Plymouth, MA The Massachusetts Building Trades Council (MBTC) unveiled its 2019 agenda to elevate the interests of construction workers and union contractors across the Commonwealth. The three-day convention was held at HOTEL 1620.
Sean McGarvey, president of North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTC), served as keynote. McGarvey represents millions of workers from 14 national and international unions in the U.S. and Canada. He addressed hundreds of local labor leaders and delegates who made the trip to the town for the convention. The delegates at the convention came from 74 member locals, who together represent 75,000 men and women from across the Commonwealth.
The 2019 agenda discussion included policies around Apprenticeship & Training, providing career paths for more women & people of color, workplace safety, building more affordable housing, state and federal legislative priorities, and veteran employment.
Cracking down on the state’s wage theft epidemic remained a top concern, with MassBTC president Frank Callahan calling on the state legislature to provide additional funding for investigators within the Attorney General’s office. “Funds spent on wage enforcement more than pay for themselves in the form of taxes from recovered wages, and fines and penalties paid by the violators,” said Callahan. “Expanding wage enforcement personnel isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s an economically wise investment for taxpayers too. The unions also made clear their commitment to help workers affected by the opioid epidemic and to support programs that encourage healthy communities.” Other speakers throughout the week included U.S. senator Edward Markey, state senator Paul Feeney, state representative Marjorie Decker, Mass. AFL-CIO president Steve Tolman, and Mass. Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta.