Boston Local 534 Newsletter: Summer 2023

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BUILDING NEW ENGLAND FOR OVER 100 YEARS

SUMMER 2023

TABLE OF CONTENTS

3 BUSINESS MANAGER’S REPORT

4 WORKSITE SPOTLIGHT

TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION WITH EAST COAST FIREPROOFING

6 THE AMERICAN WAY:

A MEMBER’S 20+ YEAR CAREER WITH LOCAL 534

7 SUPPORT LOCAL 534 MEMBER CHRIS PARKER

Boston Plasterers and Cement Masons Local 534 represents over 400 skilled and licensed plasterers and cement masons across New England. We’re proud to set the standard for cuttingedge architectural design and durable construction. Thanks to our world-class training, benefits, and commitment to quality construction, we’ve been the trusted choice for plaster, cement masonry, and fireproofing for over 100 years.

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BUSINESS MANAGER’S REPORT

Brothers and Sisters,

This summer, the dedicated members of Local 534 have been hard at work shaping the future of our region.

Our union’s success today is thanks to all members who’ve worked hard and stood together in solidarity for decades. We’re proud to highlight 20+ year member Serri Correia, who’s been a leader on the job site and a powerful voice for our union. Learn more about his contributions in our profile on page 6.

As we prepare to usher in a new class of apprentices this upcoming Fall, we are thrilled to introduce you to Yomar Melendez, a promising young member of Local 534’s apprenticeship program. Yomar is undergoing training and actively collaborating with East Coast Fireproofing, a dedicated partner and longtime signatory contractor. Read more about their great work on page 4.

Thank you for all your work and dedication. Together, we keep our union strong!

TRUST PLASTER. TRUST CONCRETE. TRUST LOCAL
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Local 534 apprentice Yomar Melendez
534.

WORKSITE SPOTLIGHT:

TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION WITH EAST COAST FIREPROOFING

Early on a gray Monday morning in mid-August, the city of Medford was just waking up and preparing for the week ahead.

But Local 534 apprentice Yomar Melendez was already hard at work fireproofing one of the city’s newest buildings. Yomar is training and working with East Coast Fireproofing, one of Local 534 longtime contractors.

The on-site experience is a key part of Yomar’s training as an apprentice, something which East Coast Fireproofing encourages.

“The apprentices are the future of the company and of the union,” said Rob Taglienti, Jr., President of East Coast Fireproofing. “There’s no better training than hands-on training. We have them work with all of our best top journeymen, and we get them exposed to all the different stuff that Local 534 and East Coast Fireproofing do.”

East Coast Fireproofing and the Local 534 Training Center work closely to ensure apprentices get all the education they need. The union provides most of the basic training on fireproofing, safety,

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and OSHA, while East Coast Fireproofing trains apprentices on field equipment like scissor lifts and pumps, as well as new products and techniques over time.

The partnership between East Coast Fireproofing and Local 534 has stood the test of time. East Coast Fireproofing was founded in 1978 by Rob’s father, and the company is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year. They’ve been a signatory contractor with Local 534 for decades.

Suffolk Downs and has fireproofed multiple buildings at the New Balance complex in Brighton.

On that Monday morning in August, as Yomar was applying spray-on fireproofing throughout the building, he was joined by fellow Local 534 members and East Coast Fireproofing Field Superintendent Alan Chamberland.

It’s that kind of camaraderie and partnership that’s built the success of East Coast Fireproofing and Local 534 for over 30 years.

“It’s been a real good partnership over the years,” Rob said. “I think this business is really about people—and we have a really great group of people.”

Over the years, their team has grown to over 90 union workers in the field, including 25 Local 534 fireproofers that work on each one of the company’s projects. The team has worked on buildings across Boston and the metro area, ranging from small, single-day projects to complexes that can take years to complete. The team recently finished work at Assembly Row in Somerville and

Local 534 apprentice Yomar Melendez
TRUST PLASTER. TRUST CONCRETE. TRUST LOCAL 534. 5
Alan Chamberland (General Field Superintendent of East Coast Fireproofing Co., Inc) and 534 member Alvin Cruz

THE AMERICAN WAY: A MEMBER’S 20+ YEAR CAREER WITH LOCAL 534

A great career. Secure retirement. Opportunities for our kids. That’s the American dream, which first brought Local 534 plasterer Serri Correia to our union over 20 years ago.

Serri started as a non-union worker, but all that changed when he started his family. When he was 21 years old, he married a nurse, and they had two kids: a boy and a girl. Serri quickly saw the opportunities joining Local 534 would give him and his family.

“I had a young family then, and the union offered better pay, healthcare, and benefits,” Serri said, “Through the union, I got to put my kids through college—and I’m still married, 30 years later.”

Serri’s daughter got a Master’s in Public Health from Harvard University and became a speech pathologist, while his son now works for Amazon. Serri and his wife have owned their home in Westport, MA, for almost 25 years.

On the job site, Serri works as a plasterer. Since he joined the union in 2000, Serri’s career has taken him to

projects all across New England, from Yale University to Encore Casino to South Station. When his family sees the Massachusetts State House on television, they’re reminded of how Serri helped maintain and restore the historic goldendomed capital.

“I love plastering, and I’ve always had great people beside me at Local 534,” Serri said. “When you’re down and out, they’re there to lift you up and pull you right along.”

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Serri Correia (right), with Local 534 members Jeremy Woodward and Chad Russo.

Today, Serri takes the time to share all of his hard-earned experience with the next generation of plasterers through training and mentorship on the job site.

“I learned a lot from the old-timers,” he added. “It’s my turn to pay it forward and pass it down to the young apprentices.”

He’s also starting to plan for retirement. He’s looking forward to taking Local 534’s

SUPPORT LOCAL 534 MEMBER

CHRIS PARKER

On Saturday, July 29, Local 534 member Chris Parker was driving to his side job when he got into a severe car wreck. Chris was ejected from his vehicle, leaving him in critical condition when rescue workers found him at the scene. He suffered multiple injuries, including a broken spine, pelvis, fractured ribs, and more, resulting in the amputation of his left leg and as well as leaving him in a medically induced coma.

A union member for seven years, Chris is a dedicated journeyman with a strong devotion to his craft. His fiancé and ten-month-old son have not left his side throughout the early stages of his recovery process.

early retirement benefits at 59 years old, allowing him to spend more time with his family and in his community.

“Through the union, I worked hard and built a good life,” Serri said, looking back on his career with Local 534. “I believe that’s the American way.”

When workers join the union, they become a part of something much bigger than any one person. They become a part of our family, a part of the brotherhood. If you’re able, please consider donating to his GoFundMe to ease the financial stress of his road to recovery.

Scan the QR code or visit bit.ly/Parker534

TRUST
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PLASTER. TRUST CONCRETE. TRUST LOCAL 534.

Boston Plasterers and Cement Masons Local 534

7 Frederika Street

Boston, MA 02124

UPCOMING MEETINGS

The best way to have a voice in your union is to attend local meetings, where you can engage with fellow members, ask questions of local leadership, and stay informed. Mark your calendars and bring a friend to the remaining 2023 meetings!

All meetings will be held at the Local 534 Union Hall unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, September 26 6 PM

Saturday, October 28 9 AM

Tuesday, November 21 6 PM

/BostonLocal534 @BostonLocal534 BostonLocal534.org
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