By Jacob Bourne, Contributing Writer and Photographer
Crew members with the Local 12 Carpet, Linoleum and Soft Tile Workers have been laying many floors at both Salesforce Tower and the Sutter Health CPMC Van Ness and Geary Campus Hospital project. With 30 floors yet to install at Salesforce and 12 at CPMC, workers employed by Hoem & Associates and Anderson Commercial Flooring remain focused on the finer details while working steadily to advance to the next floor on schedule. At Salesforce, squaring every inch of carpet, laying LVTs evenly and fixing any problems on the spot require constant communication between apprentices and more seasoned workers. Many on the 30-person crew at CPMC have gained new skills such as heat welding vinyl flooring installation and coving to ensure that the future hospital operating room is free of microbial contamination and excess moisture.
CPMC’s new campus is being delivered through a partnership between general contractors Herrero Builders and The Boldt Company. The project is geared to offer 13 floors of specialized and emergency care capabilities with 274 acute care hospital beds and room to expand. Clark Construction and Hathaway Dinwiddie are the general contractors for Salesforce Tower. Floor installers expect to finish the remaining floors of the 1,070-foot office skyscraper by the end of the year.
–Voices From the Union–
I’ve been in the trade for 18 years and with this Local for five years. I came here for more competitive wages after my buddy brought me along with him. The past five years have been excellent. There’s been plenty of work and good guys.
One of the challenges has been running into different types of materials, new materials and different substrates. I’ve been able to pick up a lot of new skills. Right now, we’re putting in LVT tiles and trying to get on to the next floor. Compared to other sites, this job requires us to be more detailed with borders and work with new materials, colors and learn about different glues.
I’ve been 20 years with the Local and Hoem & Associates. It’s been great over the years and I’ve been able to buy a house and my family is happy so I can’t complain. We have a decent life thanks to the Union.
Right now, we’re doing the carpet and LVTs. We’ve been doing this for four years, so it’s been a long project and have 30 more floors to go so we’ll probably be wrapping this up by the end of the year. We’ve had about eight or nine guys on the job and it has required everyone to have a very responsible approach to their work. The apprentices have been doing very well.
My dad was a Union laborer and I have a friend who introduced me to the Local 15 years ago. I was an apprentice for four years and remember having great teachers who taught us everything we needed to know to be prepared for this type of work. It was a combination of a lot of classroom time, hands-on and on-the-job training.
Things have gone really well over the years and the high points are the camaraderie and being able to provide for my family. The competitive wages have allowed me to have a nice home and to provide my family with whatever they need.
I just started in November as an apprentice. It’s been very good so far and keeping me busy. I did the orientation about a month ago and plan to participate in Union meetings in the future. My brother was in the trades for about 20 years, so I’ve been around it all my life. I always figured I’d be doing this someday.
I’ve picked up the skills very quickly and like the work. I like staying busy. I’m doing evening classes as well and it’s working out great because they’re mainly online, which helps with my work schedule.
Things have been going well, I’m making good money, working with great people and the company has been good too. I’ve been with the Local for 15 or 16 years. My friend had told me about the Union and how great it is and all the benefits. Back then the idea of Unions was new to me.
Things have also changed a lot over the years. Back then things were a bit tougher for us. We get treated much better now because people spoke up and things improved.
It’s been about five years with the Local now. The apprenticeship program was very professional. Things have been going well and I have no complaints. I’ve gone to a few meetings and it’s been a good experience to get together with the guys and learn about what’s been going on with the Union.
We’re installing carpet tile and LVTs. I’ve been on this job for a few weeks now and hope to stay on until we’re finished. I’m really happy to be here and feel that I’ve been treated very well.
It’s been going on 13 years with the Union following three generations before me. I still have family members working in the trade. It’s just a great opportunity being out here in the field with a lot of great guys.
The Local has been very supportive over the years and the work has come with great benefits and opportunities to produce great craftsmanship.
I’ve been in the trade for 20 years working for the same company, Hoem & Associates. Things have changed a lot over the years in terms of laying carpet. In terms of the Union things have been good. I feel so lucky and so blessed. I try to attend at least 8-10 meetings per year and have also participated in negotiations.