Dear State and Local Building Trades Leader:

It is no surprise that the GOP agenda in Washington, DC would be centered upon attacks on unions and important policies that protect workers from the worst types of abuse and exploitation.

One of the first acts undertaken by the new GOP majority in the U.S. House of Representatives was to remove the word “Labor” from the title of the Committee on Education and Labor.  It is now known as the Committee on Education and the Workforce.

On its website, the committee has unveiled its oversight priorities for this new Congress, which includes taking action against prevailing wage laws and federal project labor agreements.  Read all about it here. And that oversight has been couched in the phrase, “Opposing Washington’s Culture of Union Favoritism.” Here is the committee’s explanation:

Concerned citizens from across the country continue to express their frustration with business-as-usual in Washington. Far too often lobbyist loopholes and special interest deals are placed ahead of the nation’s best interest. Despite the public’s concern, Democrats in Washington are embracing a culture of union favoritism that stacks the deck in favor of union bosses and against rank-and-file workers.

Republicans will fight for a level playing field that enables all Americans to pursue opportunity and economic prosperity. As part of that effort, Republicans will oppose policies that strip workers of their right to a secret ballot in a union election, whether those policies are advanced in the halls of Congress or through decisions made behind closed doors by unelected bureaucrats. Republicans will also ensure labor bosses are held accountable to workers through strong enforcement of legal safeguards that are the first line of defense against union corruption.

Republican oversight will vigorously defend the rights and freedoms of all workers.

This type of misguided and misinformed thinking makes it all the more imperative for our building trades councils to engage all elected officials proactively and to paint for them a clear portrait that embodies the distinct differences between our business model and the “race to the bottom” business model.


Tom Owens

Director of Marketing and Communications