weeks to renovation of a housing project in Lower Roxbury, the UCCW president said yesterday.

The UCCW plans the action because contractors working on construction projects in Boston's black community fail to hire enough local workers, Leo Fletcher, the president of the UCCW, said.

Fletcher, whose union refers workers to the contractors, said the larger labor unions deny the local tradesmen equal access to construction jobs.

"The black people do not have a chance to get the local jobs. The big unions and contractors give them to guys from the suburbs and even New Hampshire," Fletcher said. "The local folks should enjoy the economic impact from these projects."

Over the last three years the UCCW has temporarily closed five projects, Fletcher said.

The upcoming attempt to close the Macomber Construction Co. project at the corner of Shawmut and Ruggles Sts. is just one phase of the UCCW's efforts to get jobs for black tradesmen and laborers, Fletcher said.


Any Project

At a press conference Monday in Roxbury, Fletcher said his group would attempt to close any project in Roxbury, Dorchester, South Boston, or Mattapan where UCCW referrals were not hired.

The UCCW blocked construction of a Dudley Square fire station last week until the contractor, Rich construction Co. of Brighton, hired two UCCW referrals.

In the past the UCCW has prevented construction by trespassing and blocking site entrances. Fletcher estimated that for the Macomber protest, about 20 of the 50 members of UCCW will demonstrate.

However, Fletcher hopes for more support from the community. "what we are aiming for this spring is one big community-wide demonstration," he said.

So far no demonstrators have been arrested, Fletcher said.

"Violence is used only when other folks push you to the point of violence," he added