Cumberland County is now in the middle of a legal battle because the County Freeholders REFUSED to give a contract to the lowest bidder because they were not a union shop. Apparently if you are not union, you have no right to work in Cumberland County.
Seven firms responded to a request for bids earlier this year to provide interior telephone and data line wiring for the county, with ComTec Systems of Vineland coming in with the lowest bid.
In spite of this, the county passed over ComTec and awarded the contract in March to the next lowest bidders, NJ Business Systems, of Robbinsville, and Aloha, of Cherry Hill.
Lou’s cohort, Brendan Kavanaugh is disseminating false information, making it appear that the Vineland firm, COM-TEC, would not be paying union scale for the job. This is a lie. They would be paying union scale, only not to union employees that pay union dues. We know already that Lou and Nelson Thompson have been bought and owned by the unions.
“The county told me that they wanted union firms to bid it,” ComTec President Michael Vertolli said Tuesday. “What they’re not allowed to tell you is that all of their constituents are union reps and that several of the freeholders are union reps.”
ComTec is a non-union firm.
Nelson Thompson, who is up for re-election this year, is a representative of International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.
If you are a Cumberland County company, but not fortunate enough to be a union shop – it seems that Lou and Nelson are willing to violate state law and hire out of county (one of those firms is in Camden County – imagine that!) rather than hire in county. So much for easing our highest in the state unemployment rate.
State law requires public contracts to go to the lowest responsible bidder.
“In the interest of fairness and in the interest of complying with the law, the freeholder board did what they felt was right,” Kavanaugh said, in awarding the contract to NJ Business Systems and Aloha.
Vertolli said the “prevailing wages” argument is a ruse.
He said ComTec has agreed to pay prevailing wages, a minimum wage level enforced by the state for workers engaged in public work.
The only difference between ComTec and the other firms is that ComTec does not use union workers, Vertolli stressed, adding that they are not required to use union workers.