NAC Owner: Anti-Union Claims False, Union Electrician on the Job

The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 542 have protested the lack of union contractors on the NAC renovation project but the owner now says a union electrician has been hired for the job.

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.

Doug Wiik January 17, 2013 at 11:03 AM
Nice touch (publishing Jim and his wife's cell phone numbers) Give him a break. He has a wonderful staff and surely wouldn't if he treated them as poorly as is claimed.
jay sensibaugh January 17, 2013 at 03:03 PM
I've observed Jim for years, he is a businessman and a capitalist. He also gives back significantly to the community in a variety of ways and has held fund raisers for families in need. I congratulate him on pursuing competitive contractors and believe he will get great workmanship utilizing skilled trades people that the union apprenticeship programs give their members. His decisions have seemed to me to always be about business with no prejudice one way or the other toward organized labor. I don't always agree with his business decisions but I also think he should be treated fairly.
elle January 17, 2013 at 03:17 PM
The people who attack Mr Worthington are just jealous of him that he is a success !
Newtown Res January 17, 2013 at 03:22 PM
Well said Jay, the owners at the NAC are just being fair to their members by looking for the most competitive pricing. The hiring of MJF proves that the combination of the best bid and quality of work will get the job. Great to see a union and local business owner coming to fair agreements that benefit both!
Phillip Y January 17, 2013 at 04:00 PM
This is nice to hear, fair business like this is rare these days
Chantel S. January 17, 2013 at 04:28 PM
With employees who have been around for 30 odd years - how can anyone think Jim Worthington isn't fair? Seems like whomever gives the best quality work at the most efficient price gets the job...smart business practice. Can't wait for the facility to be complete, really going to bring something new to our area!
JM January 17, 2013 at 05:10 PM
This is good information to know. I don't know how anyone can argue with the policy of getting the best value for the best price.
Tim January 17, 2013 at 08:48 PM
We all know unions act like thugs these days. He's lucky they didn't come in overnight and vandalize his project like they did in Chestnut Hill recently (over $500K in damage). The union talks about being fair and generous, but god forbid they don't like what you're doing (regardless of your standing in the community) they'll be the first to destroy your reputation and your project. Screw them.
Tim K January 17, 2013 at 09:38 PM
Kudos to the union AND the NAC for coming to a reasonable agreement. Sounds like EVERYbody benefited.
Dave January 18, 2013 at 02:55 AM
The tactics used by unions are disgraceful. It's not uncommon for them to have bus loads of people protest in front someone's house, terrorizing innocent families to try and make their point. It's no wonder that few support these thugs.
joe conso January 18, 2013 at 01:52 PM
I have heard nothing but great things about this man but he should never have given in to the union pressure. Unions are not needed anymore in this country and they are only for the lazy man. They are nothing but a bunch of thugs who strong arm folks to get the vote and be on their side. They represent everything that is bad about this country.
Linda Mitchell January 18, 2013 at 03:14 PM
Thanks Joe, for the vote of confidence. There was no pressure, the union just came in with a really good bid so they got this job.


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