The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, October 24, 2014

News Briefs

By The Building Tradesman

ABC and GOP should get a room 

The Associated Builders and Contractors is the arch-enemy of Michigan building trades unions, acting as the primary proponent for keeping industry wages low, while devoting scant resources to worker education and safety.

The ABC was a major proponent of the state’s right-to-work law, successfully lobbied Michigan legislators to end project labor agreements, and continue to ruthlessly pursue prevailing wage repeal.

If it’s true that you can know a person by the company he keeps, you can also know an organization by the lawmakers it endorses. The Michigan Chapter of the ABC has its endorsement list out for the Nov. 4 election – and, no surprise, it has endorsed Gov. Rick Snyder, Terry Lynn Land for U.S. Senate, and Bill Schuette for attorney general – among many other GOP candidates.

It’s true that there are only a handful of Republican candidates endorsed by the local councils of the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council. Michigan’s building trades leaders are making some progress reaching across the aisle to find common ground with Republican lawmakers, which has helped keep the state’s prevailing wage law from being repealed.

But there are zero – count ‘em, zero – Democratic candidates endorsed by the ABC in their 2014 Voters Guide, which is available online.

“Governor Snyder puts people before politics and is working hard to grow Michigan’s construction industry,” said Chris Fisher, ABC of Michigan president.  “He is the voice for construction that the Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan wants in Lansing.” Said Snyder about the ABC’s endorsement: “I’m proud to have earned the support of ABC of Michigan as I seek re-election. With their support I look forward to continuing to work for more and better jobs for Michigan’s construction community.”

Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council Legislative Director Patrick “Shorty” Gleason said the ABC’s single-party endorsement list was no surprise. “The ABC would never, ever, work with a Democrat, not for the betterment of the construction industry, not if their life depended on it,” he said. “Nothing they do, their endorsements, their policies, the legislation they promote – nothing is in the interests of working class people.”