Saturday, July 10, 2010

Majority of Bay State Construction Workers Shut out of $750 Million UMass Project- With Gov. Patrick's Blessing

Approximately 80% of the construction workforce in Massachusetts is non-union, according to data from the US Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the non-profit Merit Construction Alliance.

With that in mind, the $750 Million UMass Boston Project Labor Agreement recently approved by the University of Massachusetts Building Authority included a stipulation that all participating contractors must use union labor.
Supporters of the Project Labor Agreement approved by the University of Massachusetts Building Authority board this week, including the administration of Gov. Deval Patrick, say it guarantees a higher quality workforce and eliminates the risk of strikes
Correct me if I'm mistaken, but weren't they saying the same thing about the famously on-time, under-budget and 100% safe Big Dig?

I guess the most obvious question is 'Where did the Commonwealth get $750 million all of a sudden?'. I'm not too surprised that Gov. 'Cadillac' Patrick would shut out more than 3/4 of the construction workers in the Bay state as an election year favor to some unions. After refusing to backtrack from comments made last year accusing Cambridge, MA police Sargent James Crowley of racial profiling as well as cutting officers' pay and benefits, Patrick can't really count on the support of police unions this year.

The Boston Business Journal put it best, describing the UMass set-aside union-only contract as 'a tribute to Patrick's 2010 re-election bid'.

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