Rudy Gonzalez, headshot

By Rudy Gonzalez | Secretary-Treasurer

Thoughts on the 64th State Building Trades Convention

I’d first like to offer my congratulations to President Chris Hannan of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California (SBCTC) on his recent election by the statewide delegates of the SBCTC.

I’ve come to know Brother Hannan in my few years here at the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council, and I’ll put my assessment of him in the simplest of terms: He knows what he’s doing.

He’s about the work. He’s about the members. He cares deeply about future apprentices and investing in community jobs.
It’s clear that Hannan has the true heart of a trade unionist. He’s always looking for ways to keep as many people as possible in coalition in order to affect the greatest change for the many. I think he possesses the knowledge base that’s critical for any successful SBCTC president.

I’m thrilled that our delegates so resoundingly voted their confidence in Hannan.

I look forward to working alongside him to lift up every voice in the industry. I’m confident that he will lead us well.

This State Building Trades Convention was my first, so it was great to have along as a fellow SF delegate brother Mike Theriault, retired member of Ironworkers Local 377 and former secretary-treasurer of this council, as many of you will recall. Theriault was well-received by former colleagues and even took his turn on the microphone to register the SF per-capita.

The quadrennial convention’s ultimate purpose comes down to the serious business of electing officers and funding the SBCTC, but it’s also chock-full of guests. We heard from dynamic speakers such as California State Controller Malia Cohen, Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, and Attorney General Rob Bonta.

For my money, though, the convention’s best speaker was President Sean McGarvey of our Washington, D.C.-based building trades advocates, North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU). McGarvey, a glazier by trade, recognized the role our state plays in setting the highest bar for construction workers before speaking about some of our collective challenges, which include realizing the promise of registered apprenticeship and strengthening our unions through inclusivity and continuing to be the very best in our trades.

Pelosi Gets TJPA Funded, With Work on the Horizon

A shout-out is in order to our congressional representative, Nancy Pelosi. Her continued support of good jobs and green transit infrastructure, such as the work of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA), means she’s working directly to help good union jobs proliferate in the Bay Area.

TJPA is the agency in charge of building out the Portal, a.k.a. Phase 2 of SF’s downtown rail extension beneath the Transbay Transit Center. Thanks to Pelosi’s efforts, this project was included in the White House’s budget to the tune of $500 million. That funding allocation gets us closer to beginning the work, which will bring a lot of long-term jobs to a lot of local union tradespeople.

Phase 1 brought over 5.7 million work-hours to Bay Area trades members. The next phase of the buildout will likely bring twice that amount.

As for Pelosi, don’t let anyone convince you that her position in the 11th congressional seat is up for grabs. From my vantage point, only the most cynical politicos would see Pelosi as anything other than the best damn congresswoman we could have as trade unionists. She’s been a proven friend to the working Californian. At a time like this, I’m sure glad that she’s right where SF and the entire country need her to be, bringing credibility and effective advocacy to the halls of Congress.

Negotiation Wins

A special thanks goes out to our bargaining committee members and union representatives who have been steadfast negotiators during the past several months on behalf of our people at the Public Employees
Committee (PEC). The power of our unity has made all the difference — from PEC to the local union and side-table talks to mediation.

City talks are finally moving, and you’re sure to read coverage in this paper about the many gains we’ve made for our members. I want to recognize the following representatives who endured this round of bargaining to advocate for the priorities of their shops and stare down — and, ultimately, beat back — concessions proposed by the City:

  • Mike Henneberry, Teamsters Local 853
  • Peter Lang, Roofers and Waterproofers Local 40
  • Josh Vallis, Sheet Metal Workers Local 104
  • Walter Orellana, Plasterers and Cement Masons Local 300
  • Israel Vargas, Plasterers and Cement Masons Local 300
  • Nick King, Glaziers Local 718
  • Anthony Nuanes, Carpet and Soft Tile Workers Local 12
  • Colin Johnson, BAC Local 3
  • Eddie Reyes, Iron Workers Local 377
  • Jim Beaumonte and Maggie McDonald, IATSE Local 16
  • John Chiarenza, UA Local 38
  • Larry Mazzola Jr., UA Local 38 and SF Building Trades Council president

Meanwhile, at the school district, our team unanimously ratified a deal to increase wages by 16% and settle a new overall contract for SFUSD Common Crafts members earlier this month. We now look to the SF Board of Education to approve the pact later in May.

I look forward to reporting more good news next month!

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