Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2012, 8:28 pm

Picketers outside Von Maur target Hawkeye Paving

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By Stephen Elliott, selliott@qconline.com

Workers with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 picketed outside the Davenport Von Maur, 6565 N. Brady St., on Friday.

Their dispute, however, was with Hawkeye Paving Co. of Bettendorf, not Von Maur.

"Hawkeye Paving is performing work at the Von Maur facility," said Local 150 representative Ryan Drew. "We're trying to get Hawkeye to recognize us as a majority representative bargaining unit for their (Hawkeye) employees."

Mr. Ryan said Hawkeye was not using any Local 150 members for its storm sewer and grading work at the site.

"It's my understanding Von Maur hired them directly," Mr. Ryan said. "In the past, we've always had a good relationship with them (Von Maur)."

Mr. Drew said picketers from Local 150 were there to show solidarity.Local 150 doesn't want contractors to "come out and take projects away" from contractors who provide benefits and fair wages, he said.

"When you go out into the market where the vast majority of contractors pay a set rate, then you've got one who pays substantially less, obviously, you'll be able to undercut the market and get the jobs," Mr. Ryan said."The question is, when you do that, whether you can supply a quality workforce and ample workforce to complete it."

Hawkeye President Glen Perkins could not be reached for comment.