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With the costs of construction materials rising over the past year, local contractors and union representatives have expressed concerns about how projects and jobs are impacted.

Construction industry publications have reported since last fall that prices for lumber, structural steel, copper, steel pipes, and concrete have risen dramatically since the COVID-19 pandemic began last March and global supply chains were disrupted. The online news site ForConstructionPros.com reported that “Engineering and construction costs increased for the fourth consecutive month in February” as “ocean freight from both Europe and Asia to the U.S. saw a sixth straight month of price increases.”

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Sign Display Local 510 has taken extreme efforts to assist members through the COVID-19 pandemic. Members are now regularly receiving state and federal benefits, updates on changes coming to the trade show and convention industries, and information about volunteering in their communities.

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Eight-four years ago this month, construction wrapped on the Golden Gate Bridge. Dubbed “a perpetual monument that will make this city’s name ring around the world” by the San Francisco Examiner in 1925 and “one of the greatest monuments of all time” by Consulting Architect Irving Morrow at the time of its opening, some might argue the bridge — which attracts 10 million tourists each year and sees 41 million motorists make the trip across annually — is the world’s greatest perpetual monument to something else, too: union labor.

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A Statement From Rudy Gonzalez, Secretary-Treasurer of the San Francisco Building & Construction Trades Council

With former police officer Derek Chauvin found guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd, we can exhale. Some level of justice has been served.

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As of early this month, approximately one-quarter of the 28-acre Mission Rock site has had piles driven for structure foundations. Members of Pile Drivers Local 34, a subcraft of the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council (NCCRC), began the effort in early February. They will continue pile-driving through mid-April.

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Over the past 50 years, San Francisco construction unions have been improving how they recruit, train, and listen to women. As a result, more women are showing an interest in the trades, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

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In early January, union representatives at Local 261 began getting reports of workers at a San Francisco Department of Public Works maintenance yard becoming sick with COVID-19. The Cesar Chavez Street Maintenance Yard, which runs 24/7 and sees some 500 employees shuffle in and out, was experiencing an outbreak.

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From the very beginning of the Gold Rush, workers in San Francisco have had to fight for better wages and working conditions. The significant contributions of the city’s earliest workers would go a long way in establishing San Francisco as a place “where unionism holds undisputed sway.” The building trades were among the first unions to organize, and the first recorded strike was by carpenters in 1849.

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Chris Snyder, Government Relations Director for Operating Engineers Local 3, was appointed to the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District’s Board of Directors effective January 1.

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