Chances are you’ve seen them around town, people holding large signs saying shame on a business or even a religious organization. It's a labor dispute. A doctor decided to examine the protest outside his Omaha medical building.
“They've been there for seven months now,” says Dr. Kurt Davey. The picketers hold a sign that says shame on the new Village Pointe Pediatrics at 180th and Burke where Dr. Davey is a partner, but he's not ashamed of the building process. “We picked the lowest dry waller and if you don't pick the union dry waller they'll stand out in front of your business.”
The North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters provided the sign, but Dr. Davey wants to know who stands behind it. “So you guys don't even know why you are here?”
“Well, a job is a job." The picketers wouldn't tell Dr. Davey why they were there, only handing him a flyer.
“And there's a rat desecrating an American flag, that's us?" said the doctor. The flyer has a number for more information that goes to voice mail and Fact Finder messages haven't been returned.
The seven doctors at Village Pointe Pediatrics see about 25,000 patients a year and since those protesters have been out there the last seven months, the doctors say they've not seen any patients leave. The only effect was closing the blinds in the exam rooms.
Passing drivers give the picketers a varied reaction. “Some say good job, some people do the middle finger."
Dr. Davey says he's not out to hammer the carpenters group. “We got nothing against unions.” He just wants to nail down some answers. “How long you guys going to be here? Any idea?”
“No idea at all.”
Longtime Omaha labor leader Terry Moore says the carpenter's group behind the sign is not a member of the local AFL-CIO. Moore calls it a bullying tactic and not in the best interest of the community.
Fact Finder calls to the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters and its leader have not been returned.