School district denies allegations of union pressure

Raineri Construction believes the Carpenters Union pressured the school district into not awarding its company with a contract to make renovations to Neuwoehner High School. The project will end up costing the school district about $500,000 more than it would've cost if they chose Raineri. Raineri Construction was the lowest bidder.

The renovations to the Neuwoehner High School includes extensive site work, a new front entrance canopy, a classroom addition and an alternate bid for the construction of a new front entrance addition.

Ashley Raineri, Raineri Construction's finance director, says her company was recommended for the project by the school district's Facility Operations Department, Business and Finance Division, Dickinson Hussman Architects and Creative Construction Solutions Incorporated. Ashley Raineri says they have been in a lengthy labor dispute with the Carpenters Union, "Since we've grown the Carpenters don't like that we're out there winning big work. They think it's not going to be their members. However, we employ a lot of union sub-contractors. So, I think it's a misunderstanding." Ashley says denies claims that Raineri Construction does not pay fair wages.

The Carpenters' District Council of Greater St. Louis released the following statement:


On May 13, 2014 a representative of the Carpenters' District Council appeared at a public board meeting of the Special School District of St. Louis County. At that meeting we informed the board that one of the bidders for work at Neuwoehner High School, Raineri Construction, LLC, is currently involved in a major labor dispute with the Carpenters due to Raineri's failure to pay area-standard wages and benefits on its construction projects.

At that May 13 meeting, our representative also supplied the board with documentation from one of Raineri's previous clients, the St. Louis Public School District, which detailed what has been characterized as "unsatisfactory" job performance from Raineri Construction, LLC.

The Carpenters' District Council took these steps in an effort to inform the Special School District of Raineri's past job performance and to insure the board had all relevant facts about this bidder before making an important decision on work to be done at Neuwoehner.

As experts in the field of quality construction, we feel it is our duty, wherever possible, to inform and educate decision makers on construction-related projects so that only the most qualified workmen and women are entrusted with getting the job done.

The Special School District of St. Louis County awarded the bid to Wachter Incorporated. The company uses workers from the Carpenters Union. However, district officials say they were not influenced by the Carpenters Union when choosing a company for to make the renovations.

District officials say Raineri turned in necessary paperwork a day late for the bid. They also say there was some concern that Raineri may have underbid. The school district released the following statement:

"In the May 8, 2014 Briefing Paper No. 1, we had recommended the award to Raineri Construction. However, after further review and consultation with counsel, we have determined that Raineri's bid was neither accurate nor complete on May 1, 2014 as required and that Raineri was not otherwise the lowest responsible bidder."

Ashley Raineri responded to the statement by saying, "I would disagree with that. I'm not sure how it wouldn't be accurate. We didn't have that information. We sent it to them the next day, but does that make it really worth $500,000".


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