ALWAYS REMEMBER THE MEMBERS BY RODRIGO BADARO
“In all you do, ALWAYS remember the members.” I heard this phrase multiple times from retired BM/ST Jeff Sullivan since I joined the staff of DC 35 in January of 2022. After 26 years in the painting field, 17 of them as a rank-and-file member of DC 35, it was an honor and a personal challenge to accept the mission to serve our membership, first as an Organizer, and now as a Representative/Organizer. Now, under the leadership of BM/ST Chris Brennan and surrounded by seasoned members of DC 35’s staff, the goal is to make our Union better than when we got here.
We are servicing the North Shore region of Boston, along with some cities in the Greater Boston area, like Chelsea, Somerville, Medford, Everett, Revere, and Winthrop. We are also servicing Cambridge, Allston, Brighton, and East Boston alongside Assistant BM/ST Joe Guarino. It is a big task, but with the support of our leadership and the best interests of the membership in mind, I am certain that we can do great things for our Union!
We started a job action against Gilbane Construction and US2 in January on a project at Union Square in Somerville. The company and developers did not fulfill their commitment to the community and selected painting and drywall finishing contractors that did not make their best efforts to hire Somerville residents to work on their project. Because of the relationships built by BM/ST Chris Brennan and other members of DC 35 over the years, we were able to get our message across. With the support of the community, the Rhode Island painting contractor was removed from the project, and a DC 35 signatory contractor will perform the remainder of the scope of the work, with some members who live in Somerville working on the project. This would have never happened without those seeds planted in the community years ago and without the support of the Organizing Department, the Retirees Committee, and the members that stood in the line every single day, rain or shine!
Also in Somerville, we have some ongoing major projects in the city that are already generating hours for our membership. They are located on 34 Prospect St. (Union Square), 5 Middlesex Ave., 74 Middlesex Ave. (both on Assembly Row), 495 Columbia St., 101 South St. (both on Boynton Yards), 15 McGrath Highway (Somerville/ Cambridge line), and 100 Chestnut St. Most of these projects are core and shell only, except 34 Prospect St. We are monitoring the progress of the projects to make sure our signatory contractors have a chance to bid and win the tenant fit-out packages in order to generate hours for our membership. As an example, Colony Drywall and M.L. McDonald have been awarded the tenant fit-out packages of the 2nd and 3rd floors at 100 Chestnut St, due to the diligence of our team in sharing the information with our signatory contractors.
Finally, we have educated potential victims of wage theft in the industries we represent, helping many of them to file wage theft complaints with the Attorney General’s office. The misclassification of workers is a pandemic in our industry that leads to wage theft, creating an uneven playing field for our signatory contractors. We are fully committed to bringing justice to all workers in an effort that can generate more work hours for our Brothers and Sisters. In all we do, we always remember the members!