To the House of Representatives:
I am returning without my approval H.R. 5900, commonly known as the Common Situs Picketing Bill.
The bill before me represents a combination of H.R. 5900, which would overturn the United States Supreme Court's decision in the Denver Building Trades case and the newly proposed Construction Industry Collective Bargaining Bill, S. 2305, as amended. During the development of this legislation, I stipulated that these two related measures should be considered together. The collective bargaining provisions have great merit. It is to the common situs picketing title that I address my objections.
I had hoped that this bill would provide a resolution for the special problems of labor-management relations in the construction industry and would have the support of all parties. My earlier optimism in this regard was unfounded. My reasons for this veto focus primarily on the vigorous controversy surrounding the measure, and the possibility that this bill could lead to greater, not lesser, conflict in the construction industry.
There are intense differences between union and nonunion contractors and labor over the extent to which this bill constitutes a fair and equitable solution to a long-standing issue. I have concluded that neither the building industry nor the Nation can take the risk that the bill, which proposed a permanent change in the law, will lead to loss of jobs and work hours for the construction trades, higher costs for the public, and further slowdown in a basic industry.
GERALD R. FORD
The White House,
January 2, 1976.