Carpenter protest adds color to your downtown commute

The logo for the Carpenters' District Council of Kansas City & Vicinity.

Here’s a new one for your downtown Denver commute: The enormous red-and-white billboard on Court Place, protesting a construction company that hires undocumented immigrants.

"Shame on Spacecon Specialty Contractors, LLC for jeopardizing the standard of living for hard-working Coloradoans," shouts a sign behind the city’s Wellington Webb building.

Granted, the exploitation of undocumented immigrants is not news, and neither is the fact that employers often massage their tax forms to avoid paying Social Security and unemployment.

But Carpenters' District Council of Kansas City & Vicinity, the K.C. carpenters’ union, is hoping these billboards will drive home the point that such hires hurt their rank-and-file members. And one of the union’s biggest targets is Spaceon, a Pennsylvania-based company that’s done work on major Denver projects such as the art museum and the Four Seasons Hotel.

"The Carpenters Union has a labor dispute with Spacecon drywall. In our opinion, communities suffer when contractors fail to pay area standard wages and benefits,” says the union’s website.

So next time you’re driving near City Hall, be sure to honk for the carpenters. -- Lisa Rab

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts