Union Workers Donate Time and Materials to Rebuild Garage

Posted at 5:21 PM, Jun 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-25 18:21:25-04

Some local union workers are using their days off to rebuild a neighbor’s garage after a contractor left her and her special needs son out in the cold.


"She was worried that rushing him to the ER room in the middle of the night, that having a baby in the car while she’s scraping her windows while he's dying, was going to be a critical issue," explained Frank Dolincheck, Union Rep for Local 427.


Amber Johnson saved up for a renovated garage to get her 4-year-old son Leevi safely to the car and the hospital in the winter months.  Leevi has had several surgeries in his young life, and needs more still.


But Amber told KMTV that the work the contractor did didn't pass inspection and was never finished.


"It really concerned me that this young lady, single mom, with a disabled child who's had major surgeries had problems with this man that took advantage of her, took her savings, for her garage,” said Rebecca Barrientos-Patlan, a friend, and founder of the Burlington Park Neighborhood Association where Amber lives.

Barrientos-Patlan contacted her nephew, Frank Dolincheck with Carpenters Union 427.

"He said 'We're on it.'  Right away, 'We're on it,'" said Barrientos-Patlan.

"It kinda broke my heart, and our union's heart, and that’s when we decided to do something about it," said Dolincheck.

The news spread to other unions.  Local 571 stepped in with to help with demolition and excavation.

"That's what we’re all about as union members.  This is all volunteers.  Everything from the equipment, to the fuel, to all of it,” said TJ Dick, organizer for Local 571 Operating Engineers.


Once all the demolition and excavation is over, it will be time for the carpenters to take over, but there's still a lot of donations needed before this work can be done.

Contractors like JE Dunn and Carroll Distributing have already donated a dumpster, new
plans, and some materials.

"Whatever it costs, our locals will put the money together to build this," said Local 427 Rep Steven Mulcahy.


He estimated it will take a few more weekends and around $6,000 of materials, but Amber and Leevi will have a safe place to park come winter.

Union representatives told KMTV that they could use donations of meals or materials, and that they plan to hold a fundraiser for Amber and Leevi to cover the cost of further surgeries.