The needler in the haystack.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A curious coincidence in 'Coffin Caper'? What Dan saw on South Avenue

Coffin spotted on Park Avenue (Courtesy of Maria Pellum).

Intrepid Plainfield bloggers Maria Pellum (see here) and Bernice Paglia (see here) wrote about the coffin pictured above, which was seen in front of a Park Avenue business yesterday.

Turns out it was a union informational protest over work being done at 1225 South Avenue, which is to be the new home of the Central Jersey Arts Charter School.

I have been following the story of the school's move from its Watchung Avenue digs to the new and much more spacious former ARC building on South Avenue.

Last week, on a trip to the Times Market, I spotted a red 'stop work order' sign on the front window and stopped to check it out.

Posted inside the building's front door were a Demolition Permit dated 6/18/10 and an Asbestos Stop Work Order dated 7/22/10.

Demolition permit dated 6/18/2010
(converted to black/white to enhance contrast)

Asbestos Stop Work order dated 7/22/2010.

Photo of doorway, showing permit, stop work order.

I am curious as to how this squares with the contractor's protestations as reported by Bernice (see here) --

...[a]lerted to the protest, Global Safety General Manager Mark Jovic said, "They're trying to slander my name."

...Jovic surmised that the union, which alleged that his company was not in compliance with state regulations, was trying to force him to take on union workers. But he said of a dozen bidders on the job, not one union company applied.

Jovic said he fully complied with all state and local regulations and had received no violations. He began the job when the building had a private owner, he said, but upon finding out it had changed hands and was going to house a school, stopped work to regroup and meet stricter regulations that apply to schools.

"We did everything by the book," he said...
If everything was 'done by the book', why the Asbestos Stop Work Order?

Could there be more to this than meets the eye?

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

When we (global) originally bid on this project it was drawn up as a private vacant building. The bid documents specifically said "NON-SUB-CHAPTER 8"(available upon request). Global was the low bidder on this project. No union companies bothered to bid on this project. I find it ironic that they are demonstrating on Park Ave, and calling my office demanding that the job goes to a union contractor, or that we sign a CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) which will triple the cost to the school, when they themselves had none of their signatory contractors bid on this project. That is just like demonstrating in front of the state lottery commission complaining you didn't win the lottery and all the while you never bought a ticket! The stop work order was placed on the building when we (Global) were informed that the building was to be a school. The state DCA inspector had us stop all asbestos removal in our original contract. Removal of any asbestos containing material pertains directly to the stop work order. All work in the building has stopped in order to allow a NJ licensed ASCM (Asbestos Safety Control Monitoring) firm to quantify and qualify all material in the building and draw up Plans and specifications as per NJ sub-chapter 8 rules and regulations. We stopped working on this project the second we were informed of school ownership. Contrary to the the original bid documents (AVAIL AT PLAINFIELD BUILDING DEPT)which say that the building is a private job and non-sub 8. The stop work order is a necessary implementation from the building inspector as per UCC code. We are in full compliance with all state, federal, and local laws and will continue with the work as soon as we obtain new building permits based on the ASCM scope of work.

Mark Jovic
General Manager
Global Safety Contracting Corp.

Dan said...

Thank you for the clarification, Mr. Jovic.