Unions Consider Ballpark Contract a Model
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.