Baltimore Contractor: “We’d Have to Shut Our Doors”

0 March 23, 2010  State & Local Construction, Uncategorized

Big Labor and their allies on the Baltimore City Council have introduced their legislation to require community partnership agreements (Wasteful and discriminatory project labor agreements by another name) on construction projects with over $5 million in city support.

Numerous contractors and their employees marched on City Hall yesterday to protest the introduction of this bill.

Here is an excerpt from The Baltimore Sun’s coverage (“Baltimore Contractors Protest Labor Bill,” 3/22) of the event:

“If this bill goes through, we would not be able to work,” said Pless B. Jones Sr., president of the Maryland Minority Contractors Association, who heads a general contracting company in Baltimore with 75 employees. “It’ll cost everybody more just to subsidize the unions, and I don’t think that’s right.”

Another local contractor, Kisha Morsley of K-1 Improvements, a company she founded six months ago and which employs five workers, said that if the bill were to pass, “We’d have to shut our doors.”

“They’re trying to stop small, minority business owners like myself from getting county and state contracts, and are giving them all to the union workers,” she said. “We’re already struggling.”

But supporters of the bill, dozens of whom staged a rally outside City Hall just before the opponents’ trucks began their own noisy protest, said it would mean a bounty of opportunity.

“Our goal is to change this into a movement to put people back to work in Baltimore City,” said Jayson T. Williams, director of the Get Baltimore Working campaign and a legislative director for the Laborers International Union of North America.

How many people are put to work if employers are forced to close their doors?  Just asking.

WBAL TV also covered the story.  The video and text of the story (“Contractors Oppose Councilman’s Jobs Proposal,” 3/22) are available here.

Additional coverage of this story is available here.

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