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.
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