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Contractors Report Drop in Unionization

September 08, 1985

A recent survey of the membership of Associated General Contractors, San Diego chapter, showed a dramatic change since 1980.

Five years ago, an average 80% of the general and specialty contractors were signatory to one or more union agreements, said C. W. Burke, AGC executive director. Today, the average has dipped to 36% signatory, with 64% non-signatory.

AGC's 52 heavy-engineering contractors, however, remain largely signatory with 75% of them participating in union agreements, Burke said.

"The construction industry marketplace has been changing," Burke added. "We at AGC have been changing to keep pace. In the past 18 months we've worked hard to meet the needs of our non-union members. Our open-shop health and pension program is going strong."

Contractors Offer Employment Service

A free service for unemployed construction workers who want to work for non-union contractors, was introduced a year ago by the Associated General Contractors, San Diego chapter. Since that time, it has registered 3,500 workers.

The availability list was created to help non-union contractors recruit skilled people. It is updated and circulated to AGC members every month to supplement the AGC open-shop health and pension benefits plan, a group spokesman reported.

Hourly workers for open-shop contractors can qualify for health and pension coverage as long as they work at least 351 hours per quarter for one or more participating open-shop employers.

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