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Picketers linger at two ProBuild sites

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Picketers continue at two Chicagoland locations of ProBuild Holdings, the nation’s largest pro dealer, which has been trying to negotiate a new contract with Teamsters Local 673 since April. A one-day mediation session held on Aug. 24 was unsuccessful after both sides failed to reach any agreements. Teamsters spokesman Roger Kohler said the union was initially hopeful “because [ProBuild] sent someone out from Denver for the first time.”

Top of the list, according to both ProBuild and the Local 673, are healthcare benefits. The union claims many of its warehouse and delivery drivers will not be able to afford health insurance due to higher premiums and a cutback in hours. Bill Myrick, ProBuild’s newly appointed CEO, told Home Channel News that the company is trying to standardize its best practices across its many locations, and one of these is healthcare plans. “We want to treat all of our employees equally,” Myrick explained.

“We look very much forward to resolving this issue,” he added.

Meanwhile, union employees continue to march along the road in front of ProBuild stores in Yorkville and Wheaton, Ill.

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Beazer executive faces fraud charges

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Former chief accounting officer for Atlanta-based Beazer Homes USA was released on bond from a federal court Friday, just days after his arrest, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Michael Rand faces 11 counts of fraud related to an alleged accounting conspiracy to manipulate Beazer’s financial statements.

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Harvard’s Joint Center makes appointment

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies has hired Christopher Herbert, a nationally recognized expert in housing policy, markets, finance and urban development, as research director.

Herbert comes to Harvard after 13 years as a senior associate at Abt Associates, where he directed numerous studies for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In recent years, Herbert’s work has focused on efforts to promote and maintain homeownership for low-income and minority families. He has conducted research studies of federal and state homeownership programs and disparities in mortgage lending practices and residential foreclosure rates by income and race/ethnicity. 

Herbert has done work for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, AARP, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and NeighborWorks America.

Before joining Abt Associates in 1997, Herbert was a senior research analyst at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

“We are thrilled that Chris has agreed to rejoin the Joint Center team,” said Eric Belsky, the organization’s managing director. “With his unique background that has blended applied and scholarly research on a wide range of housing and urban issues, he is a natural fit to direct the center’s research programs.”

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