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EAST MOLINE — Protesters this week have been “going to church.”

Members of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, are picketing Christ United Methodist Church, at 3801 7th St., East Moline.

Local 150 appealed to the public to “not patronize the church,” general contracting company Precision Builders Inc., or Needham Excavating Inc., according to flyers handed out at the scene.

Leaflets claim the subcontractor is “under investigation for violations of federal labor laws.”

Church pastors, the Revs. Roger and Joye Perry, were out of town and unavailable for comment. They forwarded a letter written by Precision Builders spokesman Lisa Zelle, who was out of town attending a parent’s funeral.

The latter states the pickets are “because Needham Excavating left the union and are operating as non-union company now.”

“Please be assured that all other subcontractors we have contracted on the project are union and that none are expected on site until Needham has completed his sitework package,” read the letter. “Therefore no other trade will need to ‘cross the picket line.’ “

Needham’s work is expected to take two weeks, according to the letter.

The church has broken ground for a $3 million Family Life Center that is expected to be completed by 2019

Local 150 spokesman Ed Maher didn’t return calls for comment.

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