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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
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    :: Wednesday, August 30, 2006 ::

    LABOR PAINS - Philadelphia Daily News
    THIS CITY'S TRACK record on minority contracting is already shameful.

    Adding insult to injury is a construction labor shortage, both nationally and in this city.

    The labor dearth, particularly among the skilled trades like plumbers, electricians, bricklayers and carpenters, has been caused by workers who leave the industry for other careers, the fact that fewer trained and educated workers are entering the trades, and a boom in construction that's kept the pressure on the labor supply.

    But here in Philadelphia, where the Convention Center will be expanded, and new schools, casinos, high-rise condominiums and office towers will be built, the shortage highlights some deeper, ingrained problems: Namely, the exclusion of minority workers and contractors in the skilled trades, inadequate training programs and the monopolization of large construction projects by the unions.
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