Archived Columns From the President Emeritus

My Final Column as President and a Final Call to Action

October 2012 - This is the last monthly column I will write as President of the State Building and Construction Trades Council. My 19 years in office will come to an end this month at our quadrennial convention in Santa Monica, when our newly elected President takes office. (Read More)

Proposition 30 is a Good Deal For Trades Workers; Proposition 32 is A Vile Fraud

Last month in this space, I wrote about Proposition 32, the initiative placed on the November ballot by corporate billionaires to silence workers' voices and destroy our ability to protect our interests in the political arena. Proposition 32 is so harmful, and defeating it is so important, that I'm going to talk about it some more this month, and also call your attention to another measure, Proposition 30, that Building Trades workers should help pass. (Read More)

Proposition 32: Corporate Billionaires' Quest to Force Workers to Shut Up

August 2012 - Apparently we union workers are far too successful affecting public policy in California. Why else would corporate billionaires be gathering and spending huge campaign war chests, for the third time in 14 years, to pass a law that would force us to shut up? (Read More)

The Stakes are Huge - We Must Focus on the November Election NOW

July 2012 - Elections are always important, and always require working men and women to be vigilant, focused and well-organized; and to turn out in huge numbers to protect our quality of life. I say that about every election cycle, because it is true of every election cycle. But a look at the November 2012 ballot makes it clear that California workers have never had more at stake on a single ballot, and that campaign fatigue is a luxury we simply cannot afford. We need to engage now. (Read More)

Tradeswomen's Conference Keeps Growing, Expanding Opportunities for Women

June 2012 - There was an especially telling moment at the 2012 Women Building California and the Nation Conference in Sacramento last month. During the plenary luncheon session, event organizer Debra Chaplan asked how many of the workers in attendance had experienced being the only woman on a job site. (Read More)

PLAS are Proving Successful and Growing More Popular Throughout California

May, 2012 - Approximately one year ago, I wrote in this space about the concerted attack by anti-worker extremists on all of us in the Building Trades; on our jobs, our livelihoods, our futures. They were waging war around the state by tricking local governments and voters into banning project labor agreements. For us to win that war, we needed to fight harder and smarter. (Read More)

CA must Invest in the Middle Class Now

April 2012 - You've heard the saying, attributed to Albert Einstein, that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. California, during recent Republican administrations, stopped investing in needed public works projects, favoring instead a strategy of generous tax cuts for the rich and loopholes for corporations as a job-creating strategy. (Read More)

Op-Ed on Sacramento Arena Project Published in Sacramento Business Journal

March 2, 2012 - The Sacramento Business Journal, a publication which caters to the interests of entrepreneurs, investors and businesses small and large throughout the Sacramento area, published an opinion editorial by Bob Balgenorth, President of the State Building and Construction Trades Council. (Read More)

Election Year Brings More Right-Wing Attacks on Workers and Unions

March 2012 - In preparing this column, I was trying to think of a concise way to illustrate the latest round of right-wing attacks on union workers around the country. Then Mitt Romney did it for me. He succinctly summarized the continuing and intensifying assault on working people. (Read More)

Working People Must Unite Behind a Single Revenue Plan: the Governor's

February 2012 - Working People Must Unite Behind a Single Revenue Plan: the Governor's. The November elections may seem a long time away, but unfolding events demand that we pay attention, and make the right decisions now, to get the results we want then. Governor Jerry Brown, who couldn't get a single Republican vote to let voters decide whether to add revenues to balance the budget last year, has decided to bypass their gridlock this year, and collect the signatures himself to place a tax measure on the November ballot. (Read More)

Members of SBCTC Affiliates Demand Fair Elections

January 2012 - Courageous Building Trades workers in the City of Escondido have had enough of a city government that ignores workers' needs, treats them scornfully because they are Latino, and operates within a system that they are powerless to change. (Read More)

2011 Columns From the President

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