Ohio Legislature Keeps Building Trades Majority

Ohio’s election night results indicated a majority of individuals elected to both the state’s legislative bodies support the building trades and the issues of most importance to their success.

Following the release of the unofficial results from the Nov. 3 General Election, Ohio’s union construction industry was able to maintain majority support for issues important to the industry and its workforce over the next two years.

According to Matt Szollosi, Executive Director of Affiliated Construction Trades (ACT) Ohio, voters overwhelmingly elected state representatives who have supported or pledged to support issues affecting the trades.

“Many incumbent representatives that have a strong understanding of our business model will be returning in the next General Assembly, including Speaker of the House Bob Cupp. In terms of the results, 69 of 71 ACT Ohio endorsed candidates won election to the Ohio House of Representatives on Election Day,” said Szollosi. “On both sides of the aisle, great candidates with strong ties to the building trades were successful. We are confident that a strong, bipartisan building trades majority exists in the Ohio House of Representatives.”

In addition to the House, the state Senate will remain building trades friendly as well, with 10 of 11 ACT Ohio endorsed candidates coming up victorious on Election Day.

“Once again, numerous incumbent Senators, many of whom we have worked with in the past were re-elected for an additional four-year term. The Building Trades maintains strong ties on both sides of the aisle in the Ohio Senate,” Szollosi said.

Overall, the outcome of the election seems to overwhelmingly favor the union building trades.

“Including 10 of 11 ACT endorsed candidates for Congress who were successful, and 1 of 2 of the Ohio Supreme Court races, 90 of the 95 candidates for office that the ACT Ohio Executive Board endorsed for the general election campaign in State of Ohio races were victorious,”Szollosi added.

The election night victory continues to showcase the importance of educating elected officials.

Efforts made by ACT Ohio, the Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council, regional building trades councils, District Councils and Local unions to educate current elected officials, those running for office and their staff have paid off by keeping So-Called “Right to Work” laws out of the state, while maintaining support for Prevailing Wage laws and use of Project Labor Agreements.

Szollosi pointed out their work will not end just because a majority of supporters are coming back in both chambers.

“The Ohio House and Senate is made up of a very diverse coalition of people who have very little to no experience whatsoever in construction. It is imperative that we continue to showcase our apprenticeship training centers, the quality of our workmanship and the safety record of our members and contractors,” he said. “The biggest mistake we could possibly make is to presume they know and understand the difference between us and the non-union.

“There are many factors to consider with regard to legislators’ stance on key issues involving the trades. We have to continue to foster an understanding of why our business model is the best for Ohio’s construction industry,” Szollosi added.

In addition to endorsing candidates, ACT Ohio also makes financial contributions to numerous candidate campaign committees. Besides the financial support from ACT Ohio, some building trades councils, District Councils and Locals also donate to various campaigns as well.

Looking ahead, Szollosi expressed hope that state leaders on both sides of the aisle will put aside their differences and work together to overcome the pandemic and economic fallout Ohioans are experiencing.

“Accordingly, we are pressing both state and federal officials to invest heavily in infrastructure. Strong investment in infrastructure will create jobs and stimulate the economy,” he added.

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