Friend or Fraud? It’s All In The Vote by Chris Brennan

 In News, Newsletter: Summer '19

Business and politics go hand in hand. Public work is the bread and butter of many of our contractors, and prevailing wage law protections are the only thing standing between success and failure. We have fought hard to make sure Massachusetts maintains some of strongest pro-labor laws in the country. The Union leaders and legislators who came before us laid the groundwork for our state to be the most labor-friendly, progressive state in the union. But that fight is not behind us. It is continuing right now. We are, and must continue to be, in that fight every day.

Time and again, both Union-endorsed candidates and candidates who are not Union-endorsed claim to represent the working class. But time and again, those elected officials have failed us when it’s time to vote. We will hear, “the votes just weren’t there,” or, “we are just not educated enough on these issues.”

Over the course of decades, representatives in government have stripped away all of the yeoman’s work of the New Deal that helped make the working class of this country the most revered in the entire world. When legislators put big business and an anti-union agenda ahead of family-sustaining jobs, pensions, healthcare, and safety, we cannot sit on our hands and hope they do better next time.

Recently, Lowell, Massachusetts has been ground zero for a fight over supporting workers. The city is about to embark on the largest high school project in the history of the state. Despite years of Project Labor Agreement (PLA) commitments, including face-to-face commitments over the last 2 months, 7 of 9 city councilors cast their votes against a PLA.

The City Manager, heavily funded by anti-union agencies and using anti-union talking points, swayed our “FRIENDS” to reject a deal that would have put countless Lowellians to work, and support countless young Lowell students entering union apprenticeship programs – providing promising careers.

Most of the councilors, several who draw pensions from their own union careers, sided with big business and not the working families of DC 35. Bill Samaras, Dave Conway, John Leahy, Ed Kennedy, and Jim Millinazzo reneged on their commitments to vote for a PLA. All, with the exception of Leahy, will receive public pensions if they are not already, thanks to the aforementioned pro-worker systems in place in Massachusetts.

These folks are what we call FRAUDS! DC 35 will be heavily involved in the upcoming elections for Lowell City Council to unseat them, and I look forward to seeing you all on the campaign trail.

Have a happy and safe summer!