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.