More Bite Less Bark at ABC

Jimmy E Greene CEO & President ABC Michigan

“You can’t build a reputation just on what you say.” —Henry Ford

I think we’re here. This might cause a few uncomfortable shifts in the seat, but I think we’re dangerously becoming an organization that toothlessly talks with little to no bite. While we pride ourselves on being principled—and we are—that has to be protected with a vicious bite when someone or something has their hand in our mouths. I don’t think people in power think we have a bite at all. I don’t like that. At all. I feel like I’m in a boxing ring with gloves on tied behind my back and the trade unions are bare knuckled and kicking my ass. Hell, I understand that elections have consequences and we’re one Joe Manchin from feeling the full effects of it, but that’s when you bite back. Waiting for another election cycle while we’re suffering death by a thousand cuts does little to settle my soul and mind. Yours?

Listen, reputations aren’t built on words. They’re built on actions, accomplishments, deeds, and they damn sure aren’t built by resting on your laurels. Protecting hard fought legislative policy victories means you’ve got to be meaner that you were before you won them. Trade unions, let me take my hat off to them; they bite. Hard. They’re committed. Not kind of…no, they’re committed. There’s a power in that. They’ll show up on your doorstep, courtyards, council meetings, you name it. Democrats know they bite. Hard. We need to be that committed.

Not 99% committed, but 100% committed. Being committed 100% is actually easier than a 99% commitment and I think you can figure out why. In every aspect of life, if something is worth doing, it’s worth giving 100% of your effort to it. Because a 99% commitment isn’t going to cut it. You see, there is no gray area when it comes to commitment. None. And if we’re not fully committed to OUR cause then that becomes our reputation. Either we are fully committed or we are not.
When an organization is 100% committed, they are unwavering. They aren’t going to let anything get in between them and their commitment.

“I prefer to be a leader that leads people into the light and not make them afraid of the dark.”

Listen, I get that many of our southern states don’t have this fight. Yet. But there are many states that do and I think in many respects we’ve become enablers of it. I see it happening every day. They are getting more emboldened. Private companies issuing PLA’s on their projects is a clear signal that they too are committed. But not to us. They have no reason to fear us. Municipalities issuing construction bids with Prevailing Wage is a clear signal that they are committed. But not to us. It’s time to bite. With our deeds. Our actions. To make it clear that where we’re unable to earn wages, we won’t spend our wages. From my office when I see private PLA’s I will issue a letter to the company requesting that it be removed. I will also remind them that my numbers of non-union contractors, their families, and friends vastly outnumber theirs. If the PLA reminds, then I’ll ask my membership and their families and friends to bite. To not support these vendors suggesting, or worse yet, approving of these discriminatory tools.
I’ll leave you with this and I believe this from the bottom of my heart when it comes to Associated Builders & Contractors and our mission; “it is much safer to be feared than loved because … love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.” We need to be there.

Thanks for all you do for free enterprise & merit shop.

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