The Lowell Sun: Painters union welcomes new beginning in Lowell
New beginnings can make a big difference not just for individuals, but also for communities. In the building trades, we see a lot of people looking for just that — a chance for a better life and an opportunity to provide stability for their families. But the hard truth is, good jobs with family-supporting wages can be hard to come by. While income inequality grows across our state and our nation, there is a solution. Lowell knows better than most that unions can be the antidote to these kinds of injustices and wage disparities.
Now, one of the leading trade unions in the region, the Painters and Allied Trades Union that I am proud to lead, sees the promise a new beginning can bring to Lowell. The response had been overwhelmingly positive. It starts with a $40,000 rehabilitation of a historic storefront in downtown Lowell to serve as the union’s newest satellite office. The new office will spur additional investment in Lowell’s revitalization and better serve workers and union members already working and living in the Merrimack Valley. But it doesn’t end there.
For a truly revitalized Lowell, one that goes deeper than a fresh coat of paint, there must also be a pathway to jobs that pay family-supporting wages. The larger goal is to help create more good union jobs and continue developing training programs for people interested in construction trade careers. As painters, tapers and glaziers, bringing new life to the spaces where people live, work, learn and worship together is our job. Creating an opportunity for working people to support their families and build strong local economies is our mission.
With the Lowell Courthouse renovation project, another six projects on the UMass Lowell campus, and many more in the works, that opportunity is deeply rooted here in Lowell. If you’re a current member of District Council 35 working in the Merrimack Valley, someone interested in joining the union or learning a building trade or a new neighbor who wants to see the new office, you can find us at 26B Market St. downtown. We look forward to working with the whole community as we do great things for a great city. Jeff Sullivan Lowell Editor’s note: Jeff Sullivan is the business manager of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 35 (IUPAT DC35), covering Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
Originally published by the Lowell Sun.