Unions Con­sider Ball­park Con­tract a Model

The Washington Post - - The District - — Daniel Le­Duc

Dis­trict union lead­ers said yes­ter­day that the la­bor agree­ment used for the Na­tion­als ball­park un­der con­struc­tion in South­east should be the model for fu­ture projects in the city.

They cited hir­ing fig­ures show­ing that 87 per­cent of the ap­pren­tices at the ball­park were Dis­trict res­i­dents. Al­though fall­ing short of the agree­ment’s goal that all new ap­pren­tices would be from the city, union of­fi­cials said the agree­ment has meant a boon for city work­ers and en­sured higher wages and ben­e­fits for them.

The agree­ment re­quires that work­ers on the project re­ceive union scale wages and ben­e­fits re­gard­less of union mem­ber­ship and sets goals for hir­ing city res­i­dents.

Nonunion con­trac­tors have op­posed the agree­ment and say it has shut out some Dis­trict res­i­dents. But Joslyn Wil­liams, pres­i­dent of the Metropoli­tan Wash­ing­ton AFL-CIO, said it would help cre­ate jobs that would build a strong mid­dle class in the Dis­trict while im­prov­ing ef­fi­ciency and help­ing projects fin­ish on time. The Na­tion­als ball­park is on sched­ule and is one of the fastest-built sta­di­ums in the ma­jor leagues.

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