SMART NEWSLETTER SPRING 2022

Page 1

SPRING 2022

NORTHEAST REGIONAL COUNCIL

SMART UPDATE DELIVERING RESULTS IS WHAT WE DO

PRESIDENT BIDEN AND THE LABOR MOVEMENT President Biden has prioritized working families since day one of his presidency and he continues to ensure that working families have a voice at the table. P.9


TABLE OF CONTENTS 3 PRESIDENT’S REPORT 4 LOCAL 40 UPDATES 6 LOCAL 63 UPDATES 8 PARTNER SPOTLIGHT 9 PRESIDENT BIDEN AND THE LABOR MOVEMENT 10 LOCAL 17 SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

NORTHEAST REGIONAL COUNCIL

ABOUT THE SMART NORTHEAST REGIONAL COUNCIL The SMART Northeast Regional Council was formed in 2021 to centralize our resources throughout the region. By creating a united front among our locals and contractors, we are able to bring new jobs for our collective workforce, making us stronger and more nimble in the fight ahead. The SMART Northeast Regional Council is composed of Locals 17, 40, and 63 spanning across New England. With nearly 4,000 members and counting, we use our collective bargaining power to fight for better training, benefits, and wages for our workers and a better future for our communities.


PRESIDENT'S REPORT Brothers and Sisters, I hope everyone is enjoying the warm spring weather and that your families are safe and well. Spring has been a busy and exciting time for the SMART Northeast Regional Council. In March, we celebrated Women’s History Month and Women in Construction week, giving us another opportunity to acknowledge the skill, dedication, and passion of our sisters. During Women in Construction Week, we emphasized the importance of women in construction and the importance of union benefits for women in the building trades. The SMART Northeast Regional Council is dedicated to ensuring women and men are treated equally and receive the same benefits in the workplace. We also honored Worker’s Memorial Day on April 28, a time to remember those who have died or been seriously injured on the job. On this day, we are reminded of our fight for protection for workers and our dedication to workplace safety. Looking ahead, primary elections are quickly approaching. We encourage all our members to get out and vote for pro-union candidates, like Attorney General Maura Healey, who is running for Governor of Massachusetts. Maura Healey has been fighting wage theft and worker misclassification in the construction industry for decades. We are confident she will continue to fight just as hard for working families in the Commonwealth’s highest office. The Attorney General was endorsed by Massachusetts Building Trades Unions at their annual convention this past March, and we are proud to support her candidacy. In the meantime, please stay safe and continue to check your local’s website and social media pages for updates on upcoming meetings, elections, and opportunities to give back to our communities. Thank you again for your dedication to workers in the Northeast and beyond. In Solidarity,

Robert Butler President SMART Northeast Regional Council

3


LOCAL 40 NEWS

LOCAL 40 APPRENTICE CONTEST Local 40 held our apprentice contest on April 2. The HVAC and Architectural contests included field measuring a mock-up to design and fabricate the projects. Welding contestants had to cut, grind, form, and assemble a complex square to round assembly according to a print. JP Carter-Walker, the winner of our second-year competition, is a first-year apprentice who came to Local 40 after leaving the military. He now works for Yankee Sheet Metal. Our winner in the architectural category was third-year apprentice Benjamin Conway. Ben is a third-generation sheet metal worker and both his grandfather and uncle are lifelong tin-knockers working for one of our roofing shops, Silktown Roofing. Thomas Bouchard, who won our HVAC competition, is a third-year apprentice who

came to Local 40 from a non-union shop and is currently working on a project labor agreement in his hometown of Windham, Connecticut for Yankee Sheet Metal. Third-year apprentice, Peter Marquez, won the welding category. Peter was a mechanic and fabricator at a custom motorcycle shop where he learned to weld. He now also works for Yankee Sheet Metal. The winner of our TAB competition was third-year apprentice, Lucas Hamilton. Lucas is a graduate of a technical high school and was previously a boiler technician; he currently works for one of our balancing companies, ETB. The winners of the local contest received an embroidered Carhartt jacket and competed at the regional contest on May 13 and 14.

