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Aug
2012
30

New GOP Platform Seeks to Abolish PLAs and Davis-Bacon, Institute “Right-to-Work” Nationally



Frankly, I’m shocked. Shocked at the audacity and recklessness of the new GOP party platform despite scouring links and stories and opinions by the hundreds daily that indicate the extremity of the party’s leaders. The GOP has gone above and beyond their established levels of zeal and one-sidedness with their radical new party platform. Here’s how Salon contributor Josh Eidelson describes it:

It’s also a full-on embrace of the same anti-union agenda that helped earn Scott Walker and Nikki Haley their Tuesday night speaking slots. The new platform reflects a Republican Party even more hostile to organized labor than the one that nominated John McCain four years ago.

On labor-specific issues, which the new platform makes pains to confront with impunity, the sweeping nature of anti-worker policies is abhorrent. On “Right-to-Work”:

The 2008 platform affirmed “the right of states to enact Right-to-Work laws” in the same breath as the right of workers to bargain collectively. In contrast, the 2012 version “encourage[s]” states to pass such laws, and endorses “the enactment of a National Right-to-Work law to promote worker freedom and to promote greater economic liberty.”

Worker freedom! Positively Orwellian! How about on Project Labor Agreements and Davis-Bacon laws:

The new platform also takes a more hostile stance towards construction unions, demanding “an end to the Project Labor Agreements” and “repeal of the Davis-Bacon Act.” Both PLAs and Davis-Bacon establish wage standards for construction projects, making it easier for contractors that use union labor to compete with cheaper non-union contractors for work.

As the latter affects the construction industry, Building and Construction Trades Department (AFL-CIO) President Sean McGarvey was forced to issue an immediate rebuke of the GOP platform. It is a complicated matter for McGarvey since on multiple occasions dozens of Republicans have supported the Building Trades and done exactly the opposite of what the Tampa resolution desires.

McGarvey’s statement:

After reading their 2012 party platform, I can only conclude that the fundamental goals of the Republican Party are detrimental to the interests of our members.

The 2012 Republican Platform demands an end to project labor agreements, calls for repeal of the Davis-Bacon Act and reaffirms that the national Republican Party is not interested in promoting public policy that helps build and sustain job opportunities for building trades members or promote effective local standards in the construction industry.

I appreciate that the platform contains language regarding infrastructure, and energy development, but I am having difficulty with their commitment to rebuild America when the House Republican leadership advances a budget plan that would have cut funding for transportation by 30 percent; the House leadership failed to produce a bipartisan surface transportation bill, and the platform contains inaccurate language regarding Davis-Bacon, an issue that has enjoyed strong, bipartisan congressional support for several years.

With unacceptable levels of unemployment, the Republican platform also fails to offer realistic solutions to our broken immigration system and includes an absurd notion to launch a new guest worker program, and continues the failed free trade policies of the past that have gutted our manufacturing base and eroded jobs for our members.

We are pleased with the support we have had over the years from some members of the Republican Party that see the value in maintaining local standards through prevailing wage statures and seek greater efficiencies and certainty on construction projects through the application of Project Labor Agreements. But, as the men and women who “Build It” in America, our members will not be deceived by a national party that seeks to repeal our essential policy priorities and now seeks to distract voters with divisive and polarizing issues. Our members and indeed all Americans expect leadership, not pandering to the most extreme elements of any political party.

For more disappointment in the GOP platform, Google pretty much anything.

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One Comment on “New GOP Platform Seeks to Abolish PLAs and Davis-Bacon, Institute “Right-to-Work” Nationally”

  1. […] the GOP’s fiercely anti-union party platform, some socially conservative members of Building Trades unions may still be tempted to vote against […]

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