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Union Puts Giant Rat Outside Church

JOLIET, Ill. (WBBM) - A giant inflatable rat has appeared outside the fire-damaged Westminster Presbyterian Church in Joliet.

As WBBM Newsradio 780's Mike Krauser reports, the rat is a protest by the Roofers Union.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780's Mike Krauser Reports

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Church pastor Rev. Matt Robinson says the church, at 1015 Winthrop Ave. in Joliet, has union and non-union workers involve in the rebuilding effort. But when they failed to get union roofers, the rat showed up.

Robinson saould like he was taking it in stride, recalling what a church member said: "That rat might be our church mouse's cousin for all we know."

But, he says, "They've got a big rat out in front of my church, and oh golly."

The rat is big and yellow, with a "snaggle-toothed face." And some members of the church are uncomfortable, Robinson said.

"Some of my people are a little scared," he said.

The church congregation is made up of working people, not bigshots with deep pockets. Robinson says he can't understand why the union chose to put up the rat outside the church.

So Robinson responded with a sign of his own.

"Our sign says 'Union or Rat, God Loves All," he said.

As for the people who put up the rat, Robinson says they said, "They're just following orders, so I kind of feel for them too."

No one was available from the Roofers' Union Thursday.

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