FOX19 Investigates: Cincinnati squeezing out non-union bidders - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

FOX19 Investigates: Cincinnati squeezing out non-union bidders lawsuit says

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Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach
(FOX19) -

The FOX19 Investigates Team has uncovered a federal lawsuit filed against the city of Cincinnati.

An association of more than 30,000 trade workers claims the city is violating federal law by forcing bidders on city projects to have apprenticeship programs that have graduated workers for at least five years.

The lawsuit alleges the city's legislative requirement had the effect of disqualifying all non-union contractors and that union contractors are winning bids on city projects because they're the only contractors to have those apprenticeship programs.

Essentially, non-union contractors and potential lowest bidders are squeezed out which hurts the taxpayer. 

The lawsuit goes on to allege that some of the council members who voted for the ordinance back in 2013 received at least 30 percent of their reported campaign contributions from union related sources.

Meantime a city spokesman says the city has agreed not to proceed with bidding eight water works projects until the matter is decided in court.

A hearing is scheduled on June 17.

In our effort to get all sides of the story, Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach said this suit is just another attempt to not hire and train the local workforce and that he's committed to continuing the fight for local jobs.

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