The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, August 12, 2011


By The Building Tradesman

Mark your calendar: celebrate Labor Day

Labor Day events are scheduled around Michigan on Monday, Sept. 5. Make plans to celebrate Labor’s Day in your area.

Following are worker-related events in various locales in Michigan:

Detroit: For the building trades, a line of march on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5, will proceed as usual east along Michigan Avenue towards Campus Martius downtown. The building trades will line up before the parade, as usual, along Trumbull Avenue south of Michigan Avenue. The parade will start at 9 a.m. The theme: “Labor and Community: We are one.”

Participants will be led by the Elevator Constructors Local 36 and Heat and Frost Insulators Local 25, which are both celebrating 100-year anniversaries this year.

Other unions will march down Woodward from the Cultural Center to Campus Martius.

Grand Rapids: For the third year the Grand Rapids Labor Fest will be held at Ah-Nab-Awen Park near the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum, off of Pearl Street, one block east of U.S. 131. The day’s events will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Labor Day around the “Spirit of Solidarity” monument in the park.

Activities include free admission to the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum, live music, food vendors and a beer tent, kids’ activities, labor displays and an antique American-made car and motorcycle show.

Ishpeming: The 21st annual Labor Day festival will be held on Sept. 5, with a parade starting at 11 a.m. The parade starts and ends at the Cliff’s Shaft Museum and goes from Euclid to Main to Division and then comes back to the museum via Lakeshore Drive. A picnic will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Events are sponsored by the Marquette County Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

Muskegon: The West Michigan United Labor Day Parade will start at 11 a.m. The staging area will be at the end of Clay Ave. Parking for parade participants will take place at Heritage Landing.

The parade will end at Seventh St. and Western Ave. A solidarity luncheon for union parade participants will take place afterward at Heritage Landing. Food tickets are $3.75 each.

St. Ignace: The annual five-mile walk over the Mackinac Bridge begins at 7 a.m. on Labor Day. Walkers are allowed to start until 11 a.m.  The walk starts in St. Ignace, and shuttle buses ($5) are available for the return trip from Mackinaw City.The Labor Day Bridge walk brings more than 70,000 people to the area.


Moderate hikes in ’11for wages/benefits

Collective bargaining settlements reported between January and June of this year resulted in an average first-year wage-and-benefits increase of $0.98 or 1.9 percent, according to the Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC) via the Associated General Contractors.

This average is up from the $0.55 or 1.1 percent average reported at the same time last year but still significantly lower than the $1.49 or 3.1 percent average reported two years ago.  As reported in CLRC’s latest Wage and Benefit Settlements Report, nine percent of year-to-date settlements included no increase at all in first-year wages and benefits, as compared to nearly a quarter of settlements at this time last year.

About 45 percent of settlements reported so far this year were for only a one-year duration.  Among those for multi-year terms, the most common duration is three years, with an average second-year increase of $1.36 or 2.5 percent, and an average third-year increase of $1.58 or 2.7 percent.  This compares to an average second-year increase  of $0.69 or 1.6 percent, and an average third-year increase of $1.01 or 2.2 percent reported during the same period last year.

The report covers 75 settlements, including 48 from the East North Central Region, which covers Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.   “Variation among the regions has been modest so far this year,” the CLRC reported.