Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary Dave Wondolowoski joined America’s Work Force Radio on July 9 to talk about the need to elect leaders who support the building trades and their issues.
Wondolowski and AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc discussed the situation in Tennessee, which has been a So-Called “Right to Work” state for over 70 years and has weak Prevailing Wage laws. Over the years, the state’s elected officials have eroded union rights, which in turn hurts the construction industry.
Nashville is currently in the midst of a building boom and a vast majority of the work has been going to non-union contractors, who do not pay their employees livable wages, do not offer health or retirement benefits and do not provide needed safety equipment or job training. Combined, these factors have led to a major workforce shortage.
Over the past two years, two International Unions have undertaken organizing campaigns in Nashville, which has not only increased the size of the union workforce, but also raised the average hourly rate from $11 to $20.
Wondolowski cautioned that if Ohioans elect a majority of anti-union legislators, they could hurt the construction industry in the Buckeye state just like politicians in Tennessee have severely damaged their construction industry. While Ohio’s union construction industry has worked to build bi-partisan support in both chambers, there are still politicians looking to make Ohio a So-Called “Right to Work” state, repeal Prevailing Wage and restrict the right to collectively bargain.
Besides political talk, Wondolowski discussed the building boom in Greater Cleveland. The work outlook is strong for the remainder of the year and there is a need for additional journeymen in all trades.
Click here to listen to the entire interview, including Wondolowski’s thoughts on the need to recruit apprentices.