Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Steps Unions Must Take

To build our trade unions up we must get more jobs, which means more hours and then we can expand our unions by encouraging non-union shops to join unions and creating jobs for new apprentices. We have a process to do this and one way is the Project Labor Agreements and tools that are helping with this are the prevailing wage laws, which must be supported by certifying pay rolls. The other is ensuring that responsible contract language (RCL) is written into an agency’s bylaws. RCL means a government entity does not have to accept the lowest bid for work done. This takes people, time and knowledge of labor laws and politics. Prevailing wage jobs just about put us on an even ground with non-union contracts, and if we can take the government jobs from non-union shops this will weaken them in private bidding for their workers depend on the highest prevailing wages. If we keep them from getting these wages this opens the door to organizing non-union shops or taking their workers as new members. In order to accomplish this, labor must have someone at every meeting that is considering measures having to do with work or a law about work, building, grants or any commission hearing on construction work. All this depends on more work, more hours, more members, more dues and more people power. Unions cannot afford to lose any more ground in the fight against corporate greed and people voting against their own best interests.