From: "mgriffwzef" <>
Date: September 11, 2006

From The WarZone

Who is Destroying Prevailing Wage?

When you ask a question about organized labor these days, you seldom like the answer.  American labor, not just union labor, faces the most hostile climate in nearly a century. Sadly but surely, for ordinary workers, it is top leadership in nearly every union who seem hell bent on destroying the union movement and the gains that courageous workers bled and died for. The recent split in the AFL-CIO was not about any of the whines mentioned by labor's frauds, often mistakenly referred to as leaders, but about who had the power to keep selling out union workers while maintaining a lifestyle of absolute comfort corruption.

The first and most devious hack to bail out of the AFL-CIO was Douglas [CASH] McCarron, General President of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners [UBC].  In spite of complaints about organizing and the media's willingness to spread that fake gospel, the real issue was John Sweeney's [President of the AFL-CIO] unwillingness to set aside rules governing jurisdiction of work that kept the UBC from raiding the work of other skilled trades.  McCarron then found allies for his brand of unionism in the White House; hitching rides on Air Force One and inviting labor's most ardent enemy to UBC training facilities.  All of his actions were of course, without the approval of UBC members.  As criticism rose, McCarron defended his actions by claiming he had to suck up to Boy George to defend Davis-Bacon, the prevailing wage act, but to be fair, McCarron did not use the term "sucking up". Then again it may have benefited him after being caught up in the ULLICO insider trading scandal and gaining the support of the Secretary of Labor in his efforts gain absolute control of the UBC.

Three curious Davis Bacon issues have reared their ugly heads in the past few weeks.  US President, Karl Rove, sorry folks, I just can't see Bush even understanding so serious an issue, is now imposing executive orders that abolish Davis-Bacon requirements on contractors who are involved in work in the areas devastated by hurricane Katrina.  At the same time, Halliburton gets awarded a huge contract in the flooded area.  At a time when fair wages would do more good to bolster the economy in the disaster area than federal aid, it appears as if the only moneymakers will be the rich and devious. It is always good to have the President as an ally even when he doesn't know what planet he's on!

Across the country in California a solar energy bill being considered by state government has developed into a Davis-Bacon flap.  A bill that would put solar panels on one million homes in thirteen years is in jeopardy after some Democrats want prevailing wages paid to workers on non-commercial projects.  Opposing the bill is the director of the California Conference of Carpenters.  Why would the UBC be opposed to prevailing wage?  Could this bill threaten the sweetheart contracts that pay far less in the housing industry than on commercial and corporate projects?  Most certainly!  Hey! Were the UBC and if we want a race to the bottom that's our business.  We will work cheap and our employers never have to worry about union representation getting in the way of profits!  UBC signatory contractors have a right to treat our members any way they choose, just the way rat contractors do.

Nationally, the new Powerhouse Presidential Agreement has some very questionable provisions that may be affected by Davis-Bacon.  In this case, we are not talking about the incompetent President of the United States, but the incompetent presidents of the building trades unions.  Part of this agreement, which members had no say on, gives contractors the right to pay the wage workers receive in their home locals.  If the home local pays less than a job in another city, workers take the loss.  If workers make more in their home local, they will be making more than workers on the same job, doing the same work in the city where the job is.  Two Millwrights for example, could be working on the same machine with one making as much as ten dollars an hour less.  What happens if the project is funded with federal dollars?  Supposedly, this provision applies only to workers who travel full time with the contractor [steady Eddies]. But making the situation worse, is the right of the contractors to choose by name, the employees they want without regard for the out of work lists.  For union members, this contract can have far reaching implications and with the lack of representation in the UBC, members are pretty much at the mercy of the employers. To make it to the rank of Steady Eddy, you have to be willing to perform strange acts that are beyond human dignity.  Touching pee-pees with the bosses and other disgusting acts.

In this perfect dictatorship there is not much to look forward to.  Each time our misleaders "represent" us, life gets worse for us and we make less money.  For union members in the skilled trades today, the future remains bleak and the hope for a voice in union affairs is slipping away.  What the employers and a hostile government doesn't take from us, those who rule our unions with an iron fist, do!

Mike Griffin

Decatur IL