Recently my local union bargaining committee successfully negotiated a new contract. Some have criticized those in the building trades as being grossly overpaid and underworked.
As a heavy equipment operator, I am responsible for the lives of my co-workers and the general public. I am paid to produce quality work, safely, in the most horrendous weather and working conditions imaginable. Most of us in the building trades are lucky to work 1,000 hours a year, and we drive three hours a day in order to work eight hours.
I work in the second-most dangerous industry in the nation. Some 500 construction workers die on the job every year. Upon retirement most of us suffer from lung disease, skin cancer, hearing impairment, blown-out knees and arthritis.
I work hard for every paycheck and I have helped make union contractors very wealthy.