Protesters gather again Friday at entrance to Merrimack outlets

Protesters were back on Industrial Drive in Merrimack on Friday morning, bringing to light what they say was a broken promise to local tradesmen and laborers.

The protesters represent trade unions for carpenters, electricians, pipe fitters and others. They say the developer of the Merrimack Premium Outlets promised jobs to local workers, then turned around and hired workers from other states.

The developer, Premium Outlets/Simon, of New Jersey, said the bidding process for work was open and that it worked with unions from the beginning.

The outlets, with more than 100 stores, are scheduled to open June 14.

Police responded to the protests Friday morning on a complaint that demonstrators were blocking traffic. Police asked the protesters to move from standing on a traffic island at the entrance of site and directed them to a position east of the entrance.

On Thursday, protesters arrived at 5 a.m. and left the area by 11 a.m.

– PATRICK MEIGHAN