125th Anniversary Event Right Around the Corner
Well, folks, it’s finally happened. We’ve officially nailed down a date, time and venue for the our council’s 125th anniversary celebration event: Saturday, July 16, from noon to 2:30 p.m. at Salesforce Park Amphitheater.
This momentous occasion was initially delayed an entire year due to the pandemic, of course. Six months ago, when pandemic conditions began to subside, our council approved and announced a date that we ended up having to cancel due to continuing Covid-variant-related public health orders. While we simultaneously worked to secure the presence of our very busy Public Service Awardee, Nancy Pelosi, we slowly but surely were able to hammer out the particulars and set the final date and venue in stone.
The 125th anniversary event is meant to commend well over a century of a unionized building and constructions trade workforce fighting hard to make San Francisco the labor-strong city it remains today, and to honor that workforce’s supporters and its leading lights. We’ve worked to plan an event that reflects that, and we’re looking forward to raising a glass together to salute our legacy and our future as the SF Building Trades.
UCSF Parnassus Is a Go
The University of California Board of Regents’ recent vote to approve the new hospital project at UCSF Parnassus is a massive win for our movement that can’t be overstated.
In a purely practical sense, the regents’ decision clears the way for funding to the project to start flowing in earnest, guaranteeing a groundbreaking will indeed be forthcoming. That means that before too long, that money will — in the form of good wages — begin going into the pockets of up to 1,200 Bay Area construction and building trades union workers over the project’s 10-year timeline. This will help to create some much-needed long-term stability for so many who have been struggling on the bench after being sidelined due to the pandemic and the chilling effect it had on SF’s big-project boom.
The decision is important symbolically, as well, in that it underscores the fact that the old union saying still holds true: When we fight, we win. The community workforce project labor agreement negotiated by our council, UCSF, and general contractor Herrero Boldt Webcor is a victory for labor, ensuring local hiring, labor peace, union standards, and more. If we can reach an agreement that’s this good for workers on a project as big as this one, then we can and should fight for such agreements on every project.
For more details on the approval and the build, check out the article on the project, which begins on the front page of this edition.
Voting Is Also a Go, So Go Vote
The California primary election is on Tuesday, June 7. Please take the opportunity to make your voice heard by participating in the election. Check out the top of the Up-Front section on the facing page for our council’s positions on the city ballot initiatives.
Prop A, the MUNI Reliability and Street Safety Bond, is an especially important one for us. If passed, it’ll provide the funding needed to allow SF to build out its transportation infrastructure significantly — and that will mean a lot of well-paid, long-running jobs for our locals.
Make sure you’re registered and find out more about how to vote at registertovote.ca.gov. Then, go vote!
Union Work Is Safer Work
May kicked off with Construction Safety Week, and I’m sure you all heard plenty at the time from your contractors about jobsite safety. But as we wrap up the month, I think it’s a good time to reflect on the hazards and the benefits of our work.
Staying safe on the jobsite should always be a priority; it’s no secret that working in construction is risky by nature. But there are ways to mitigate those risks, and one big one is to join a union. Recent data collected by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration from 2,800 union jobsites and 34,200 nonunion ones revealed that union projects were 19% less likely to have been cited with health and safety violations and, overall, incurred an average of 34% fewer violations per inspection when compared to nonunion projects.
That being said, never take your own safety or that of your fellow workers on the jobsite for granted. Always follow safety protocol, look out for one another, and report any issues to your union representative right away.
Work safe, and be proud to be union!