International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Local Union 83 member Hugo Mejia and United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 68L member Rodrigo Nuñez went to their Solano County job site, a hospital within Travis Air Force Base, on May 3. An otherwise ordinary day of working on the job, they were detained by military base staff and subsequently by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement when they presented their California driver's licenses and tax identification numbers instead of social security numbers. Held by ICE for months at jails in Elk Grove and Yuba County without any formal hearings regarding their cases, many groups across the country have been rallying in support of their release.
The continued hope for inmates in the California prison system is that they will one day become productive members of society. In that regard, the building trades are doing what they can to help move that narrative forward. The transition from incarceration to trades worker goes through the Inmate Ward Labor training program.
Contractor Roberts-Obayashi is building a new 61-unit apartment complex at 5050 Mission that includes non-union contractors. The 100,700 square foot building at the corner of Mission Street and Seneca Avenue in the Mission Terrace neighborhood is wood frame over podium – a type of construction often done by non-union subcontractors.
Modernization work at several San Francisco Unified School District sites is progressing on schedule this summer. San Francisco voters approved a $531 million Facility Bond Measure in November 2011 to fund projects to modernize and improve safety in SFUSD facilities. The 2011 bond funded modernization work at 65 school sites, expansion of the green schoolyard program, and construction of the new Willie Brown Middle School.
Union member insurance provider and investor Ullico recently invested a total of $206.5 million into financing construction for the Folsom Bay Tower located at 160 Folsom Street. The investment is in the form of a participation loan, of which $90 million of the total has been participated to other lenders.
Work on the Downtown San Francisco Ferry Terminal expansion project began in May, with crews of operating engineers, pile drivers, carpenters and laborers doing site preparation, demolition and dredging work on piers just south of the Ferry Building.
The San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council and San Mateo County Building Trades Council hosted a series of meetings with Bay Area legislators in Sacramento April 25, along with the San Francisco Labor Council and San Mateo County Central Labor Council. Representatives from the building trades and public and private sector unions asked State Senators Scott Wiener and Jerry Hill and Assemblymembers David Chiu, Phil Ting, Kevin Mullin and Marc Berman to support the labor-backed bills.