Don't Drink the Tea. Think With the WE.
Oct
2012
9

BCTD Prez: “Our productivity and workmanship allow us to achieve ‘on time and on budget’ results, while also providing family-sustaining wages that benefit the workers and their communities.”



It’s rare that the Wall Street Journal puts the pro-labor perspective in plain view in their pages, so we figure “hey, why not give them some extra shine for it” when they do. Below find an op-ed from Building and Construction Trades Department (AFL-CIO) President Sean McGarvey titled “Construction Trades do Add Value”. It appeared in the October 8th print edition.

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I would somewhat agree with Holman Jenkins that in the pro-football standoff, the referees association won “largely because—get this—it brings value” to the league (“What Labor Could Learn From NFL Refs,” Business World, Sept. 29). But then Mr. Jenkins goes on to yearn for “a world in which unions prosper the way all of us prosper—by bringing value to the table.”

I can’t speak for the teachers unions that Mr. Jenkins so gleefully criticizes, but our America’s Building Trades Unions and signatory contractors invest upward of $1 billion annually in the training and development of the safest, most highly skilled and productive workforce known to man. Our productivity and workmanship allow us to achieve “on time and on budget” results, while also providing family-sustaining wages that benefit the workers and their communities.

We also work with our customers to create apprenticeships and career training for people living in historically disadvantaged communities. We’re the proud sponsors of the “Helmets to Hardhats” program that assists transitioning military veterans with gaining jobs and career training opportunities in the construction industry. To date, we have placed tens of thousands of military veterans in jobs and apprenticeship programs all across America. Not to mention our unions also operate the most stringent drug and alcohol testing program in the industry and have instituted “codes of excellence” and “codes of conduct” for our members.

Mr. Jenkins should compare and contrast our value proposition to that of the “race to the bottom” model advocated by nonunion contractor associations and the Journal. It’s a business model wholly predicated on achieving success and winning bids by assembling the cheapest, most exploitable and vulnerable workforce possible.

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