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  • Labor organizations oppose Portland’s Question 2

    Cape Elizabeth lighthouse, Portland Maine, photo by Ramona du Houx 

    The Maine State Building and Construction Trades Council announced its opposition to Portland’s Question 2, joining a growing coalition that includes the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, Portland Community Chamber, AARP Maine, Homeless Voices for Justice, GrowSmart Maine, Avesta Housing and members of Portland’s fast-growing entrepreneurial business community.

    “Portland is a great city, but we have to make sure that it continues to be a place where working families can find jobs and afford to live,” said President John Napolitano, who grew up on Munjoy Hill. “Portland’s Question 2 will hurt the entire city, making it harder for people to live and work here and creating unreasonable new hurdles for good projects. Our 4,000 workers around Maine are ready to get involved, knock on doors and spread the word that Portland’s Question 2 is bad for middle-class families and working men and women.”

    The Maine State Building and Construction Trades Council (MSBCTC) was chartered on Jan. 21, 1964, and represents 13 Trade Unions and more than 4,000 workers throughout Maine. MSBCTC is affiliated with Building & Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO.

    “Portland is taking off as a place where entrepreneurs and startups can be successful, but backwards looking ordinances like Portland’s Question 2 threaten that,” said Jess Knox, co-chair of the No on 2 campaign. “Our city needs to be open to new ideas and thoughtful development. Portland’s Question 2 goes too far and hurts existing businesses and the people who are trying to start new ones.”

    Question 2 would amend the city’s land use ordinances and make it possible for one “affected” property owner or as few as 20 petition signers to block or delay good building projects in the city. In addition, it creates new and unnecessary bureaucracy. 

    “Working men and women should oppose Portland’s Question 2,” Napolitano said. “This ordinance will slow down the economy and cost the city jobs.”

    Affiliated members of the Trade Council include:

    • International Brotherhood of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers, Local 6
    • International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers, Local 29
    • International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craft Workers, Local 3
    • International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornament, and Reinforcing Iron Workers, Local 496
    • Laborers International Union of North America, Locals 327
    • International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 4
    • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, District Council 35
    • United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada, Local 716
    • United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers, Local 33
    • Sheet Metal Workers' International Association, Local 17
    • Road Sprinkler Fitters, Local 669
    • International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 340
    • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 567 & 1253

    In addition, Iron Workers Local 7 also opposes Portland’s Question 2.