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Men working on Tulsa's Gathering Place project say local workers are being treated unfairly

Posted at 8:55 PM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 23:58:56-04

TULSA - A Gathering Place for Tulsa has promised to be something all of Green Country can enjoy, but some of the Tulsans with boots on the ground say they're being cheated. 

“When I left at 3 o’clock today the out-of-town crews were still working."

It's a dispute over hours. 

“The out-of-town guys are allowed to work until about 5:30, 6 o’clock, planting trees laying soil, the in-town guys have to be cut off at 3, 3:30," said Dominic Birou, a former BrightView Landscaping employee. 

Dominic was fired from the project Tuesday.

While he says the firing is unfair, he also said it's not himself he's worried about.

 “It’s a local versus out-of-town thing.”

He says BrightView Landscaping, a sub contractor on the project, has brought in out-of-town workers to work the overtime. 

One of the men still on the project spoke with 2 Works for You under the agreement he could remain anonymous.

“I questioned why. Clearly that draws a line in the sand. If we’re a team, we’re a team.”

He says he has a son, and the cut in hours may hurt him more than others. 

“Child expenses are 25, 30 bucks a day, to come up here and then get sent home after eight hours is like man, that’s kind of tough.” 

When 2 Works for You reached out, BrightView gave this statement: 

"BrightView is proud to be part of the team responsible for bringing the Gathering Place project to the people of Tulsa. As with any large-scale and complex landscape installation project of this type, we allocate local and regional resources in a way that assures the work is done safely and efficiently and to the standard of quality our customers expect from BrightView. The allegations made against us by a former employee as we understand them are baseless.  We are committed to fair and equitable treatment of all BrightView team members."

Crossland, the main contractor over the project sent this statement: 

"Crossland has nearly 450 employees who work for 76 sub-contractors on the construction site.  Approximately 90 percent of workers are employed from the Tulsa area and Oklahoma. Our landscape sub-contractor, Brightview, is a national company with over 40 employees currently working on the site; more than half are local. Crossland’s initial understanding of this situation is that this is a disgruntled employee of BrightView that was previously terminated."

“You’re creating division between a workforce here and a workforce in other places, and it’s just, it’s segregated," the current employee stated. 

Dominic has a protest scheduled against the new conditions on Friday. 

“I’m not afraid of retaliation because justice is justice," he said. 

The protest will be at the corner of 31st and Riverside at 6 a.m. as workers head to their posts, and he'll stay there even if he's on his own. 

The Gathering Place said for now it doesn't have a statement. 

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