Union trades workers resent backlash
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A majority of Americans now say unions are bad for the nation, according to Gallup polls. And the loss of two big trade shows at McCormick Place, for which the expense of union help was blamed, is bound to provoke more grumbling about organized labor in Chicago, traditionally one of the most loyal of union towns.

At the office building construction site at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Monroe Street, the talk among union workers the other day was tinged with bitterness. Many of the workers said they think they get a bad rap.

But at Gage, a fashionable cafe just a block from the pounding hammers and buzzing saws, Steve Thompson, a cyber-executive, said he considered $40-an-hour pay ��unreasonable�� for the crowd in steel-toe boots, ��given their education and training.��

To workers in the trades, that kind of talk is as familiar as the freezing wind that slaps their faces on outdoor job sites, sometimes while working on a six-inch wide steel beam on the 75th floor.