A Stadium Labor Agreement That Works
As leaders of a union whose District affiliate, Local 657, is predominantly African American, we take issue with the Capitol Area Minority Contractors and Business Association's protest against the project labor agreement for the Washington Nationals' new stadium ["Workers Protest Lack of Jobs for City Residents," District Briefing, Dec. 5].
To secure more than 90 percent of the stadium project's construction apprenticeships for D.C. residents was a great achievement, putting dozens of the District's working people on a path to family-supporting careers in the union construction trades. While a few workers demonstrated the other day, several times that number have been employed building the stadium at any given time.
It is richly ironic that a "minority contractors' association" is leading the charge on this issue -- backed as it is by members of the big-money, anti-union Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). This group opposes set-asides that enable minority contractors to get started, and anti-labor ABC contractors pay significantly lower wages than their union competitors. The issue is career opportunities for District residents, and there, the project labor agreement is batting .900 -- a darn good figure.
Laborers' Local 657