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Construction workers begin to vow that they will not build the Ground Zero mosque

August 20, 2010

  There may be a new twist in the ongoing saga of the Ground Zero mosque as construction workers are beginning to claim that they will not sign on to build the mosque if they are asked. This is a question that I have been asking myself for quite awhile, will there be workers that stand on principle and put that principle above a paycheck? We are now beginning to see that there are many who will do just that. The workers are also a little scared due to some backhoe accidents that have happened before

It’s a very touchy thing because they want to do this on sacred ground,” said Dave Kaiser, 38, a blaster who is working to rebuild the World Trade Center site.

“I wouldn’t work there, especially after I found out about what the imam said about U.S. policy being responsible for 9/11,” Kaiser said

  And he is not alone as there are a growing number of construction workers who are vowing not to help build the Ground Zero mosque. This movement started when one construction worker started the “Hard Hat Pledge” on his blog and asked other construction workers to join him in his pledge to turn down the work if asked to help build the Ground Zero mosque.


“Thousands of people are signing up from all over the country,” said creator Andy Sullivan, a construction worker from Brooklyn. “People who sell glass, steel, lumber, insurance. They are all refusing to do work if they build there.”

“Hopefully, this will be a tool to get them to move it,” he said. “I got a problem with this ostentatious building looming over Ground Zero.”

  This initiative seems to be gaining steam as thousands of construction workers have joined in. The biggest obstacle to the “Hard Hat Pledge” will be the unions because they have yet to take an official stance on the issue–stating that the high unemployment rate and the lack of construction work may force them to take on this job in order to assure their workers of employment.

It’s a very difficult dilemma for the contractors and the organized labor force because we are experiencing such high levels of unemployment,” he said. “Yet at the same time, this is a very sacred site to the union guys

  They do understand how many Americans–including their own union members–feel about this mosque, but in the end it may be difficult for them to turn down the work.

  This could be the last chance to stop the Ground Zero mosque as the people who wish to  build this mosque have refused to meet with Mayor Bloomberg to discuss the possibility of moving the mosque away from Ground Zero. The people who want to build this mosque are adamant that it must be built on this site. (One has to question the motives behind this decision, why do they feel so strongly that the mosque must be built here?)

  It is going to be interesting to see how this angle plays out; will the construction workers and their unions decide to boycott the construction, or will Obama’s dire economic policies force the trade unions into the arms of the people who want to build on this site?

  The unions are in a difficult situation here as anger and opposition to this mosque grows. They must balance the will of the American people, and  the will of their union members with a matter of principle that many Americans feel strongly about. It seems that many of the union construction workers may be willing to sacrifice the work for a matter of principle–will the unions be willing to do the same?

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. GMA213 permalink
    August 20, 2010 10:04 pm

    It is said that everyone has a price. We will see how many bluecollar men and women will sell their integrity and how many will stand on principle as Americans.


    • August 21, 2010 6:43 am

      I’m sure there will be Americans who will build this mosque, it is going to be interesting to see how this plays out.


    • The Georgia Yankee permalink
      August 21, 2010 10:06 am

      You stand on principle and turn down work when your children are hungry.


      • August 22, 2010 6:52 am

        As I said in the post, this economy will make it too hard for people that would like to stand up and say no.


  2. August 20, 2010 10:16 pm

    While it’s always possible that some Americans would choose to work on the thing. I always thought that if they couldn’t find American workers, they would import workers, or recruit muslims for the job.


    • August 21, 2010 6:42 am

      I’m sure they will find someone but it would be great to see the unions step out in front of this and say no.


  3. The Georgia Yankee permalink
    August 21, 2010 10:38 am

    Sorry, a union’s job is not to pass judgment on the value of projects, it’s to advance the economic interests of its members through negotiating good collective bargaining agreements. It’s perfectly acceptable for the union members and their leadership to denounce the project from a personal point of view, and for members to decline to accept jobs with the contractors hired to do this work.

    But I can see some ideologues using this issue to promote their anti-union stance.

    As to some of the other comments here, I think it’s perfectly despicable to pass judgment on others’ decision to accept work under any circumstances, but especially in the midst of a recession.


  4. August 22, 2010 5:22 pm

    This is a beautiful thing- restores my faith in this country


    • August 22, 2010 9:36 pm

      There are still Americans out there who get it, the question is will they be able to stand on principle or will the bad economy force them to so something they are against?


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