These protesters out on Locust Street Friday were members of the Contra Costa County-based Carpenters Local 152, and they were angry that a company was using non-union workers to handle construction on the new restaurant VeSu.
VeSu is small plates restaurant, going into the site for the former Sherman Clay piano store on Locust. And, at last report, members of the Dudum clan are involved. Jack and Sylvia Dudum have an interest in the property and son Tony, who with Jack, run 1515 Restaurant and Lounge on North Main Street, will serve on consultant on the project. Word was that VeSu was supposed to open in summer. Well, construction had started, almost over night, this summer.
By highlighting this latest Rat Squad protest at a Dudum-related business, I am not, for once, not attempting to write another not-so-happy-skippy story about the Dudums. A number of other businesses have received visits from the Rat Squad, including the now defunct--and you would think, holier-than-thou, pro-the-working-man--Elephant Pharmacy, when it was being prepared to open next door to Trader Joe's.
Oh, and calling these union members the Rat Squad? I only do that because of that funny rat they tote around. I'm not taking any position on their rights or wrongs of their cause, and I know the rat is there to represent the contracter who isn't hiring these union workers.
"Construction has taken a hit, and we're just protecting our industry from companies failing to pay area standards for wages and benefits," said Local 152 Field Representative Rachel Leanos.