The Tennessean today reported, "Laborers' PAC puts money behind Barry in mayor's race." Megan Barry is a favorite candidate among the most liberal elements in Nashville. She is the preferred candidate of liberal academia getting numerous campaign contributions from those affiliated with Vanderbilt University. She is also the candidate favored by gay rights advocates and she performed the first gay wedding in Nashville.
She is the only candidate for Mayor who has said she will definitely vote for Metro Charter Amendment 3, the "local hire" amendment pushed by NOAH, the same group also pushing the home price fixing and rent control proposal that goes by the innocent sounding name of "inclusionary zoning."
Amendment 3 would amend the Metro Charter to require that 40 percent of Metro tax-funded projects be staffed with Nashville residents. While at first glance that may sound like a good idea it would be very difficult to achieve and would greatly add to the cost of all metro projects. Contractors bidding on Metro projects already have their own crews. For a contractor to lay off their employees and hire local people would greatly add to the cost of Metro projects. While there may be a significant number of unemployed people in Nashville or people not in the labor force, that does not mean they have the skills needed for big construction projects. Most likely, to come up to the 40% local requirement, contractors would just add bodies to payroll to the degree necessary to reach that 40% threshold. One can see how this would drastically increase the cost of Metro public works projects. This is the kind of "make work" legislation favored by big labor.
Megan Barry has also advocated a local minimum wage. She seems to have been outbid by Bill Freeman who has advocated a $12 an hour minimum wage, however. Barry, on the other hand, as a member of the Metro Council spearheaded passage of a "living wage" for Metro employees. A "living wage" in Nashville is about $11.04 right now. She recently advocated a living wage for everyone when she said, "I firmly believe that we should have a wage that reflects what it really requires to live here, and that's a living wage." Although outbid by Freeman on the minimum wage issue, it was not by much.
Tennessee Laborers' PAC consists of members of Laborers International Union of North America, or LIUNA. LIUNA appears to be the only organized national labor group that has backed any mayoral candidate. Freeman has been endorsed by of the teachers, police and fire unions and SEIU, but these are local chapters of unions as opposed to a national union. Megan Barry is big labor's candidate.