The AFL-CIO convention in Pittsburgh this month was the backdrop for the latest salvo between the federation’s Building and Construction Trades Dept. and its long-missing member, the carpenters’ union, over recruiting practices in a recession-impacted marketplace. The AFL-CIO on Sept. 16 passed a resolution urging the carpenters’ union to reaffiliate but also authorizing member unions to compete with it in organizing carpenters in certain markets. Resolution 70, passed unanimously, urges the 500,000-member United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners to end its “go-it-alone policy” and realign with both the AFL-CIO and BCTD, which represents 13 construction craft unions. The carpenters left
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.