BLDG. Trades To Meet Both Massachusetts U.S. Senate Nominees

BOSTON —With their favored candidate, former Ironworkers Local 7 President Stephen Lynch, losing the U.S. Senate Democratic primary in Massachusetts, building trades union leaders say they will meet with both major-party nominees in the battle before making an endorsement in the upcoming special general election.
The decision, released May 1 by Building Trades Department President Sean McGarvey, is notable because it leaves the door open for neutrality or for endorsement of the Republican, Gabriel Gomez, an underdog in the deep-blue Bay State.
Lynch, a veteran congressman from Boston, lost the primary on April 30 to fellow longtime Democratic Rep. Edward Markey, a lawmaker from its northwestern suburbs and towns. Most national and Massachusetts Democratic leaders backed Markey, as did the United Steel Workers. The building trades and the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United supported Lynch.
The winner of the Markey-Gomez race will fill the rest of the unexpired term of veteran Sen. John Kerry (D), now President Obama’s Secretary of State.
McGarvey’s statement shows his department’s unions aren’t sold on Markey, known for his strong pro-environmental stands. The Building Trades have rejected environmentalists’ arguments against the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. The unions say it would create 10,000 union jobs, thanks to a project labor agreement.
“America’s building trades unions wish to congratulate both Gomez and Markey for their victories,” McGarvey said. “We also wish to acknowledge and salute our good friend and union brother, Lynch, for running an enviable campaign focused on the struggles and concerns of middle class working families in Massachusetts.
“Within that same spirit, we look forward to meeting with both candidates to discuss their specific policy positions as they relate to jobs and growth for our members in the construction industry, which continues to be mired in a deep depression, as well as their overall vision as it relates to the strengthening the American middle class.”
The nurses union had no immediate reaction to Markey’s win. The Steelworkers cited Markey’s environment-plus-jobs stands, and his insertion of tariffs against imports of “dirty” foreign-produced energy in the now-dead cap-and-trade carbon emissions bill. USW made “a difficult choice” between “two good Democratic congressmen,” District Director John Shinn announced before the primary.
“Markey’s leadership, his seniority and our work with him on green energy and sustaining good jobs became a deciding factor for our early endorsement,” Shinn said.
“Markey in the Senate will bring needed expertise on environmental and job issues. Markey has listened to Massachusetts workers. He has laid out a vision to create jobs and prosperity, green manufacturing, and a diversified energy policy.”