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River House at Odette’s in New Hope picketed for hiring non-union electricians

The River House at Odette’s is still under construction, but this week it received an unwelcome guest — a giant inflatable rat nicknamed “Scabby.”

The oversized rodent took up residence in front of the luxury hotel on River Road in New Hope to help draw attention to the use of nonunion labor at the site.

“It’s a peaceful demonstration to raise awareness in the community that the electrical subcontractor they hired is not paying the area standard for wages and benefits,” explained Anthony Angelico, Business Representative for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 269.

“We represent electrical workers, and a good majority of them live in Bucks County,” he continued. “The contractor in question is from Elmer, N.J. They come into Bucks and make their money, and they spend it elsewhere. We live here, we work here, we spend out money here.”

Photo: Chris Cosner

In fact, the hotel’s current electrical subcontractor was in the news a lot last year, and not in a good way. Dru DiSilvestro, manager of Eric M. Krise Electrical Contractor LLC, allegedly harassed a female underling while litigating separate claims that he flashed his penis and left a dildo on the desk of another female employee, according to the New York Post.

Angelico said he’s contacted Riverhouse at Odette’s owners Gateway to New Hope LLC about hiring local electricians, but can’t even get his foot in the door.

“We reached out to Odette’s to bring them to more local contractors, and they decided to not even give them an opportunity to bid on the process,” he said. We weren’t invited to take a shot at it. And that’s not fair to the people that live around here.”

Angelico and his members plan to continue picketing at the site “for the foreseeable future.”

“Odette’s is advertising that they’re bringing a luxury lifestyle to New Hope, but they want to cut corners on the work that’s being done,” he said.

Gateway to New Hope did not respond to a request for comment.

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Charlie Sahner

“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." - Einstein


  • Not that long ago the New Hope Solebury School District spent a total of 28.5 million dollars on renovating and building additions to its high school and middle school. I repeatedly asked at school board meetings and facilities meetings if the labor was union, non union or both and how many layers of subcontracting there were. I never got a straight answer only a deflection of my questions. I also asked how many layers of subcontracting would there be. Once again I never got a straight answer. Understand this. The main contractor takes a piece of the action and sends the work over to the first subcontractor who in turn does the same thing until the last contractor is left with all of the work. So to make ends meet he cut$ corner$
    At the present time the district will spend 1.6 million for an artificial turf field and $200,000 for a new track. union labor? levels of subcontracting?

  • Thanks for covering this story. I support the picketers.

    “River House at Odette’s” is the worst thing to ever happen to New Hope. Not even open yet, and already hated by locals for a multitude of valid reasons.

  • It’s not about the job being done a few bucks cheaper by an out of towner, it is about protecting workers rights all around. Union labor provides a standard of wages and benefits that is not guaranteed by non union contractors. This is important no matter where you live or who you are.

  • Profits over a living wage. It’s the reason most of what we have in this country is made in China. How’s that working out? It’s easy to hire non-union workers and win bids on jobs when you don’t have to pay the prevailing wage, health benefits that are usable, retirement or vacation benefits.

    • But now the wealthy developers get to keep even more of their money as they build a boutique hotel catering to trust funders and soft white collar out of towners. No need to build a strong working class when you can just keep more for yourself.

      Better to leave the biggest possible trust fund for Chad and Buffy.

      Let them eat cake.

    • It tells me that Gateway to New Hope continues to do what it does best – turn New Hope into an unrecognizable luxury spa while cutting corners at every turn. That bloated “boutique hotel” monstrosity was bad enough, and now Gateway is bringing a sex offender to town to do the wiring instead of supporting the union.

      Gateway is a blight on this town.

    • Everyone of them is capable of working for lower wages, they are just unwilling. And thanks to their abilities and the protections their union provides they don’t have to. They’re there fighting for everyone’s standard of living. If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.

  • How can these comments make sense. They justify using a lower price when union contractors were not given the chance to bid the project. Money earned in the area usually gets spent in the area. You get what you pay for. Cheap labor gets cheap results.
    Keep drinking the cool aid.
    I hope the guys working there come back and spend their earnings in the area not in Elmer NJ.

  • If it’s just about the “price” then go to Walmart – where their employees are exploited. There’s a whole lot more of what made America, and labor unions created a playing field. Then came the union busting Reagan types and so-called “right to work” laws in red states. Now we have an income inequality gap that’s obscene. Many of whom are on the high side of the curve will soon be partying at Riverhouse Odettes

  • Union issues aside, it’s gross that they’ve chosen to give their money to sexual predator Dru DiSilvestro. Married guy that says goodbye to his wife, goes to work, and spends the day sending penis pictures to younger women that work for him telling them “this is what you’re missing out on”.

    Gateway to New Hope LLC is handing him money.

  • here’s the quote…“It’s a peaceful demonstration to raise awareness in the community that the electrical subcontractor they hired is not paying the area standard for wages and benefits,” explained Anthony Angelico, Business Representative for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 269.”
    Question for y’all: You’re building a swimming pool in your back yard…You hear from the guy down the road that he’ll do it for $10K…You hear from the guy further down the road that he’ll do it for $8K…which would you choose?
    Have you seen what you pay for food in GIANT compared to the GIANT in Doyleston? Area Standards hopefully are at least flexible and may change over time but area standards are set by the wealth of the area you live and they aren’t codified which means property owners can still choose who they hire. Do you really want to regulate that?

  • I wouldn’t hire them either !
    In pics, one without mask. All not social distancing.
    Please stop trying to cause trouble in our town. Thank you

  • Let me get this straight. You’re mad at odettes because they would rather hire someone who does the same work at a lower price? Oh and you think workers HAVE TO live in the same county that the work is being done? What are you smoking dude?

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