Remember the ABC?
Lots of us do. It’s the Virginia-based Associated Builders and Contractors, a trade association that has spent 60-plus years pushing its right-wing ideological vision of a construction industry with no unions—and construction workers with low wages and few benefits.
ABC describes itself as the “voice” of the construction industry and claims to represent firms employing nearly 2 million employees. Occasionally ABC has claimed to represent “80 percent of construction.” It also makes big-time claims about training.
But a new study tells the real story.
Released today by the National Labor College, “An Analysis of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)” is a detailed look at ABC’s history, membership and density, finances, training programs and advocacy by Labor Studies professor Thomas Kriger.
Some of the findings:
- The total number of ABC member-contractors amounts to only 1 percent of the total number of licensed or registered construction companies in the United States. The highest percentage represented in any state is only 6 percent.
- ABC’s revenue numbers put it in the middle ranks among trade groups.
- Labor-management training programs (JATCs) enroll far more apprentices than ABC programs. JATCs also train apprentices in a broader range of crafts, have better completion rates and have training agreements with many more signatory contractors.
In a way, ABC is a sort of Big Brother to the notorious ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. Corporate-driven, right-wing, anti-union…and bent on attacking working families.