Pictured from left: Peter Marquez welding category, Training Coordinator Jason Sherman, Organizer Fred Descy, Thomas Bouchard HVAC category, Ben Conway Architectural category, JP Carter-Walker 2nd year category, Regional Manager John Nimmons. Not pictured: Lucas Hamilton, TAB contest winner.

4


STANDING WITH UKRAINE The current war in Ukraine has personally affected many Local 40 members and their families. For example, Anatoli Bouzko, a native of Ukraine, has been a member of Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 40 for 24 years and lives in Newington, Connecticut, with his wife. As the war in Ukraine progressed, he brought his daughter and seven-year-old granddaughter to Connecticut, while his son-in-law stayed behind to fight for their homeland. At 18, Bouzko enlisted in the Russian army, as all men had to join under Soviet rule. Now, 43 years later, the people of Ukraine must take up arms to defend their country and their freedom. Bouzko came to us looking for donations to get urgently needed tactical equipment to Ukrainians on the frontline. We wanted to highlight his story in the possibility that others might support this cause as the war continues. The SMART Northeast Regional Council’s Executive Board has already contributed, voting to supply three sets of tactical gear at their April 20 meeting. If you are interested in learning more about Anatoli’s story or would like to donate yourself, please do not hesitate to reach out to Local 40 at (860)529-2616 ext. 104.

Anatoli Bouzko, his wife, daughter, and granddaughter at their home in Newington, CT.

ENDORSEMENT UPDATE On April 14, Local 40 endorsed Governor Ned Lamont for re-election in the upcoming gubernatorial election. Governor Lamont has proven himself to be pro-labor and pro-union by facilitating many project labor agreements throughout Connecticut that have kept Local 40’s members working. He has also been an asset by appointing pro-labor commissioners and passing legislation to protect workers and their families. In addition, Governor Lamont is prioritizing the needs of working families by investing in clean energy projects and high-speed rail using union labor.

Left to right: Regional Manager John Nimmons, Governor Ned Lamont, Retired Business Manager, CSBTC President, David A. Roche.

We are confident that Governor Lamont will continue to uphold pro-labor policies and create well-paying, union jobs. We are proud to support his re-election campaign. Cast your vote for Governor Ned Lamont in the primary election on August 9 and in the general on November 8.

5


Local 63 Regional Manager’s Report

LOCAL 63

REGIONAL MANAGER’S REPORT Brothers and Sisters, This spring, work in Western Massachusetts and Vermont looks promising. With President Biden committing to building and expanding semiconductor manufacturing facilities in the United States, SMART Local 63 members will gain significant work hours in the coming years. For reference, our brothers and sisters at Fab-Tech Inc. in Colchester, Vermont, have been manufacturing coated stainless steel pipes used in the semiconductor industry for decades. They have been and will continue to work two fifty-hour shifts each week to keep up with their product’s increased demand. As the semiconductor manufacturing industry develops, we look forward to providing more of our members with these opportunities. This year is also an election year, and SMART Local 63 wants to stress the importance of our members’ participation in local and national elections. As members of a labor organization, it is crucial to show up for pro-worker candidates who will continually support working families, especially candidates who advocate for workplace safety, adequate health insurance, and retirement benefits for all workers. The building trades and pro-labor elected officials can work together to mend issues with current legislation, such as closing the prevailing wage loophole. Remember, every vote will count on election day. We encourage all members to help level the playing field, increase opportunities, and ultimately improve the lives of SMART members and their families by voting. As always, I will continue to work collectively with Northeast Regional Council Representatives to provide new work opportunities for our hard-working brothers and sisters. Fraternally Yours, Michael J. LaFleur Local 63 Business Manager SMART Northeast Regional Council

