Balgenorth, Bob


Bob Balgenorth is the president of the California State Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents approximately 350,000 workers in 186 private sector building trades local unions and regional councils.

Proposition 32: Corporate Billionaires’ Quest to Force Workers to Shut Up

By Bob Balgenorth
State Building and Construction Trades Council

Apparently we union workers are far too successful at affecting public policy in California. Why else would corporate billionaires be gathering and spending huge campaign war chests, for the third time in 14 years, to pass a law that would force us to shut up?

In 1998 it was Proposition 226. In 2005 it was Proposition 75. Now, in 2012, it is Proposition 32 that will silence workers’ voices and destroy our political clout, unless we beat it.

Those previous measures would have prohibited unions from making political contributions with money collected from paycheck deductions. But after voters realized that corporate funds would continue to flow unabated, with workers left powerless to respond, Propositions 226 and 75 were defeated.

High-Speed Rail Will Restore California’s “Pioneering Spirit”

By Bob Balgenorth
State Building and Construction Trades Council

“This project,” the New York Times recently reported on California’s High-Speed Rail plan, “goes to the heart of the state’s pioneering spirit, recalling grand public investments in universities, water systems, roads and parks that once defined California as the leading edge of the nation."

Then, after explaining all the benefits of better transportation, a stronger economy, a boom in employment, a cleaner environment and a higher quality of life, the Times summarized the simplistic opposition of a Republican politician who said: “It’s a boondoggle.”

There, in a nutshell, is our fight.

Same Old Story: Rich Republican Tycoon Against Pro-Worker Public Servant

By Bob Balgenorth
State Building and Construction Trades Council

A wealthy tycoon is trying to buy her way into a statewide office against a veteran public servant with a terrific record on the issues that matter to most to working people. Would that be Meg Whitman, running against former Governor Jerry Brown? Well, yes, she fits the description.

But it’s the same story in the race for U.S. Senator from California, where rich tycoon Carly Fiorina won the Republican primary by pouring her immense personal wealth into her campaign, and who now hopes that her wealth will buy her the seat currently held by a great friend of working men and women, Senator Barbara Boxer.