2013 Monthly Columns From President Robbie Hunter

A Tale of Two States: California -- Michigan

January 2013 - This is a tale of two states - California and Michigan - that illustrates how unity and effort affect elections, and how elections affect the workers’ futures and quality of life for their families. (Read More)

Building Trades Sets Up Ambitious 2013 Agenda

December 2102 - When all the ballots were finally counted from the November 6 election, it was clear that because of the incredible tenacity and unity of California's building trades workers, we had earned greater success at the polls than we could have imagined. Now, we face the challenge of parlaying 2012's election victories into policy accomplishments in 2013 and beyond that will enrich workers' quality of life for years to come. (Read More)

First they Deregulated the Savings and Loan Industry, Then They Deregulated Wall Street

March 2013 - First they deregulated the savings and loan industry, then they deregulated Wall Street and the California electric grid - now they want to deregulate CEQA and they want you to pick up the tab. Today in Sacramento, big business is waging a war to deregulate the California Environmental Quality Act, commonly known as CEQA. How does this affect California working families? (Read More)

Evidence Grows that CEQA is Good for Working Californians

April 2013 - Since last month, the evidence has grown ever more convincing that California Building Trades workers, and working people from all walks of life, benefit from the safeguards and regulations that CEQA ensures them. (Read More)

SB 7 Will End Loophole to Avoid paying Prevailing Wage

May 2013 - SB 7 Will End the Charter Cities' Loophole to Avoid Paying Prevailing Wage. Of my predecessor Bob Balgenorth's many great legacies from his 19 years as State Building Trades president, one of the most remarkable was his relentless fight for workers on public works projects to earn prevailing wage. (Read More)

How's this for a racket?

June 2013 - Workers' Pay Should Not Fund ABC Sham Labor Compliance Committees. Anti-union contractors deduct earnings from workers' paychecks. They use the money to fund committees that falsely claim to be about labor compliance, but actually exist solely to further the anti-union contractors' political interests. Then they claim that expense as a fringe benefit to the worker, which they use to reduce the amount they are legally required to pay the worker under California's prevailing wage law. (Read More)

Prevailing Wage: Moving Forward in California, Backward in Other States

July 2013 - In the 2013 legislative session, the State Building Trades is moving forward with a wide-ranging package of legislation, much of which expands and protects construction workers' rights to earn the prevailing wage on public works projects. (Read More)

Anti-Worker Interests Trying to Use the Federal Government to Attack California Workers

August 2013 - I've written in this space in the past about the widening differences between California and other states where business and the Republican Party have taken complete control. How we are moving forward when other states are moving backward. (Read More)

Californians Elect Officeholders Who Care About Workers, And the Results are Good

September 2013 - California's Building Trades workers have taken elections seriously in recent years, and have worked exceptionally hard to elect candidates who care about workers, their families, and a better quality of life for the middle class. (Read More)

Workers' Combined Pennies Fight Billionaires' Efforts to Silence Workers

October 2013 - Through all my years as an Ironworker, I made regular contributions to our political action committee. My contribution was at first three, and then five cents per hour. I contributed those pennies every hour of every day that I worked to support our cause. So did my brothers and sisters in our trade, and all the workers in all the Building Trades affiliates. Working in unity, all of us combined our pennies together for a common purpose, into enough dollars to fight effectively for a decent quality of life for workers. (Read More)

Public Works Projects Before Prevailing Wage: We Must Never Go Back

November 2013 - Any discussion of the merits of paying prevailing wage on public works projects should start with a look at the way things were done before there was prevailing wage; and should then ask if things have gotten better. (Read More)

Prevailing Wage Under Attack; The Usual Tools of Choice: Lies, Greed, Misinformation & Bogus Studies

December 2013 - Prevailing wage is under attack again, and workers' enemies are dragging out an old tool chest of lies, greed and deception to try to destroy it in the states of Michigan and Kentucky, in an effort to join other states that in the last few decades have removed prevailing wage. (Read More)

That's Enough Gridlock; Time to End the Two-Thirds Vote Threshold for Tax Measures

February 2012 - California's election rules are rigged in favor of failure, and one of the Building Trades top priorities for 2013 will be to realign those rules to make them more fair, just and productive. (Read More)

Unity Among the Trades is Crucial For Advancing Workers' Causes

November 2012 - This is my first monthly column since delegates to our quadrennial convention in Santa Monica in October chose me to be the new President of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California. I am grateful for the confidence placed in me by those working men and women. (Read More)

Print this Page