Leader of construction trade union dies


With Ayers at the helm, BCTD pushed aggressively for increased infrastructure spending by the federal government. The union has been a big supporter of a multi-year highway bill and clashed with environmentalists over its support of the Keystone pipeline.

Ayers had also butted heads with Democrats, labor’s traditional political allies. In an August 2011 letter to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Ayers said BCTD would not participate in the party’s convention this year due to concerns over the use of scarce union resources and its location in Charlotte, N.C., a state with low unionization.

In a statement Sunday, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said he was saddened by the loss of Ayers. 

“I am deeply saddened by Mark Ayers’ passing. We join his family in commemorating this extraordinary leader and friend,” Trumka said.