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Non-Union Contractor Caused FIU Bridge Collapse

The contractor charged with building the bridge at FIU was hostile to Building Trades Unions and was a major Republican donor

Kris LaGrange's picture
Mar 21, 2018

The bridge collapse at Florida International University (FIU), last week killed six innocent people. UCOMM decided to do some quick investigation into who built this and who was responsible for the negligence that caused these deaths.

Over the last week, a lot of information has come out about the negligence that went into the building of the bridge. Shortly after the bridge was built, concerns started to grow about the conditions of the bridge. Although it was built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane a crack had formed on the north span. Two days before the collapse an engineer working on the project left a voicemail with the Florida Department of Transportation, warning them that there was a crack in the structure that would need to be fixed immediately. That voicemail was not listened to until the day after the collapse.

While the DOT is taking the blame for failing to act on an important safety tip from an engineer on the project, the company that did the construction on the project, Munilla Construction Management is also being looked at closer. According to the South Florida Building and Construction Trades Council, the project was being done without union labor. In fact, they described MCM as hostile to union organizing.

While FIU does union labor on some of their projects, including recent work on their dormitories and parking garages, the university decided to cut corners and instead give the job to a politically connected non-union outfit. Politico is reporting that during the time that Munilla was bidding on the project they donated $50,000 to Florida Governor Rick Scott and $250,000 to candidates running in Florida. While it is not clear whether this helped them win the bid, it may have led to the DOT, which is overseen by Scott, not looking closely at the work that was done by the non-union workers at Munilla.

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