Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on August 25, 1998 · Page 3
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 3

Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Tuesday, August 25, 1998
Page 3
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8A DETROIT FREE PRESfTCESDAY, AUGUST 25, 19! workers killed, 2 hurt as school wall falls Saginaw Co, WALL, from Page 1A Friday, but "we didn't think anything about it." . The school district employee speculated that gusty winds, recorded at 20 m.p.h. around 1 p.m. at Bishop International Airport in Flint, might have contributed to the collapse. The addition was isolated from the rest of the school, which has had no auditorium. The community was excited about getting one, several people said. In addition to Gillean, Mark Wick-ham, 37, of Flint, and Troy Vincke, 19 of New Lothrop, were pronounce dead or died at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, said Flushing Township Police Chief Doug Kennedy. Larry fiearup, 50, of Burton died at McLaren Regional Medical Center in Flint. " Mark Webb, 40, of Burton underwent surgery Monday at Hurley,1 where he was listed in critical condition. David Couch, 36, of Davison was listed in fair condition at McLaren. ! Wickham, Vincke and Gillean worked for Newkirk Electric Associates in Flint. Webb was employed by Thermal Systems Inc. of Flint, a heating and cooling company. It was not known Monday night where Bearup and Couch worked. ; Flushing Community Schools Superintendent William Tunnicliff said knowing the accident's cause was secondary to comforting the workers' families. , "We have not concerned ourselves with why. We're praying for those who are injured," Tunnicliff said. ! He said construction on the 17,5000-square-foot auditorium began in May and was to be completed next April. The 650-seat auditorium is estimated to cost $2.8 million. Classes for the 1,300-student high school are still set to open for a half day next Monday, Tunnicliff said. A freshman orientation scheduled for Monday night, however, was canceled and has not been rescheduled, Tunnicliff said. Gillean graduated from Flushing High School. "He was my son, my only son, that's all you need to know about Harm," said Betty Gillean said. Wickham's friends and relatives gathered at his Flint home Monday night, making funeral arrangements and awaiting details of how he died under a cascade of masonry. His father-in-law, James Beasley, said Wickham worked as an electrician and, in his spare time, remodeled his family's bungalow, recently adding a front porch and a basketball net for his 8-yeaiM)ld son Marcus. I Wickham had been married to his wife, Freda, for nearly a dozen years, Beasley said. "You couldn't beat him" for a son-ip-law, Beasley said. "He always had time for the kids." In addition to his son, Wickham had a stepdaughter, LeFreda, 18, Beasley said. I Wickham was a Flint native, Beasley said. Kennedy said the workers were Subcontractors of L.A. Construction Corp. of Flushing, the project's general contractor. ' Company officials refused to comment Monday night. S Kennedy said about 10 masons and electricians were working at the base of the 60-foot-long wall when it collapsed. Investigators from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration were at the scene Monday night to determine why the wall collapsed. They wouldn't speculate about what happened or discuss the company's record. School officials and construction workers insisted Monday that they do all they can to keep schools safe during construction. "We made a conscious decision to isolate the construction experience from the educational experience," said Steve Wasko, spokesman for the West Bloomfield Township District, where a 60,000-square-foot addition is being added to the high school. On Monday, the first day of school, Wasko said construction workers did not start working until after school, That's the trend with noisy or massive projects at many schools. In the Farmington District, six schools are undergoing major renovations. Authorities there said special safety measures are in place. For instance, temporary plywood walls separate students from construction, outdoor construction is fenced off and most of the heaviest work has been completed. "By the time school starts, you're past the danger zone," said Tony Rook, a site manager at O.E. Dunckel School in Farmington. School officials said they must get permission from local fire departments for children to return to buildings, in addition to passing random checks from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. And many construction companies have their own safety programs. "We don't want to compromise the safety of a job," said William McCarthy, whose company is working on eight schools in the Detroit area. McCarthy sends an employee to check and report on each site at least once a month. Staff writers Matt Helms, Hugh McDiarmid Jr. and Joel Thurtell contributed to this report, as did the Associated Press. Robert H. Campbell can be reached at 1-248-586-2621. '8 Genesee ir' If 8 Co. I 11 I i A rvs ' H" 5 miles J j Oakland Co. Livingston Co. The pilots' union says they shared in the pain, so they, should share in the gain. Amount of concessions: $65,814 Today's value of stock received today va concessions: $104 765 Profit on concessions: $38,251 They have. ."i, In 1993, Northwest Airlines' pilots and all other employees made a bold and admirable move. They took a pay-cut to help ensure their company's survival. In return, they received stock in Northwest Airlines. THE PILOTS HAVE SHARED IN THE AIRLINE'S SUCCESS. Our pilots received over 14 million shares of stock. That stock is now worth almost 60 more than their wage concessions. But that's not all. What the pilots' union also fails to tell you is that during the years of 1993 to 1998, our pilots continued to get raises, promotions and other increases, as well as a salary snap-back increase in 1996. In total, the average Northwest pilot's pay went up 6.5 a year, for a cumulative increase of 37. A GENEROUS OFFER. We have offered to pay our pilots equal to the pilots at the three largest airlines - American, Delta and United - even though we are only half the size of those airlines. Pilot union negotiators say that isn't enough. They demand more - "an industry leading contract." WHAT'S FAIR? We want our pilots and all of our employees to continue to share in the success they helped build. But we must remain competitive to ensure that success. And we must keep flying. A ten-day strike by the pilots' union will cost the nation nearly $740 million and strand almost 700,000 passengers. It will virtually shut down the economies of nearly a dozen states. The bottom line is fairness. But fairness to all. It's time to be reasonable. 1998 Northwest Airlines, Inc. I Detroit Free Press

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