Building the Trades

Tim Paulson, Executive Secretary-Treasurer

Tim Paulson, Executive Secretary-Treasurer

A Journeyman Tilesetter since 1981, Tim Paulson previously served as Vice President of the SFBCTC starting in 1997. He was a principal officer and business agent for the Bricklayers, Tilelayers, and Allied Craftworkers Local 3, and an Apprenticeship Coordinator for the Northern California Tilelayers and Tile Finishers Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee. As the Executive Director of the San Francisco Labor Council from 2004 to 2018, Paulson coordinated political activities, organized events and rallies, and supported affiliated unions in bargaining and contract negotiations. Prior to working for the SF Labor Council, Paulson worked as the Political Director and Assistant Executive Officer of the San Mateo County Central Labor Council. He previously held the position of Organizing and Political Director for SEIU’s Justice for Janitors campaigns in Northern California, and led successful campaigns organizing security officers at Bay Area office buildings. A San Francisco resident, Paulson holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science.

Absentee ballots for all California voters are going out at the beginning of October. The majority of Americans already vote by mail. I do. It is convenient and I am usually working by the time the polls open on Tuesday, November 3rd, so I plunk mine in the mail within a day or two of when I get the ballot at my house.

Kamala Harris took me out to lunch a while back. I had just been elected to my previous job at the labor council and she was calling to congratulate me. She wasn’t the mayor or president of the Board of Supervisors. But she was the first local leader to reach out in my first days on the job. I will never forget that. We went to a funky hamburger joint and talked for over an hour. She had a big black Suburban or whatever folks drove in those days. Driven by a cop. I asked her about the cop.

The year 2020 has been a strong one for Project Labor Agreements. We have secured deals with the San Francisco Giants at Mission Rock for the 11 waterfront buildings planned there; we won an agreement with City College for almost a billion dollars in infrastructure work; the Recreation and Park Land at India Basin was just signed; the huge Potrero Hill Power Plant development is being inked; we have letters of intent (LOI) for the private development of India Basin; the new neighborhood at 3333 California has signed to be union; we have commitments for the new hotel at the Golden Gate Warriors arena (the Mission Bay PLA covers) which we helped get approved at the Planning Commission; we have a commitment to a union-only high rise at 10 So. Van Ness with Crescent Heights Developers; and an LOI for 85 Hawthorne St.

These last weeks have been tremendously challenging for those of us who live and work in the United States. Our fortitude, values, weaknesses, skills, intelligence and adaptability to change are being tested every day.

The debate still rages between the Health and Safety of American workers caused by the health care crisis versus the Economic Health of workers and their families.

There is a debate raging in America. The debate is driven by the COVID-19 virus but the issues for workers is always similar. I am extremely irritated by the divisive dynamics of the arguments. But America thinks this is necessary.

March 3 brought some interesting electoral results, including some goodies and surprises both locally, statewide and nationally.

I didn’t have the time (or stomach) to listen to Trump’s speech to Congress earlier this month, but I have since digested his words and the circus he created. He began by an act of disrespect and lack of class by refusing to shake the hand of Leader Pelosi, a normal procedure given to the Vice President and Speaker who represent Congress at the dais before the “speech.”

Samuel Gompers, as I wrote last month, was the long-time President of the American Federation of Labor (AFL). Over a hundred years ago, many national unions were sick of their umbrella organization, the Knights of Labor, who were more than willing to accommodate the employers.

As most of us know, Stan Smith, former Secretary-Treasurer of the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council, passed away recently at the age of 89.

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