Members of the Reagan High School band stopped rush hour traffic yesterday in front of the federal building in Austin, Texas, along with hundreds of advocates, community leaders, families and construction workers, as they celebrated the Workers Defense Project’s (WDP's) biannual Day of the Fallen.
Steve Lehmann used to drive hundreds of miles each week shuttling around paperwork; now he flips back the cover of his iPad.
“Sometimes I’d drive an hour and 45 minutes from the office to the job site, then go back and forth with new blueprints,” Lehmann says. “That’s just a lot of time.”
Lehmann, an ironworker working as a project manager at Bennett Steel Inc. in Sapulpa, Okla., can access updated sets of blueprints or revised drawings on his tablet through a handful of apps—a big change in how paperwork is handled in the construction industry.
Frank Callahan, president of the Massachusetts Building Trades Council, sends us this open letter.
I am sure that many of you share my frustration at trying to sift through campaign commercials and talking points to find out where the candidates for president really stand on issues that are important to you. Part of the problem is Mitt Romney’s habit of changing his positions to suit his audience.
One thing he can’t change is his record. I had a front-row seat for Mitt Romney’s term as governor of Massachusetts. His positions and his actions on the issues that have a direct impact on building and construction trades workers were not good for our members.
This is a cross-post from Huffington Post's Spanish-language site Voces by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
Christian Hurtado’s story shows the potential of the new workers' rights movement. It's a story worth telling this month, days after we celebrated Labor Day and as we prepare to celebrate Latino Heritage Month.
When his father Angel died in a work-related accident in 2004, Christian's life took an unexpected turn. Christian, 29, and his family don’t know the exact details of the accident, which happened while his father, an independent construction worker, was doing work inside a small warehouse in Austin, Texas. Christian’s family was devastated, especially his mom Victoria.
Falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers and cause the second-highest number of injuries. A new interactive map marks fatal construction falls and graphically conveys what numbers alone cannot.
Few construction labor leaders have ever thought of Texas as an easy place to organize. The state legislature is controlled by a super majority of Republicans that are sternly anti-immigrant and anti-worker. Construction business interests have a firm grip on the legislature. The biggest Republican donor in the state is Bob Perry, of Perry Homes, one of the largest home builders in Texas. That is why the efforts of unions and community groups to reform the construction industry in the state are so significant.
William Plotner waited for his daughter’s second birthday to enroll in the military on Sept. 11, 2004—three years after the World Trade Center twin towers fell. He wanted his daughter to remember the significance of her birth date. But most of all, he wanted her to think of him as a hero. Now Plotner, a U.S. Army veteran and member of the Laborers (LIUNA) Local 79, is rebuilding the World Trade Center.
On 9-11-04 I swore in. And now I get to work here. It brings, like, another sense of pride.
The second phase of the Silver Line Metrorail project to Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia was nearly ready to move—but now it’s mired in a lot of noise over the proposed inclusion of a project labor agreement (PLA)—even though a PLA was used successfully on the first phase. Project labor agreements are pre-hire agreements between labor and management that require all construction jobs be filled by local workers, include diversity requirements, establish wages and work rules covering overtime, working hours and dispute resolution and ensure safety guidelines on the jobsite are enforced.
We asked economist Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), to expand upon recent reports that show a marked improvement in the nation’s jobs picture. In January, 243,000 jobs were created and unemployment dropped significantly for some of the hardest-hit workers. Baker’s intepretation of the data presents a still-mixed economic picture, but one bright point stands out clearly: President Obama’s support of the U.S. auto industry has been key to improving job creation for America’s workers. Be sure to pick up a copy of Baker’s latest book, The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive.