“I certainly admit going in with an attitude of let’s-see-what-this-is-about,” Johnson & Johnson Vice President Donald Bohn says about cooperating with labor unions. “It turns out we have a lot more in common than you might think.”
And that’s why, about four years ago, Johnson & Johnson joined the Pharmaceutical Industry Labor-Management Association (PILMA), a growing coalition of pharmaceutical industry giants and the major building trades unions. Its goal is to foster good jobs in the domestic pharmaceutical industry while increasing access to affordable medicines.
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.
The Atlanta/North Georgia Building Trades Council and STAND-UP, a nonprofit "Think and Act Tank for working communities" have partnered to create Trade-Up, a pre-apprenticeship program. Trade-Up addresses a critical gap in the regional labor force. Despite the fact that unemployment in Atlanta building trades remains mired in double digits, the aging construction workforce is leading to shortages of workers in specific trades. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that through the remainder of this decade, employment openings will come mainly from the replacement of retiring workers on existing jobs, not from new jobs created by economic growth. Skills linked to apprenticeships and other forms of on-the-job training are expected to be among the fastest-growing categories of employment. Apprenticeships are an efficient way to address the paradoxical imbalance between increasing market demand for specialized trade skills in an environment otherwise plagued by high unemployment and declining labor force participation.
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.
New members were elected to the AFL-CIO Executive Council this morning. Sean McGarvey, president of the Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD), will fill the seat of former President Mark Ayers, and Laura Reyes, secretary-treasurer for AFSCME, will fill the seat of retiring AFSCME President Gerry McEntee. AFSCME President Lee Saunders was named chair of the Executive Council Political Committee.
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 Tappan Zee Bridge in New York will be replaced through a union-public-sector partnership involving 14 building trades labor bodies and the New York State Thruway, a project that will create thousands of family-supporting jobs and save taxpayers $452 million.
President Obama had a question for the delegates to the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department’s (BCTD) annual legislative conference in Washington, D.C.
What’s a better way to make our economy stronger? Giving another tax break to every millionaire and billionaire in the country? Or building the roads and bridges and broadband networks that will help our businesses sell more goods around the world?
Sean McGarvey, who has served as secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) since 2005, was elected president today by the BCTD’s Governing Board of Presidents. He succeeds Mark H. Ayers who died April 8.
Tributes continue to come in for Mark Ayers, president of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD), who died unexpectedly April 8 at age 63. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka calls Ayers an “extraordinary leader and friend.”