Thursday, June 10, 2010

Baltimore Building Trades Endorse Manno

Delegate Roger Manno is running for the District 19 Senate seat against incumbent Mike Lenett. That seat is, of course, located in Montgomery County. So why should it matter that the Baltimore Building and Construction Trades Council is endorsing Manno?

It does matter. Quite a bit, actually.

Your author has spent sixteen years working for building trades unions and MPW readers should understand two things about them. First, there are a lot of them: the electricians, the plumbers, the operating engineers, the laborers, the iron workers, the sheet metal workers, the teamsters and more. (The carpenters have endorsed Mike Lenett.) Second, many of them have well-financed PACs. The Baltimore building trades have joined the Washington D.C. building trades in supporting Manno, and the two combined have twenty-five affiliated local unions. Lord knows how many PACs that equals.

Manno has been excellent on building trades issues, notably getting a bill passed requiring state public works contractors to have registered apprenticeship programs or to make payments to a state training fund. Few legislators in Annapolis are better liked by the hardhats than Manno. So if a bunch of these building trades union PACs start writing him four-digit checks, well… it’s going to add up. Lenett will almost certainly still have more money than Manno, but that does not necessarily matter. All Manno needs is to be financially competitive and then this race will come down to who runs a better campaign.

Following is Manno’s press release.

Baltimore Building Trades Council (AFL-CIO) Endorses Manno

Baltimore, MD - This week, the Baltimore Building and Construction Trades Council (AFL-CIO) unanimously endorsed Roger Manno in his candidacy for the Maryland State Senate from the 19th District. Comprising fourteen AFL-CIO local trade unions, the Council's mission is to foster and encourage the highest degree of skill and efficiency in the building and construction trades.

This important endorsement comes on the heels of Manno's recent endorsement by the DC Building and Construction Council (AFL-CIO) two weeks ago, collectively representing the endorsement of twenty-five AFL-CIO building trades union locals. These include: Asbestos Workers Local 24; Boilermakers Local 193; Bricklayers Local 1 of MD, VA & DC; Plasterers’ & Cement Masons Local 43; Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 486; Road Sprinkler Fitters Local 669; Sheet Metal Workers Local 100; Sprinkler Fitters Local 536; Teamsters Local 311; IBEW Electrical Workers Local 24; Elevator Constructors Local 7; Iron Workers Local 16; Operating Engineers Local 37; IBEW Electrical Workers Local 26; Elevator Constructors Local 10; Iron Workers Local 5; Operating Engineers Local 77; Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons Local 891; Painters District Council Local 51; Plumbers Local 5; Reinforced Rodmen Local 201; Roofers & Waterproofers Local 30; Sheet Metal Workers Local 100; Sprinkler Fitters Local 669; and Steamfitters Local 602.

Speaking on behalf of the Council, President Rod Easter stated: "Marylanders need leaders in the State Senate who understand the struggles of working men and women, and the value of teamwork. Roger Manno has brought people together for good jobs, health care protections, and educational opportunities for workers. He's a strong leader who we need in the Maryland Senate, and the Baltimore Building & Construction Trades Council (AFL-CIO) stand strongly with him."

Delegate Manno's leadership on building trades issues has been notable, from his work authoring the 2009 "Apprenticeship Opportunities Act," to his collaborative work to advance Prevailing Wage legislation, to his work on greater oversight and enforcement measures in state contracting. Manno commented on the Council's endorsement: "In this tough economy, our focus must be on creating and maintaining highly-skilled, high-paying jobs that stimulate revenue and productivity for our State. That also means giving our young people the educational opportunities through apprenticeship training programs in order for them to learn a trade and become productive members of the workforce. I am proud to stand with AFL-CIO building trade leaders from DC to Baltimore who work to make that happen, and I am honored to have their support."

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Disclosure: Your author has worked for the national Building and Construction Trades Department, the laborers and the carpenters.