AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) - When you walk by construction sites, you trust they're safe, but some people claim that's not the case on the UMass Amherst campus.
The Coalition for Responsible Employer Policy, or Coalition for Responsible UMass Employment, released a report of case studies today that they say shows UMass Amherst hires firms with a record of breaking the law.
In the last ten years or so UMass Amherst has undergone a number of renovation projects.
Contractors are blanketing the campus, but some say not all of them follow proper safety guidelines.
"They've been hiring contractors that skirt labor laws, dodge taxes. Workers appear not having the proper OSHA 10 safety training safety card and that's a concern, people need to be trained," said Keith Wrightson, the organizer of the coalition.
Different union representatives make up the Coalition for Responsible Employer Policy, also known as Coalition for Responsible UMass Employment.
They released a report that allegedly culminates a year of research into the different firms on campus.
They claim they found unlicensed and unsafe contractors are at work at UMass Amherst.
"We want contractors that train their workforce, that provide good quality healthcare and pension benefits that don't cheat on wages," said Mary Vogel, the executive director of the Construction Institute.
The group is asking the school to not just choose the contractor with the lowest bid, but the lowest responsible bid, that's something the school says, its already doing.
22NEWS brought the report to UMass spokesman Ed Blaguszewski, who explained the school chooses contractors that the state approves to be responsible.
"We are held to the state law and state law says the state determines who is eligible to bid on contracts and once those people are determined to be eligible, the lowest responsible bidder gets selected," Blaguszewski said.
He also said the school monitors the construction sights to ensure their held to the highest standards.
"We work very hard to ensure safety and to build high quality buildings and we think we're doing a good job at that," Blaguszewski added.
Click here if you'd like to view the full report.