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My Position On Labor Issues

Updated: Aug 31


Lou Lyras

Feb 2020


Background

I started an industrial painting company, in 1976 working mostly on the East Coast on majorBridges; Verrazano, Walt Whitman, Ben Franklin, & others. I co-founded a company that specializes in manufacturing surface preparation equipment, in 1992. Co-produced a Painting Documentary called Bridge Brothers. Chaired numerous national committees for the coating industry. Wrote numerous articles in trade journals & spoke at national conferences concerning the coating industry & corrosion. Currently, I am on a wage negotiation committee between New York City Painting Contractors & Painters Union, and a Trustee on a Labor Management Partnership for the International Union of Painters & Allied Trades


Some of my labor positions

1. Two tier hourly wage compensation in labor agreements as a cost cutting measure does nothing for Productivity. It is unfair to the existing employees and unfair to the new employees. Generally this is done to reduce total wages through attrition.

2. I support “prevailing wage” in bids for public sector construction projects. Especially when our taxes are used as with public sector projects, then there should be safeguards for the workers to make a good wage.

3. I support public employees right to collectively bargain and organize. All workers, private and public, have the right to collectively bargain their employment conditions – wages, hours, safety, pensions, health care.

4. I support tax abatements for economic development. We need to create jobs by attracting good companies. But when tax abatements and other economic tools that are public funds are used then conditions can be established that would guarantee minimum number of new jobs, preferably union, and/or the commitment to allow the workers to collectively bargain their employment terms.

5. I am against Right to Work legislation. Right to Work legislation only gives employers an open door to exploit workers, and it is contrary to what the unions have fought for.Furthermore, I oppose the Janus decision. When employees collectively bargain in good faith and authorized the union to bargain for them, then the employees should not be allowed to selectively choose to pay, or not pay, the fees that helped them make these gains. They want to enjoy the benefits but not pay the fringes.


Why am I seeking labor endorsement?

First of all, because I believe in unions. I’ve been a union member for years, my company isa union company. Secondly, no country, empire, nation, throughout history has ever been successful without a strong (healthy) middle class. Unions have been the principal catalyst in creating our middle class.

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