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Does a council of union leaders believe that they represent the working class? Or, do they represent the working men? Despite Lynch's commercials (below the squiggle) the answer is no.

Media Statement of MBTC President Frank Callahan re: California Billionaire's Threatening Letter to Congressman Lynch:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 19, 2013   
Contact: Frank Callahan, President, MBTC
Phone:  (617) 436-3551  http://massbuildingtrades.org/

Statement of Massachusetts Building Trades Council President Frank Callahan:
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised by the arrogance of another out-of-state and out-of-touch billionaire who identifies himself as a “clean energy philanthropist” when he interjected himself into our US Senate Race with a threatening letter to Congressman Stephen Lynch.
Tom Steyer the “clean energy philanthropist” who “earned” tens of millions of dollars as a hedge fund manager investing in big oil, has the arrogance to dismiss high-skilled, good paying construction jobs as ‘temporary’.   The 75,000 men and women of the Massachusetts Building Trades know better.  They raise families, provide roofs over their heads, put food on the table and maintain a middle-class quality of life working those jobs. Steve Lynch did the same for 18 years as an Ironworker and understands their value. That’s why working families are supporting Steve Lynch.
Tom Steyer also has the arrogance to think he should decide who will represent us in the United States Senate. He even goes so far as to threaten to launch an aggressive smear campaign against Steve Lynch if he does not comply with his demands by high noon on Friday, March 22. Who does this guy think he is? Can you imagine the outcry in the media if a union representative had the audacity to make such a threat?
Here’s my message to Tom Steyer and others like him. As a lifelong resident of Massachusetts I’ve had enough of Washington insiders and outside environmental groups attempting to dictate who we can have for our elected representatives. I and my fellow residents of Massachusetts are perfectly capable of deciding who will represent us the United States Senate.  Keep your money - our votes are not for sale.

The Massachusetts Building Trades Council is a 93-year-old organization dedicated to helping working people improve their quality of life. The Council is comprised of 74 member local unions representing over 75,000 working men and women across the state.

As the editor of this diary, I want to say unequivocally I am a supporter of unions - especially building trade unions.

However, I am disappointed in the need for the organization that encompasses all building trades unions in MA to endorse Stephen Lynch simply because he was an Ironworker.

They claim he represents the middle class, yet they have been silent about issues regarding women's rights, environmental concerns, lack of support for the President's health-care program and other important issues that have many of us concerned about Lynch.

I hate to see anything divide MA Democrats and wish that like AFL-CIO of MA these unions and even those unions and organizations who endorsed Markey, held off until after the primary. I have close friends who are MA Ironworkers and many who are in the various unions that make up the MBT Unions; we should all be working together in May. We shouldn't be providing the GOP with fuel for the general election.

I am not alone -especially among women - when it comes to being unhappy with Lynch's recent ad featuring women Ironworkers. It is disingenuous. The actual percentage of women in the union is low, and there is not one women at any level of leadership in the MBTC or the Ironworker's local or national organization. If I am wrong, please tell me. Show me. Quotas are necessary on certain government or non-profit jobs, and quite frankly, that's where you'll find these women:

I need a job and would love to find a place in one of the unions - but realistically, the options are few and far between. Maybe the MBTC president would hire me to edit or write his press releases ...

Although there are no public attacks against Markey, union members are making a lot of noise about him. I am sick of reading comments on Democratic websites about how Markey drove an ice-cream truck when he was in school. So what?!

At the South Boston St. Patrick's Day breakfast, Stephen Lynch was a bit nervous but had no trouble throwing the ice cream truck at Markey when he joked about how electing either of the two Democrats would be historic (video):

“I will either be the first ironworker elected to the U.S. Senate or Ed Markey will be the first ice cream driver elected to the U.S. Senate,”
I don't see what's wrong with driving an ice cream truck as one of your first jobs.  What am I missing? Is it because Markey didn't find a job requiring a hard-hat that this supposed to be a flaw?

He worked. He understands the middle class and understands the need to work.

Ice cream is a summer business, I worked for years serving it - side by side with young men - and came home many nights exhausted. I am insulted by the suggestion that driving an ice cream truck isn't a real job for any young person.

OK - enough said. I just hope women in MA and all over the country are paying attention.

Originally posted to 51 Percent on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 01:08 PM PDT.

Also republished by Massachusetts Kosmopolitans.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    milkbone, salmo, jarbyus, emal

    Women are 51% of the population yet are represented in congress by barely 17%! Until our representation reflects the population, we risk sliding backwards .....

    by 51percent on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 01:08:57 PM PDT

  •  oh we're paying attention all right! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    51percent, salmo, BethyNYC, emal

    I attended a recent State Dem Committee meeting, Lynch and Markey both spoke. The reaction in that room by myself and the other women at my table, especially the women of color, to these two candidates was DRAMATIC. If the election had been held in that room that night Markey would have won by a landslide.

    "The country we carry in our hearts is waiting." ~ Bruce Springsteen

    by abs0628 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 01:19:33 PM PDT

  •  Ice Cream (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    51percent, salmo

    Reportedly driving the truck was the only private sector job Markey has ever held.   Thus denigrating his understanding of work and business and job creation.

    At least that's how the meme goes...

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 01:33:34 PM PDT

    •  again, I don't get it - so (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      milkbone, salmo

      the school teacher who worked with me while she was getting HER degree, then went of into the "public sector" world of teaching ... never had a real private sector job?

      Out of deference for friends and in the interest of peace  - I COULD WRITE SO MUCH MORE.

      Like, when I injured myself working part time - I would have loved to have collected disability and gone back to school. .....

      I love everyone in my life, just about, who are brothers, yes brothers, in a labor union, but there can be a holier than tho attitude and that is what will make their organizations history if they don't work harder at opening the doors.  

      Women are 51% of the population yet are represented in congress by barely 17%! Until our representation reflects the population, we risk sliding backwards .....

      by 51percent on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 01:40:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're teacher (0+ / 0-)

        was not running for the US Senate.

        You're on to something, you don't get it.

        "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

        by EdMass on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 02:21:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  sp* Your (0+ / 0-)

          "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

          by EdMass on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 02:22:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  sp* you're - you are - no ownership (0+ / 0-)

            I get it. Did from the start.
            But I actually do know teachers ... who have been elected to office after leaving the profession - so we could play at that argument for a while.

            I get the point that he drove an ice cream truck and then began a life of public service. Stephen Lynch spent 18 years as a Iron worker - before running for office.

            Interesting the way somehow Markey's come to understand the importance of a woman's right to choose - years before Lynch's latest pivot - in that direction.

            Perhaps it has something to do w/Markey's years of service, years of working a a world that includes women, and listening.

            When Lynch voted against the healthcare bill, I remember listening to his reasons why. He referred to the costs to those w/Cadillac coverage. That would be labor unions. Limited horizons.

            Women are 51% of the population yet are represented in congress by barely 17%! Until our representation reflects the population, we risk sliding backwards .....

            by 51percent on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 02:40:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  *Your teacher - ahhh now I see (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            EdMass

            Women are 51% of the population yet are represented in congress by barely 17%! Until our representation reflects the population, we risk sliding backwards .....

            by 51percent on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 02:41:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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