Republican Tom Barrett has cozy ties with anti-union group
The Associated Builders & Contractors of Michigan have contributed more than $15,000 to Barrett’s political campaigns
Tom Barrett, a Republican running for congress in Michigan’s 7th district, has close ties to an anti-union lobbying group.
Barrett served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 2015 to 2019. He then served in the state senate until 2023. He first ran for congress in 2022 but lost to incumbent Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin. Barrett launched his 2024 bid in July. Slotkin is now running for Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat.
Throughout his political career, Barrett has received support from the Associated Builders & Contractors of Michigan, a trade group representing the state’s commercial and industrial construction industries. Their affiliated PAC has contributed more than $15,000 to Barrett since 2014.
In 2023, ABC of Michigan sued the National Labor Relations Board, the federal agency tasked with enforcing labor laws. They claimed the board violated employers’ first amendment rights by discouraging companies from holding mandatory anti-union meetings. ABC of Michigan lost the case.
In 2018, ABC of Michigan led the effort to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law, a regulation that required government contractors to pay union wages. The Michigan AFL-CIO warned that repealing the law would result in cut wages for construction workers. Barrett voted in favor of repeal.
Barrett has other ties to ABC of Michigan.
In May 2023, Barrett started a consulting firm called Valley Strategies. One of their clients was Jimmy Greene and Associates, a lobbying firm owned by the former president of ABC Michigan. According to financial disclosures, Jimmy Greene and Associates paid Valley Strategies $5,000.
Barrett has his own record of opposing labor unions and workers rights. In 2015, he voted for a law that banned local communities from setting their own minimum wage and requiring paid family leave. For 2019 to 2022, he scored 0% on the AFL-CIO’s legislative scorecard. It was his third consecutive failing score.
A spokesperson for Barrett’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request to comment for this story.
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