DNC contracts issue heats up

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Republican mayoral candidate  Scott Stone last week continued to press Democratic convention officials and  Mayor Anthony Foxx over the number of convention jobs going to unionized labor.  Specifically, he  questioned so-called project labor agreements that will require contractors to  use union labor “to the maximum extent feasible.”

Convention  officials last week awarded $7 million worth of contracts to temporarily renovate  Time Warner Cable Arena and outfit the Charlotte Convention Center as a media  workspace. Convention CEO Steve Kerrigan said the contracts would maximize  union labor while still providing jobs to local workers. He said there are no  quotas on union participation.

“Steve  Kerrigan continues to say they’re going to maximize union labor,” Stone  told a handful of reporters outside convention headquarters, according to The  Charlotte Observer. “If they’re going to do that, how can they also use  local labor when we don’t have a lot of unions here?”

North Carolina, a  right-to-work state, has the lowest percentage of unionized workers in the  nation, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Only 3.2 percent of North  Carolina workers belong to unions. Two of the three contracts awarded this week  went to partnerships between national and local firms. Charlotte-based Rodgers  Builders won the construction management contract with two out-of-state firms.  Charlotte’s Neighboring Concepts and an out-of-state partner were chosen as  event architects.

“We have  repeatedly stated that our intention is to maximize business opportunities for  local companies,” Dan Murrey, executive director of the convention host  committee, said in a statement. Earlier this  month, representatives of Carolinas AGC   visited Foxx to discuss a number of issues, including the possibility of using  union labor on construction projects, according to CAGC spokesman Dave Simpson.

“Using  project labor agreements and possibly using union construction companies cause  concerns,” he said, “because North Carolina has a history of being a  pro-employee, non-union state.” Read More.

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