The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, April 13, 2012


By The Building Tradesman

BCTD President Mark Ayers passes

The building trades mourn the passing of AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) President Mark Ayers, who died suddenly on April 8, 2012.

Mr. Ayers, 63, had served as building trades president since 2007. He previously had been director of construction and maintenance for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Sean McGarvey has been serving alongside Mr. Ayers as secretary-treasurer of the department. A statement from the BCTC said: “Although our hearts are heavy today, our spirits are lifted by virtue of the unsullied legacy of a working man who was grounded and guided to his core through the values that were instilled in him during this upbringing in Peoria, Illinois. Mark Ayers was a true trade unionist in every sense of the word, and it was through that commitment to bettering the lives of working families that he was able to offer so much to his country, his family, and the labor movement.

Mr. Ayers’s most recent announcement on March 23 said that President Obama was set to address some 3,000 attendees at the BCTD national legislative conference on April 30 in Washington, D.C.

Funeral arrangements and survivor information were pending at press time.

Wage hikes remain anemic in U.S.

Construction industry wage settlements in 2012 in the U.S. showed average first-year wage increases of 1.7 percent through, compared to 1.6 percent in the same period last year.

That information comes via Bloomberg BNA, with settlements reflected through March 5. The group said the average increase for manufacturing agreements during that period was 2 percent, vs. 2.2 percent in 2011.

Wage and benefit increases continue to be anemic compared to levels before the Great Recession hit in 2008. And wages/benefits are also not keeping up with the 2.8 percent inflation rate.

Support sought for electrician’s daughter

The family of IBEW Local 58 Charles McGinnis humbly requests your help with the burial of his daughter Abreeya and her best friend Ashley. Both girls were recently kidnapped and brutally murdered.

Ashley Conaway and Abreeya Brown were kidnapped on Tuesday, Feb. 28. The women were taken at gunpoint at 10 p.m. in front of their home in Hamtramck. They were forced into the trunk of a silver Concorde or Sebring. They were found in a shallow grave on March 25.

The family is grateful for the community’s prayers and support. Any financial assistance will help the family get through this difficult time. An account has been set up to help the family. Checks can be made out to the “Charles McGinnis Family Fund,” and mailed or brought to IBEW Local 58, 1358 Abbott St, Detroit MI 48226. Call Mary at Local 58 with any questions, (313) 963-2130 ext. 3023.