Author Topic: Construction Workers Unite Against Union Busters  (Read 34 times)

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Richard Mellor

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Construction Workers Unite Against Union Busters
« on: November 24, 2017, 06:00:08 PM »
Construction Workers Unite Against Union Busters

We share this post from MyNewYork by construction worker Tafadar Sourov for the interest of our readers. Sharing this account does not mean Facts For Working People Blog endorses Project Labor Agreements. We have not taken a collective position on them. Speaking for myself personally I do not endorse PLA's.  I need to know more about them. What concerns me is that these agreements most often contain no strike clauses and also strengthen the Team Concept through management/labor committees on the job that can undermine regular union rules and independent and militant rank and file union power.

Also, the vast number of unionized construction workers, in the skilled trades anyway, are most likely white workers and the percentage of unionized workers continues to decline. The real issue for me it seems is to organize the unorganized and mobilize the potential power of organized labor and the working class in general to force employers (or the state) to accept union contracts, which means unionized sites through hiring hall practices, not independent, temporary deals between contractors (or the state) and construction unions on individual projects.  Similar to the restaurant industry that abandoned small enterprises for the big hotels, the union leadership in the building and construction trades have abandoned residential as a bad business decision while using political clout for publicly funded projects. This is my understanding of it although for the last 30 years of my working life I worked in the public sector.
 
I confess that I do not know enough about PLA's, I am just expressing my views as they are at the moment. I am open to hearing all sides. In the meantime we thank Tafadar Sourov for sharing these developments with Facts For Working People. R Mellor.

Construction Workers Unite in Protest Against Union Busting Tactics of Related Companies

                     
           
          Construction Workers Unite in Protest Against Union Busting Tactics of Related Companies   
                   
 
11/20/17
By: Tafadar Sourov
 
After working a long day, many construction workers met at 34th  street Hudson Yards yesterday afternoon. Despite the cold around a  hundred workers showed up, some from the Hudson Yards construction  sites. They stood behind a large banner that says #CountMeIn as part of a  growing movement against the union busting tactics of the developer,  Related Companies.
 
?Everywhere we go, people want to know

Who we are, so we tell them
We are the unions, the mighty mighty unions!?
 
The protest was to appeal to the workers on the Hudson Yards  construction sites to reject the turkeys that related was offering for  Thanksgiving. The rallying workers spoke about how with a Project Labor  Agreement (which would ensure union labor be used for the development),  workers could afford their own turkeys for the holiday season.
 
During the rally, one of the organizers, Bernard Callegari inspired a  huge round of applause when he announced that less than a hundred  workers had shown up to take turkeys (there were 1800 turkeys in total);  most of them ended up donated theirs to charity on the spot.

Related is a $50 billion company, and they have raised $18 billion  for the Hudson Yards redevelopment. The largest construction project in  North America, it will transform 28 acres of Midtown Manhattan into  residential, retail, and commercial space while creating tens of  thousands of jobs.

The concern of union workers is that this project will set a major  precedent against unions for the future of work in New York. The danger  is enough that rank and file workers have been mobilizing every week to  protest Related. A thousand workers from across the building trades  rallied at Hudson Yards last week to condemn Related for attempting to  set unions against each other, and exploiting their employees who are  working below the value of what their labor is worth without a Project  Labor Agreement.
 
Whether or not the Hudson Yards is built union will be a tipping  point in the growing trend of open shops (jobs where non union can be  hired alongside union labor) in this city. With recent collapsing  scaffolds injuring bystanders and disturbingly high death tolls on non  union jobs over the last few years, the demand to unionize the Hudson  Yards takes on a larger meaning. The union cause is about the safety and  livelihood of all working people
 
The movement will continue, with the next rally scheduled for 6AM on Wednesday November 22 at 34th st and 10th ave.
 
Tafadar Sourov a long time community organizer from The Bronx, and a rank and file activist of Laborers Local 79.

Source: Construction Workers Unite Against Union Busters