Construction Unions Pull Together
Justin McBride of national AFL-CIO called North Texas Jobs with Justice a few weeks back. He said that the Sheet Metal Workers and the Painters Union needed help in opposing a merger between Pulte Homes and Centex construction, which is headquartered in Dallas.
On August 18, several Ironworkers and I found them in Pike's Park on Harry Hines Street. They gathered around Robert Masciola of the AFL-CIO Organizing Department. They had about 30 people. Ironworker Adrian Flores showed us where the Centex building was. They put up their banners and gathered around outside the building while Masciola went inside to tell the shareholders they were not getting a good deal. TV reporters began showing up. Then, we were surprised and pleased to see a large group of 18 people from the Laborer's International Union come to join us. Now, we had four construction unions plus Jobs with Justice. That's pretty good for Dallas, where cooperation between unions on anything besides politics is hard to come by.
I started interviewing people for my KNON radio show the following Monday. They were really good people to work with. Michael Martin of the Ironworkers is working to get more of this kind of cooperation. As federal stimulus money becomes available for construction projects, it will take a lot of cooperation to keep all the new jobs from being low-wage crummy jobs. Pulling together is what Jobs with Justice is all about, so this trend is really welcome.
Mike Martin says that Dallas has more new construction projects than any city! He wants Jobs with Justice to help him put together more cooperation among unions and other groups.