Building trades council endorses Glendening CAMPAIGN 1998

July 17, 1998|By Thomas W. Waldron | Thomas W. Waldron,SUN STAFF

Declaring its appreciation for the jobs produced by big-ticket state construction projects, an umbrella group of Baltimore trade unions last night endorsed Gov. Parris N. Glendening for re-election.

In backing Glendening, leaders of the Baltimore Building and Construction Trades Council also noted his opposition to efforts to roll back union protections in state law.

"We have the best governor in America when it comes to issues affecting the working men and women of Maryland," Jim Correll, president of the trades council, told a rally of about 300 union members at the Carpenters Union Hall on West Patapsco Avenue in South Baltimore.

The trades council, which is made up of 15 unions with 17,000 members, also endorsed Glendening four years ago.

Inside the hall, Correll and others noted Glendening's continuing opposition to both "right to work" legislation that labor leaders say would hurt their membership and efforts to roll back "prevailing wage" laws that guarantee union-scale wages are paid on state building projects.

While he seemed buoyed by the enthusiastic union members, Glendening reminded them of the results of the 1994 election, when he won by just under 6,000 votes.

"We have to make sure that every member and every family turns out to vote," Glendening told the group.

The governor also promised to consider changing the law to require that prevailing wages be paid on more school construction projects than are now covered.

Many union leaders praised Glendening's record and several expressed concerns about how trade unions could be hurt if Glendening were to lose to Ellen R. Sauerbrey, the leading Republican contender and a longtime supporter of right-to-work legislation.

"She's as anti-union as Newt Gingrich and the whole right wing," said Ron DeJuliis, vice president of the trades council. "She's the catalyst to take away organized labor in Maryland."

Sauerbrey has said in recent months that while she supports the concept of right-to-work laws, she would not "waste political capital" trying to enact them as governor, with a General Assembly that generally sides with organized labor.

Pub Date: 7/17/98

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