The Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD), with the support of the AFL-CIO and LIUNA, jointly released the findings of a first-ever state-by-state comparative analysis by of the Associated Builders and Contractors trade association, better known as the ABC.
“At a time when the construction industry is hurting and unemployment continues to be high, the ABC is spending millions a year to promote anti-union, anti-government policies that are putting America’s workforce at risk,” said Dr. Thomas J. Kriger, author of the report. “The ABC’s low road employment strategy may have produced short term gains for open shop contractors and construction users, but this strategy also produced negative consequences for the industry and society.”
Dr. Kriger earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the City University Graduate Center (New York). The courses he teaches include Comparative Research Methods, Senior Project and Senior Seminar.
“We’re calling on the ABC to come clean with its members, legislators and the press,” said Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. “It’s time to be honest about the agenda driving ABC’s anti-union efforts, and who is funding them.”
So what’s so bad about ABC?
The finding show that the ABC on behalf of its member organizations purposefully confuses elected officials, the public and the press through data manipulation and disinformation campaigns.
This results in support for policies that produce fewer jobs, lower wages, and minimal workforce training. These policies have had a negative effect on workers, their communities and the US construction industry as a whole.
Most surprisingly, Dr. Kriger discovered that despite the ABC’s claims of representing the construction industry:
- The ABC’s membership amounts to only 1% of all US construction businesses.
- A substantial number of the ABC’s membership is not related to the construction industry at all.
Steven Krone, DSc, PE, head of the Construction Management program at National Labor College, notes that ABC represents 1% of construction businesses and trains about 5% of the apprentices compared to the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO.
ABC believes more in the corporation and represents their interests for merit shops and non-membership in a labor organization. The BCTD believes in labor organizations and represents their interests for more training and a higher standard of living.
One way in which the Building Trades helps workers is to support NLC’s degree completion college program. Professor Krone notes that the average age of the student in the Construction Management program at NLC is 42. Many enroll to supplement their apprenticeship training with leadership and management skills.