Concrete Products

APR 2019

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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"Scabby" the inflatable rat has always seemed more impactful than a group of grizzled, union rank & file picketing a construction site where non-union peers are executing contracts at more competitive rates. Unions dispatch the rentable balloons—portable, inflatable in minutes or less, and commanding a footprint no larger than a pickup truck or SUV—as an effective means of expressing grievances against merit shop contractors. As difficult as they find it to be honest with members and the general public, union locals who make a state- ment with a rat balloon can't be accused of lacking a sense of humor. Nor can a panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for Seventh Circuit, Chicago. It recently determined that enforcement of a Grand Chute, Wis., sign ordinance prompting removal of a 12-ft. Scabby—staged on public right-of-way and targeting a masonry contractor performing work at auto dealership—did not violate the First Amendment rights of Construction and General Laborers' Union Local 330, Menasha, Wis. The union deployed Scabby in April 2014 on a frontage road across from Kolosso Toyota, but after three days was informed by the Grande Chute code enforcement officer that use of the rat balloon would have to cease per the town's sign ordinance. Laborers' Local 330 sued in U.S. District Court, contending the ordinance violated the First Amendment because it distinguished among signs on the basis of content. The District Court ruled in Grand Chute's favor, concluding that the ordinance was content-neutral, applied in an even-handed manner, and left the union with alternate means to convey its message. Local 330 petitioned the Seventh Circuit for review, primarily in hopes of recovering damages rooted in paying members to assist in Kolosso Toyota picketing and expending organizing staff resources. "This ruling creates a glimmer of hope for employers in what has otherwise been a frustrating and ineffective battle to curb an annoying union tactic. Scabby has survived employer attempts to eradicate union inflatables on the grounds that the rodent con- stitutes unlawful picketing, an unlawful secondary boycott, or violates local zoning laws," writes Michelle Devlin, an associate in the New Haven, Conn., office of leading labor relations counsel Lit- tler Mendelson PC. "The National Labor Relations Act prohibits con- duct found to 'threaten, coerce, or restrain' a secondary employer not directly involved in a primary labor dispute, if the object of that conduct is to cause the secondary to cease doing business with the primary employer. The National Labor Relations Board and federal courts have long issued rulings holding that inflatables like Scabby fall on the noncoercive side of the spectrum, along with stationary handbilling, and/or are symbolic speech protected by the First Amendment." To its credit, Grand Chute has proved that limits to the First Amendment don't stop at prohibiting individuals from yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. EDITORIAL BY DON MARSH SEMCO PUBLISHING CORPORATE OFFICE 8751 East Hampden Avenue, Suite B-1 Denver, Colorado 80231 U.S.A. P: +1.303.283.0640 F: +1.303.283.0641 PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER Peter Johnson, EDITOR Don Marsh, ASSOCIATE EDITOR Josephine Patterson, PRODUCTION MANAGER Dan Fitts, GRAPHIC DESIGNER Michael Florman, PROJECT MANAGER Tanna Holzer, CIRCULATION Juanita Walters, SALES U.S., CANADA SALES Bill Green, Tel +1 414 212 8266 GERMANY SALES Gerd Strasmann, Tel +49 2191 93 1497 SCANDiNAVIA, UNITED KINGDOM AND WESTERN EUROPE SALES Jeff Draycott, Tel +44 (0) 786 6922148 Colm Barry, Tel +46 (0) 736 334670 JAPAN SALES Masao Ishiguro, Tel +81 (3) 3719 0775 AUSTRALIA/ASIA SALES Lanita Idrus, Tel +61 3 9006 1742 Concrete Products, Volume 72, Issue 4, (ISSN 0010-5368, USPS 128-180) is published monthly by Mining Media Inc., dba Semco Publishing, 10 Sedgwick Drive, Englewood, Colorado 80113. Periodicals postage paid at Englewood Colorado, and additional mailing offices. Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40845540. Canada return address: Station A, PO Box 54, Windsor ON N9A 6J5, Current and back issues and additional resources, including subscription request forms and an editorial calander, are available online at SUBSCRIPTION RATES: Free and controlled circulation to qualified subscribers. Non-qualified persons may subscribe at the following rates: USA and Canada, 1 year $72.00, 2 year $119.00, 3 year $161.00. For subscriber services or to order single copies, write to Concrete Products, 8751 East Hampden Avenue, Suite B1, Denver, Colorado 80231 USA; call +1.303.283.0640 ext. 207 (USA) or visit ARCHIVES AND MICROFORM: This magazine is available for research and retrieval of selected archived articles from leading electronic databases and online search services, including Factiva, LexisNexis, and ProQuest. For microform availability, contact ProQuest at 800-521-0600 or +1.734-761-4700, or search the Serials in Microform listings at POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Concrete Products, PO Box 828, Northbrook, IL 60065-0828. REPRINTS: Concrete Products, 8751 East Hampden Avenue, Suite B1, Denver, CO 80231 USA; P: +1.303.283.0640 ext. 207, F: 1+303.283.0641, PHOTOCOPIES: Authorization to photocopy articles for internal corporate, personal, or instructional use may be obtained from the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) at +1.978.750.8400. To obtain further information, visit COPYRIGHT 2019: Concrete Products ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Official Media Partner 4 • April 2019 Judges show humor in fitting response to Laborers' hot air PHOTO: Concrete Products

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