Fall River mayoral candidate Joseph Carvalho criticizes Matouk for not hiring enough city workers
Herald News Photo
Mayoral candidate Joseph Carvalho held a press conference Thursday morning across the street from the John Matouk & Co. complaining that an East Providence company was hired to do the concrete work on the Matouk expansion project.
Mayoral politics took a swing through the Fall River Industrial Park on Thursday.
Matouk, the linen company in the process of a $9.5 million expansion, got pulled into the fray.
Mayoral candidate Joseph Carvalho held a press conference Thursday morning across the street from the John Matouk & Co., 925 Airport Road, complaining that an East Providence company was hired to do the concrete work on the project.
“We are having a press conference to point out the inequities,” Carvalho said. “They (city officials) are not doing enough to reach out to Fall River companies to work on a Fall River project.”
Carvalho asked that Mayor Will Flanagan and Kenneth Fiola, the executive vice president of the Fall River Office of Economic Development, reach out to anyone doing work in Fall River to try to get Fall River companies hired.
“People in Fall River end up going to Boston and Brockton to find work,” Carvalho said. “We need to get Fall River people working.”
“From the beginning, we’ve taken our commitment to create jobs in Fall River seriously,” said George Matouk, president of Matouk & Co. “That includes permanent jobs and construction jobs.
“We’ve gone out of our way to bring in competent Fall River companies to the project.”
Cutler Associates of Medford was hired as the construction management company. They are doing the design-build work.
All of the site planning and surveying was completed by Fall River companies as well as the site preparation work, Matouk said. Ferreira Concrete of East Providence is currently on the site doing foundation work. Plumbing, fire suppression and security and surveillance contracts all went to Fall River companies, Matouk said.
“We have not been able to award every single trade contract to a Fall River company,” Matouk said. “But we want to honor our commitment to the city.”
Both Flanagan and Fiola said they were satisfied that Matouk's actions justify the tax breaks — known as a TIF — granted to the company by the City Council when the expansion was in the planning stages.
“The TIF says the company will make a good-faith effort to use local contractors for the expansion,” Fiola said. “The company is living up to that agreement. Fall River subcontractors are on the job.
“Mr. Carvalho has to be very careful about political grandstanding when it comes to a company that is investing $10 million in an expansion that will add 12 jobs to its workforce.”