Workers On Strike From Subcontractor Protest In Front Of Developer's Chevy Chase Headquarters
UPDATE: A public relations representative for JBG Cos. said the company sent the following response to the organizer of the "Justice For Wings Workers" a few weeks ago, but received no response: Dear Ms. Fani-Gonzalez, I appreciate your concern about this matter and I expressed that when we spoke during your sidewalk visit a week ago. As I said then, however, your concern is not a matter for The JBG Companies or any JBG employee to address or resolve. Our company plans and develops properties under close scrutiny of government regulators and the community, and abides by all laws. We do not dictate to contractors who or how they should hire, but expect them to comply with all pertinent laws as well. JBG has a long and reputable history and a strong record of building well and responsibly. We value that record and reputation and will not jeopardize it, including by inserting ourselves into matters outside of our purview. I trust you understand this and therefore realize that JBG has no role in this matter. ORIGINAL STORY: A small group of workers on strike from a subcontractor this morning began banging drums in a protest in front of developer JBG Cos. Chevy Chase headquarters, causing JBG officials to call Montgomery County Police. Ronnell Howard said the group hoped to pressure JBG to stop allowing general contractors from using Wings Enterprises, a D.C.-based concrete and iron work subcontractor in an ongoing dispute with some workers over wages and safety training. The company has denied past charges of low wages, poor safety conditions and retaliation against workers who protested. Howard, who said he was kicked out of an apprenticeship program after his complaint with the D.C. Department of Employment Services forced Wings to pay him $11,000 in back wages, said workers two weeks ago presented JBG with a set of OSHA violations and statements from workers. Howard said the group of about six workers on strike came back to protest on Thursday because they were unhappy with the lack of response from JBG. A JBG representative could not be immediately reached for comment. Police were called to the scene in the 4400 block of Willard Avenue a little after 10:30 a.m., when a JBG official complained about the noise the drums were making. Howard said police told the group a supervisor would come out to measure the decibel level of the drums. Supporters of the strike were passing out flyers claiming that JBG officials wouldn't listen to their claims.