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The Jan. 23 News editorial, "Off to a bad start," was distasteful in view of the working families the bricklayers union represents, as well as the rest of the Buffalo Building and Construction Trades Council.

The News described the council's attempt to achieve a project labor agreement for the billion-dollar school improvement project as "an unwarranted bid for control over a vital civic project."

It appears The News' editorial board chose to forget several positive and supportive PLAs in the past, and the 25 percent minority and female hiring quotas they contain.

As a member union of the council, I believe it's important to once again stress to The News and its readers that we represent workers, not companies driven by greed and profit.

For the record, PLAs must be concessionary. They merely assure that everyone is monitored, and that all play on a level playing field. As an avid reader of the paper, it should be noted that The News recently published two large articles - "Illegally paying workers less" and "Inner-city religious leaders boost labor pact for school project."

Had The News looked harder into the recent arrest of illegal aliens working at the American Sales site in Lancaster, it would have learned that their employer, Coast to Coast Installations, was the same outfit found to have employed illegal aliens at the Tops distribution construction site in 1996.

Instead of continuing to publicly bash unions and the working people we represent, The News should rethink its position and do what it does best - report the story with facts, instead of relying on stereotypes and innuendoes. If it does so, we'll all benefit in the long run.


Director, Western New York

Administrative District Council

of Bricklayers and Allied


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