FLINT TWP. — A local union representative is keeping an eye on the spate of new construction in the township and not finding things in order.
Greg Remington, representing the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 948, attended a recent township board meeting to voice several concerns. One was about the township’s electrical inspector living too far away to adequately do his job. Based on conversations with the unnamed inspector, Remington said he learned that he lives in Howell and spends about five hours in Flint Township two days a week.
“I myself spend a lot of time in Flint Township doing my job,” Remington said. “My job is to meet unrepresented workers. I am a union organizer so to speak.”
He said he represents roughly 400 electricians in Genesee, Lapeer and Shiawassee Counties. He cited the Electrical Administrative Act of 1956, a state law that requires electrical workers to either be a licensed electricians or a registered apprentice.
“I just find it kind of amazing that I can go out practically any day of the week and before noon find an unlicensed electrician working up on Miller Road,’’ he said.
He also said the township’s no fine/ no fee policy for permits sends a clear message to contractors not to worry about paying for a permit, unless they get caught.
“I have contacted the building department about several projects where there has been no permit pulled,” he said. He also mentioned construction of Eyeglass World ,which opened recently, and Texas Roadhouse restaurant, currently under construction.
A few weeks ago, Remington said he ran into the township’s electrical inspector on site at Eyeglass World. After going inside to talk to two electrical apprentices working there in a “clear violation” Remington said he reported his findings to the electrical inspector who got into his car and drove away.
“I think your inspector should be local,” Remington said. “He should live here, he should eat here, shop here and he should care about what goes on as you guys are rebuilding Miller Road.”
Remington said he could provide names of several qualified electricians who live locally and would love to have the electrical inspector’s job.
Township Supervisor Karyn Miller asked for Remington’s telephone number to follow up.
Trustee Barb Vert asked Remington if he knew whether the township electrical inspector is licensed.
Remington said state records indicate that the township inspector has been licensed for more than 30 years but he does not know if electrical inspectors are required to do code updates and take safety classes every three years, as he is required to do.
Remington also said he learned that Texas Roadhouse was built by 20 workers from Texas, staying at local motels during the work.
He asked if the township has a policy or offers incentives for local projects to include local workers.