6


LOCAL 63 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Local 63 member Ross McLaren knows first-hand the union difference. After nearly two decades of working for a non-union company, he recently made the switch to Local 63 and is now enjoying the family-sustaining wages and benefits that come with union membership. McLaren spent 18 years working with a non-union company and decided to join Local 63 four years ago, "It was time to make a switch. I was getting fed up with the 'take it or leave it' approach with the company I was working for. They were really unwilling to work with people and had a lack of understanding when it came to employees' wants and needs." Union membership brought many positive changes, his favorite of which was "getting to know different people from different companies. There seems to be more camaraderie, and everyone just seems to get along

better." Also, "there’s just more peace of mind, if things got slow at my old company, I would have to take time off, and there wasn’t really any other choice but to wait for them to call me back. I’d lose my health coverage within the first month and that wasn’t a great place to be. Now if I get laid off, the union carries your health insurance for a longer time, and you can use SASMI to help pick up the cost if you have to buy into the health plan." That peace of mind has been beneficial since he and his girlfriend added their baby girl, Ruth, to their family. When asked if he would recommend making the switch, McLaren said, "I would recommend it, sit down with the guys from the union and ask questions. Once you understand how the wages, benefits, and retirement work, it’s really a no-brainer."

7


PARTNER SPOTLIGHT

PARTNER SPOTLIGHT

MCCUSKER-GILL Sheet Metal Workers Local 17 contractor McCusker-Gill is the largest sheet metal contracting firm in Massachusetts and helps set the standard of excellence in sheet metal throughout New England. Starting as a small family business, Kevin Gill Sr. grew McCusker-Gill into what it is today. Gill contributes the growth of his business to the skilled labor of union workers. In an interview for SNIPS magazine, he said, “Our employees are absolutely top-notch. They are the reason for our success, and we are insistent on having good morale around the company.” By embracing new technology and utilizing highly skilled union labor, McCusker-Gill continues to set the standard for fair labor and safety standards. PLAs don’t only benefit the workers who work under them. They benefit our communities and taxpayers, too.

8


PRESIDENT BIDEN AND THE LABOR MOVEMENT

PRESIDENT BIDEN

AND THE LABOR MOVEMENT President Biden has prioritized working families since day one of his presidency and continues to ensure that working families have a voice at the table on the issues that matter most. He has proven himself to be a strong advocate for the labor movement through assertive policy and support for pro-worker legislation, making him the most union-friendly president in history. One of his first acts as president was creating the Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment which issued a report with nearly 70 recommendations to promote worker organizing and collective bargaining. Nearly every recommendation by the task force has been acted upon by President Biden. The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act was passed by the house in March of 2021 and President Biden has been vocal about his support for this bill. The PRO Act further protects our right as workers to organize and addresses union-busting tactics being practiced by big businesses.

But it’s not just protecting workers’ rights — the Biden administration has made historic investments in rebuilding the American economy to work for all. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Package is creating thousands of good-paying construction jobs while updating America’s aging infrastructure. Through executive orders like requiring project labor agreements (PLAs) on major federal construction projects, the Biden administration is ensuring these investments will go to responsible developers and companies. PLAs allow us to use our collective bargaining power to ensure family-sustaining wages and benefits and modern workplace safety standards. The SMART Northeast Regional Council is excited for President Biden to continue supporting and passing pro-labor legislation that benefits working families. Together we can build back better with an economy that is both equitable and fair.

ENDORSING MAURA HEALEY FOR GOVERNOR As Attorney General, Healey has established a pro-worker track record. Her campaign has advocated for paid family leave and workforce diversity and strives to enforce equality on all job sites and in the wages and benefits of working families. Aligned with the SMART NERC, Healey strongly believes in the importance of providing Massachusetts building trades with an abundance of work to support our families and our communities and economy.

