Sponsor pulls bill requiring preference for unions

March 09, 2010

A bill that would require contractors doing business with the city to give preference to local union employees has been yanked by the city councilman who proposed it. Henry said he plans to change the wording of the bill after hearing from contractors who said they already hire locally but not from union halls. The bill was intended to boost employment by increasing job training and opportunities for city residents, Henry said. But it alarmed many contractors who saw it as a union power grab that would drive up wages. Henry said that he wanted to edit the bill to assure contractors that those "hiring locally but not using union halls would not be penalized." At least a dozen people packed the council chambers Monday night wearing buttons protesting the measure. The councilman plans to reintroduce the bill at the March 22 meeting.

- Julie Scharper

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