Union program threatens Pewaukee with lien
Pewaukee is withholding a $66,366 contract payment to Robert’s Roofing & Siding Inc. after a union benefits program threatened the city with a construction lien.
The city last week received a letter from five pension trust funds representing roofers and sheet metal workers. It announced an intension to file a lien against Pewaukee City Hall. According to the letter, the trust funds want to recover from Glendale-based Robert’s Roofing roughly $50,000 in benefits for workers.
Companies are required by law to give notice of a lien filing before actually filing a lien.
Bob Peret, president of Robert’s Roofing, said Thursday the company will resolve the payment dispute with the benefit program in the next couple of days. He said his company is trying to resolve the issue and looks forward to having a good relationship with its union.
“It’s almost resolved,” Peret said. “There were some clerical issues and accounting issues that we got resolved.”
Pewaukee received an invoice from Robert’s Roofing in late March for payment on its contract to re-roof Pewaukee City Hall. City Administrator Tammy LaBorde said the city will not pay Robert’s for its contract invoice until the situation is resolved.
“This isn’t our issue,” she said. “This is their issue, and we’re the ones getting stuck with the bill, and that’s what I don’t appreciate.”
Previant, Goldberg, Uelmen, Gratz, Miller & Brueggeman SC, Milwaukee, which sent the lien notice to Pewaukee, would not comment.
LaBorde said Robert’s Roofing completed the re-roofing of City Hall, and the city was preparing to pay the contractor before the city received a call from the pension law firm. She said city attorneys are reviewing the situation to determine Pewaukee’s options.
John Kubica, president of Roofers Local 65 and a trustee of the Building Trades Pension Fund, said he is not familiar with the situation. He said, in general, the pension program is constantly trying to recover payments. Nine times out of 10, he said, the situations are resolved without legal action because contractors sign deals to repay the money in monthly installments.
Contractors are allowed to borrow from the pension programs, he said, but, under the roofers and ironworkers deals, they face a 20 percent increase in the amount of money owed if they are late on payments.