Kenneth MacDougall, IBEW Local 380 “We’re trying to break … the negative image of the construction worker.”
- By Jane M. Von Bergen, Philadelphia Inquirer
Here are two facts that Kenneth MacDougall, the head of a suburban electricians' union, would readily admit:
Union labor costs more.
Union membership is eroding, although not in his local.
Highly disciplined, very well-trained workers who earn their higher pay by reliably providing an excellent day's work. And a union system that takes over every aspect of human resources management - benefit and retirement planning, workers' compensation, recruitment, training and discipline.
'We take care of all the HR. All they do is manage their business,' said MacDougall, business manager and financial secretary of Local 380 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Collegeville.
Unlike some construction locals, Local 380 has a hiring hall. Companies call for workers and get those out of work the longest. They can keep those workers, or lay them off, or fire them despite seniority.