Columbus, Ohio, – The Franklin County Commissioners and Columbus City Council’s continued support for Community Benefits Agreements (CBA) threatens to hamper construction opportunities related to John Glenn International Airport.

“We urge the Columbus Regional Airport Authority to resist special interest pressure and commit to ensuring that such a pivotal and generational project remain open to all of Ohio’s construction workers” said Barton Hacker, president, ABC Central Ohio. “CBAs are political arrangements that funnel construction work to Union companies, which is unsurprising given that they were made possible by an ordinance introduced by Councilman Dorans, who is Chief Legal Counsel for ACT Ohio, a labor-affiliated organization that advocates for the Building Trades Unions.”

Studies repeatedly show that Union-oriented mandates increase the cost of construction by 12% and 20% and result in the confiscation of 34% of a non-union construction worker’s compensation package unless they join a union and become vested in union plans.

In 2022 the construction industry grew by 514,000 workers to a total of 8.671 million, but construction union membership declined by 5,000 members over the same period of time.

There has never been a smaller percentage of union members in the construction industry since the BLS began tracking this data in 1973. Year-over-year construction industry union membership dropped despite robust overall job growth.

This decline in union membership illustrates why the City of Columbus should not continue to advance controversial policies specific to the construction industry that favor unions.

“The labor market is not only tight, but we are not meeting growth targets needed for activity we are experiencing in Central Ohio.” Said Hacker. “In such an environment, I can’t think of a single reason why we would ever consider limiting the possible pool of workers to one subset of the workforce. On the contrary, we are going to need every willing and able-bodied tradesman to meet the needs of our community.”