Newtown Athetlic Club owner Jim Worthington says the public attacks that he’s anti-union are unfounded – and he’s got a $750,000 contract to prove it.
Last fall, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 542 set up picket lines and distributed fliers to protest Worthington’s lack of union contractors on a multi-million dollar construction project at the health club.
But now, there is a union contractor on the job. Worthington said he has recently hired MJF Contracting & Maintenance of Trevose to complete the electrical work for the outdoor pool project. The contract, which is for roughly $750,000, is the second largest on the job, he noted.
Worthington said MJF was hired after they revised a bid to tighten the numbers. Once the figures were reworked and the bid fit into Worthington’s budget for the project, the club owner said “we were happy to hire them.”
“We’re not anti-union, we just need competitive pricing,” Worthington said. “The way to get business is to sharpen your pencils and make it work and to their credit, they did that.”
The NAC is currently in the middle of significant improvements to the facility, including a new field house, turf field and outdoor pool complex complete with a lazy river.
Last fall, a dispute with IUOE Local 542 went public, with union members staking out at Council Rock North to distribute a flyer that said “Wanted” with Worthingon’s picture underneath.
The flyer read: “tell Jim to stop destroying the American middle class and hire contractors that pay their employees fairly.” It listed Worthington’s cell phone, his home address and his wife’s cell phone.