IUPAT Members Boycott Paint Giant PPG (NYSE: PPG) for Service Model that Risks Worker Exploitation
Workers and Community Allies Assemble in Front of Opulent PPG Plaza to Spotlight Low-Pay Scheme Undercutting Qualified Painters
PITTSBURGH, PA — On Friday, January 31, 2020, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) and community allies assembled in front of PPG Industries Inc.’s (NYSE: PPG) headquarters and retail locations nationwide, spotlighting issues around PPG Services. PPG Services is a paint services platform that poses risks to the wages and working standards of workers across North America. The IUPAT is convinced that the PPG Services’ model threatens to exploit working people and their families with predatory pricing that jeopardizes fair wages and health and retirement benefits.
At noon, over 100 leaders and members from the IUPAT, community allies and elected officials demonstrated with banners and leaflets Pittsburgh’s historic Market Square. As the group educated consumers on the issue, they also asked them to protect workers and their families by boycotting PPG products. Boycotted items include PPG Services and other PPG paint products, including Olympic Paint, Glidden, Liquid Nails, Pittsburgh Paints, and other brands. For a full list of PPG products and information on the boycott, visit www.boycottppg.com.
Additional demonstrations took place at PPG paint store locations across North America.
“I am proud to say I was part of the crew that built PPG plaza, and let me tell you firsthand that it takes highly skilled workers to make something of that caliber,” said Joe Wroniak, an IUPAT District Council 57 member and retired union glazier. “I want to know how those corporate PPG guys can sit up there in their glass PPG castle and enjoy the fruits of a working person’s labor while they undervalue what we do and how much we’re worth? They’re advertising this whole thing as a win-win but what they’re scheming is dangerous and could destroy fair wages and safety standards that I spent nearly 40 years helping to build.”
“We can’t continue to tolerate companies like PPG whose products could cheat our workers out of fair pay, and could cheat the public out of the quality work that our members provide,” said Darrin Kelly, president of the Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council. “Consumers need to know that when they’re hiring a real painter, they are hiring someone who has had hundreds of hours of training and instruction. They are specialized craftspeople who care about the quality of their work and who get the job done right the first time. The public wants to stand up for their friends, neighbors, and communities by doing something we all can easily do – boycotting these bad corporate actors and their skeezy practices. This is a matter of these workers being able to feed their families.”
The IUPAT represents over 110,000 painters, glaziers, wall coverers, flooring installers, convention and trade show decorators, sign and display workers, glassworkers, asbestos worker/hazmat technicians and drywall finishers across the United States and Canada. With over 100 years of experience in paint trades workforce development, the union has expressed concerns that this business model sets prices at levels that make it virtually impossible for the workers doing the actual painting to earn a fair wage.
“We have concerns that the pricing model of this controversial venture by PPG may reduce safety and quality standards. Our boycott of PPG is intended to raise awareness of the negative impact that we feel PPG Services is having on workers and industry standards,” said IUPAT Director of Organizing Jim Williams. “The construction industry is already plagued by worker abuse and misclassification. By putting downward pressure on wages, this program may worsen those conditions.”
The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades represents a growing community of over 110,000 active and retired craftspeople in the United States and Canada. Recognized as one of the most active unions in the labor movement, IUPAT members help shape their communities in many ways: through an abiding commitment to service, by fighting passionately for workers’ rights that benefit all working families, and through effective worker education and mobilization.
For more information, visit www.iupat.org