Rarely has a Journal cover expressed the tenor of the times as tersely as this issue’s. The strength of purpose on the faces of the members of Local 1 Maryland/Virginia/D.C. in the photograph fairly jumps off the page, as does the paramount message on their posters: Good Jobs Now.
Jobs are the first and foremost concern of members across the U.S. (fortunately, for our Canadian members, the employment outlook there is more positive) and continue to be the principal focus of Local officers and the IU Executive Board. Even in the face of a stalled economy and grinding political gridlock (see “Jobs Bill Update,” page 3), BAC leaders are leaving ‘no stone unturned’ to create work opportunities for our members. One such example is a new program just launched by the International Union for U.S. members who are interested in working on projects in Canada where the demand for workers could exceed the supply of available Canadian members (see article, page 10).
Another area that could be a source of significant BAC work hours is retrofitting existing buildings in seismically sensitive areas east of the Mississippi River. In the wake of the August 23rd earthquake that took major portions of the eastern U.S. by surprise, I have met with officials at all levels to urge a serious review of their seismic retrofit needs now, rather than wait until the consequences are more dire. (We’ll have more on this topic in a future Journal).
Locals/ADCs are also in hot pursuit of job leads and new contractors. After months of exchanges, Local 1 Delaware/Pennsylvania signed Mara Restoration (story on page 7), a win-win outcome for all involved and for that area’s Union restoration market. And thanks to a media blitz initiated by Local 5 Oklahoma/Arkansas/Texas, school construction in Oklahoma that was previously being awarded to fly-by-night, out-of-state contractors is being performed once again by BAC contractors and Local 5 members (see article, page 6).
In recent weeks, the emergence of the Occupy Wall Street movement has been a public reminder of the impact that the rising concentration of wealth and income inequality on our political system and job creation policies. It has also made me appreciate even more our strong union traditions, such as fighting for what’s ours, a belief that together we can achieve what we can’t do alone, and what it means to be a part of an organization in which compassion and caring run deep. The labor movement has a great deal to share with this evolving group, and we welcome the voice and energy it brings to the international dialogue on the economic realities of our time.
We encourage you to share a special story about a job you worked on or what being a BAC member means to you or to your family. Be sure to include a photograph. Please send by mail or email to:
620 F Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20004