9


LOCAL 17 SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS Sheet Metal Workers Local 17 congratulates all 29 area high-school seniors and college students who were recently awarded scholarships totaling $151,000. The program, 100% funded by the membership of Local 17, ranges from one-time $750 scholarships to four-year scholarships totaling $16,000. For every hour a member works, seven cents is contributed to Local 17’s scholarship fund. Since 1983, the program has awarded over $2.1 million in scholarships based on performance on the state Labor History Exam or through a lottery drawing. FOUR YEAR SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS Awards Ranging From: $8,000 - $16,000

MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS $4,500/One Year Scholarships Sarah Johnson, Student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute Joseph J. Nigro Memorial Scholarship Sponsor: Father, David Johnson Elizabeth l. Willie, Senior at Boston Green Academy Charlie F. Geary Memorial Scholarship Sponsor: Mother, Areesa Willie Michael Stallings, Jr, Senior at Westwood High School James M. Kelly Memorial Scholarship Sponsor: Grandfather, Nicholas Imbrunone

Cassandra E. Gordon, Senior at Quincy High School Sponsor: Grandfather, Frank Serra

$750/One Year Scholarships

Rachel L. McDonald, Senior at Marshfield High School Sponsor: Father, Jason McDonald

Sarah E. Bennett, Student at University of Hartford Sponsor: Father, David Bennett

James Elwell, Senior at Boston Latin School Sponsor: Father, Paul Elwell

Cole Ricciarelli, Student at Bryant College Sponsor: Father, Mark Ricciarelli

Grace Kapetanakos, Senior at Weymouth High School Sponsor: Father, Angelo Kapetanakos James M. Mackin, Senior at Weymouth High School Sponsor: Father, Joseph Mackin

10

ALTERNATE SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS


LOTTERY SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS $4,000/One Year Scholarships Edward J. Reilly, Senior Abington High School Sponsor: Grandfather, Louis Russell

Ava J. Lescinskas, Student at Merrimack College Sponsor: Grandfather, Ronald Lescinskas

Stella Cortese, Student at UMass Lowell Sponsor: Father, David Cortese

Michael J. Sheehan, Student at Northern Essex Community College Sponsor: Father, Michael E Sheehan

Daniel A. Scolaro, Student at St. Anslem College Sponsor: Father, John Scolaro

Kayla M. Reilly, Senior at Abington High School Sponsor: Grandfather, Louis Russell

Meaghan Turgeon, Student at UMass Dartmouth Sponsor: Father, Robert Coache

Domenic Kovatsi, Student at Lasell University Sponsor: Father, Stephen Kovatsi, II

Wyatt T. Campbell, Student at Norwich University Sponsor: Grandfather, Francis Cooper Jr

Megan Brown, Student at the University of Tampa Sponsor: Father, William Brown

Courtney Magnarelli, Senior at Burlington High School Sponsor: Grandfather, Richard Taylor

Iyanci M. Lopez, Senior at Greater Lowell Technical High School Sponsor: Father, Lenell Lopez

Hunter K. Hugvenin, Student at Trine University Sponsor: Grandfather, Kenneth Lewin

Benjamin DeBoer, Student at Curry College Sponsor: Father, James DeBoer

Zachary C. Falasca, Student at Wentworth Institute of Technology Sponsor: Father, Christopher Falasca

Kayla Keany, Student at Regis College Sponsor: Grandfather, Michael Keany

Illyana J. Anastasio, Student at Massasoit Community College Sponsor: Father, Thomas Anastasio

Brooke Marcotte, Student at Maine College of Art & Design Sponsor: Father, William Marcotte

Lily M. Mackay, Student at Skidmore College Sponsor: Grandfather, Frank Serra

11


Sheet Metal Workers Local 17 1157 Adams Street Dorchester, MA 02124

ARE YOU A BUILDING TRADES UNION MEMBER WHO’S STRUGGLING?

RECOVERY YOUR UNION CAN HELP Treatment|Detox|Counseling|Peer-to-Peer Support Meetings

NO STIGMA. NO SHAME. ONLY SOLIDARITY. Take the first step. Visit MassBuildingTrades.org/Recovery


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.