Fat Cat dogs contractors who cheat the state

Fat Cat was back in Stamford Thursday, flashing a diamond ring on the pinky of one paw and choking a construction worker with the other.

The inflatable character is a mascot of The New England Regional Council of Carpenters, a group that fights for a higher standard of living for union and non-union workers in the trade, and calls for fair contracting.

At Park Square West, a 15-story, 209-unit apartment building going up on lower Summer Street, Fat Cat stood beside a large sign that read, “Are law-breaking contractors working here now?”

Fat Cat is a symbol of unscrupulous contractors who flaunt labor laws, undercut law-abiding competitors and cheat workers, said Ted Duarte, senior organizer for the council. The hard-hat with a paw around his neck represents not just construction workers “but the industry itself,” Duarte said.

Council members brought Fat Cat to Stamford Thursday to protest the activities of Intext Building Systems, a Glastonbury contractor working at Park Square West, a project of Boston developer Trinity Financial.

The council has been following Intext around the state, Duarte said.

“When we get numerous calls about the same contractor from workers on the job, we look at that contractor,” Duarte said. “That’s what happened with Intext. The complaints got more and more frequent.”

It began with the construction site of the University of Connecticut’s $32 million basketball practice facility in Storrs.