Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Angered by Op-ed on Racial Discrimination, BCTC Floods Pages of Crain’s with Letters to the Editor, Still Comes Up Short

Over the summer, the Center for Union Facts launched its Ask Gary Why campaign encouraging New Yorkers to ask why the unions Gary LaBarbera represents in the Building and Construction Trades Council (BCTC) have a long history of racial discrimination.

The campaign included research that found black unionized construction workers earn 23 percent less than their white counterparts. To highlight this pay gap, CUF wrote an opinion piece #CountMeOut: Construction Unions Leave Minority Workers Behind that was published by Crain’s NY.

This prompted Gary LaBarbera and his union surrogates to launch an onslaught of letters to the editor in an attempt to undermine the facts presented by CUF’s criticisms of New York’s construction unions.

However, these authors had nothing in their arsenal except unsubstantiated union-funded data and transparent personal attacks. You can read CUF’s responses to their letters here:

City Needs to Do Math Before Renewing PLAs
Differing Jobs Account for Racial Pay Gap in Unionized Construction
Construction Union Leader Shouldn’t Throw Stones
Labor Critic Accepts Debate Challenge, On One Condition 

The moral of the story? Until Gary LaBarbera and the BCTC are willing to put forth real data on the status of minority workers in their member unions, they don’t have a leg to stand on—in print, or anywhere else.

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