Striking Myers workers' labor assists
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[MARCH 4, 2005]
Midwest winter was no hindrance for the men sitting at the long
tables. There was no grumbling about the cold or anything else as
they gathered for an afternoon break on Wednesday. Invigorated and
relaxed by the hours of hard labor, they joked, cajoled and talked
of everyday things while eating cake and sipping coffee in the
spacious dining hall at the Genesis Ministries Project.
Myers Industries laborers lost their
union contract in November, when Myers refused to come to the
negotiation table. Since that time Carpenters union Local 644 plant
employees have been facing the elements, taking daily shifts at the
"Patio" strike booth.
Watching the men, a person can see
that they certainly haven't forgotten how to work. Their assistance
on Wednesday and Thursday of this week benefits both Genesis and the
local Habitat for Humanity projects. Some of the men plan to return
on Monday to continue the work.
The Genesis facility is the old
Bartmann Nursing Home on Nicholson Road north of Lincoln. A problem
recently occurred that required many hands to resolve. A portion of
the building was already being considered to be taken down when an
unused wing extension on the north side lost its protective roof
covering in a windstorm the first of January. The damage to the
sealed-off part of the building was not discovered for several
weeks. Damage from rain, snow and ice was extensive, and it was
decided to take the section down. The sooner the better; sooner
would result in more reusable materials.
Myers Industries, Habitat for Humanity and Genesis
workers strategize removal of materials from Genesis rooftop.
Logan County Habitat for Humanity
will receive the rafters, roof joists, plywood and wall forms. Those
and other materials salvaged will be donated and recycled for other
charitable building projects.
Habitat workers are between projects
at present. Their board is working on raising funds to build future
homes. In the meantime they have said they would like to help
continue the Genesis building development.
The Myers men were joined by several
Habitat and Genesis workers.
Genesis volunteers welcomed the
assistance with great appreciation. A Genesis volunteer and board
member, Nancy Vannoy, welcomed the workers with cooked and baked breakfast banana bread, soups and corn bread
each day. Other volunteers
prepared desserts. Genesis board president David Alexander came out
and thanked the Myers workers for helping Genesis and Habitat for
[to top of second column in this article]
The building was given to Genesis
two years ago. It had not been properly shut down and sat empty for
a couple of years. Restoration efforts began immediately when the
group received it in March 2003.
The facility required major amounts
of labor in order to make it operable and inhabitable. A small
number of regular volunteers have toiled daily and weekly to restore
the building. Church groups have also contributed labor on several
Genesis is a project in process that
will house troubled women. The program will begin with a few women
and expand. The program will focus on recovery, life skills and
vocational training to help them to be reconciled back into their
families and society.
Funding for materials and operation
to this date has been through local donations. Christian Homes,
Logan County Hardware and Johnson Lumber have been generous in
goods. It is expected that grants will be more readily accessible
once the doors are open.
The building is now coming closer to
being ready to be occupied. The program structure is under
development by the board of directors, and they actively seeking a
director. The Genesis board anticipates opening the doors this year.
Anyone wishing to assist the Genesis
development efforts can contact Butch King at (217) 671-041 or email