ATLANTIC CITY – At the 116th annual Building Trades Council Convention, the organization’s president reminded members of a key and salient organizing principle: Don’t get distracted by causes outside the core mission of the Building Trades.
What is the core mission?
“All we do is build,” said President William “Bill” Mullen.
It was a very pointed message from the dais in tempestuous political times; times defined by personal opinions, emotional tweeting, anger, mean-spiritedness, over-emphasis on individuality to the exclusion of organization, a profusion of the virtue of selfishness, and fracture.
Amid the blizzard of social media and flimsy foundations everywhere, Mullen reminded his members of the bedrock.
“We remain the premiere labor organization in New Jersey, thanks to you,” said Mullen, standing onstage in the Hard Rock.
“Our Building Trades must remain united in our policies and objectives and we must continue to maintain a bipartisan approach in the political arena and business community,” the president said.
Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) sat in the first row in a crowd that included Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-14), and Assemblyman Joe Egan (D-17).
“All we do is build,” Mullen said. “That’s it, fellas. We must not get involved in special interest campaigns or causes. That does not help our members and their families. That will only confuse our true purpose and dilute our influence. It is always about putting our members to work.
“We have worked with our legislative friends,” Mullen added. “Under the leadership of Steve Sweeney, we have made New Jersey the leader in pro building trades laws. No one has what we have. We don’t need anymore legislation. Fellas, what we need is strong enforcement of our existing labor laws.”
He said it again for emphasis.
“What we need is strong enforcement of our existing labor laws.”
Massive applause ensued.
He emphasized “business friendly” policies, and noted his continued support for Sweeney’s Path to Progress initiative.
The Building Trades president cited ongoing organization challenges, including opposition from “outside enemies and sadly from some people within the trades.”
They will not have continued success by creating dissension and disunity, Mullen said, thanked members for their trust and loyalty, and called on everyone to remain vigilant to reject those forces that would try to break them apart.