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Unions and the MWRA

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Summary
Non-union workers are barred from participating in the Boston Harbor Cleanup project
Topics
City planning, Construction industry, Lab, Civil rights, Segregation, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
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Log

1:00:08: Visual: Shots of two African American men moving a heavy object from the basement of a building; of a truck belonging to the J.B. Cruz Company; of rowhouses being renovated in Roxbury. Deborah Wang reports that the J.B. Cruz Company has been building and renovating homes in Roxbury since 1948. V: Shots of two African American men lifting a heavy object onto the back of a truck. Wang reports that the J.B. Cruz Company hopes to bid on the Boston Harbor Cleanup project; that the Boston Harbor Cleanup project is the largest public works project to date. V: Shot of an African American man working on the wiring of a home. Footage of John Cruz (J.B. Cruz Construction) being interviewed by Wang. Cruz says that he hopes the project will have a 30% minority set-aside; that minority businesses see the program as a great opportunity. Shots of an African American man operating a tractor; of rubble being transported out of a building on a conveyor belt. Wang reports that the J.B. Cruz Company may not be able to bid on work for the Harbor Cleanup project because the J.B. Cruz Company runs an "open shop" using non-union labor. Wang reports that the city's unions do not want non-union workers to participate in the project. V: Shots of two African American construction workers examining a document; of a construction worker measuring a pipe. Footage of Cruz saying that the union policy is discriminatory. Cruz says that he has been fighting discrimination all of his life. Shots of a construction worker operating a backhoe; of a construction worker using a welding torch. Wang reports that the unions are in control of the Boston Harbor Cleanup project; that the unions have signed a labor agreement with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA). Wang notes that the unions have promised not to strike during the ten-year project. Wang adds that the unions consider the no-strike clause as a major concession. V: Shots of a construction site; of a worker descending stairs on a piece of scaffolding; of a construction worker using a mallot. Footage of Richard Fox (MWRA) saying that a work stoppage during the project could cost millions of dollars. Fox says that the MWRA wanted an agreement which guaranteed good relations with labor and construction workers. Shot of two construction workers walking on a job site; of a construction worker working in a subterranean structure; of a construction worker operating a backhoe. Wang reports that the unions fought for a clause stating that all workers on the project must be union members. Wang notes that Cruz must enroll all of his workers in a union if he wants to bid on the Harbor Cleanup Project. Wang reports that Cruz says that he can afford union wages but cannot afford union rules. V: Shots of construction workers working at a construction site; of Cruz being interviewed by Wang. Shots of a gravel truck at a construction site; of the driver of the gravel truck. Footage of Cruz saying that his business runs more efficiently because his business is not subject to union work restrictions. Shots of workers shoveling rocks down a chute into a building. Footage of Joe Nigro (Building Trades Council) saying that unions try to give workers good healthcare and a healthy pension. Nigro says that Cruz pays his workers low wages; that Cruz does not offer health and welfare benefits. Wang stands at a construction site. Wang reports that unions have a highly skilled work force; that unions get most of the jobs on big construction projects. Wang notes that unions can often dictate the labor terms on big construction projects. V: Footage of Cruz being interviewed by Wang. Cruz says that the unions are threatened by open-shop contractors because they are more efficient. Shots of a construction site near Boston Harbor. A worker climbs on a half-built structure. Another worker stands on a large piece of equipment. Wang reports that other non-union contractors are unhappy about the labor agreement for the Boston Harbor Cleanup project. Wang notes that a trade group may challenge the agreement in court; that the lawsuit could signal further delays for the Harbor Cleanup Project. V: Shots of construction workers at a site near Boston Harbor; of the Boston skyline; of large equipment operating in the harbor.

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