We the members of District Council 51 believe that organization and collective action is necessary to foster and adopt ways and means for continuous improvement of the working and living standards of all workers.
Thirty years ago construction workers in our country were the best paid and best treated workers in the world. Today we are not. Unfair contractors, wealthy real estate developers, and big business have conspired to undermine the proper place of hard working people like yourself in today's economy. The present contracting practices in our industry have stripped all workers of wage increases that help them keep pace with the cost of living. Many have been denied wage increases while others have suffered pain staking cuts. Health care is no longer considered a necessity, not to mention, retirement pensions. All these benefits were once considered essential to the total well being of a worker and his family, but now are considered to expensive for most employers to pay in order to continue to stay competitive within today's market place.
These present contracting practices have affected union and non-union workers alike. Workers are afraid to ask for a raise or in many cases have been willing to accept what an employer will pay or be faced with being replaced by another that is hungry enough to sacrifice everything in order to get or keep a job. Because of these practices union market share and bargaining strength has greatly decreased. If we continue our present plight the construction industry will have nothing to offer an individual that would have ordinarily considered entering the trades as an honorable means by which to provide for one's self and family. Without legitimate changes real soon the standards the union fought so hard to establish will be gone forever.
Regardless of what you may think of the union you cannot deny that it is the union that established the very standards that insure life and limb. The union fought to protect workers rights and establish safe working conditions. The union has constantly worked to improve workers wages and benefits, to maintain a respectable standard of living and to provide for the total well being of a worker and his family.