Expanding Our Share by Bill Legrand
The calendar year is coming to an end, but not the construction and renovation boom that our signatory contractors are experiencing around the Boston metropolitan area. This boom has provided many work hours to IUPAT DC 35 membership, so I am very thankful for that and hope you are too.
Looking beyond Boston and outside the 128 belts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont are within our jurisdiction and are represented by District Council 35. These are extremely large geographic regions with opportunity for additional work hours and membership growth. In these areas, representatives and organizers are pulling out all the stops to expand our membership’s market share. In Portland, Maine, the labor-friendly Mayor Ethan Strimling has poised to improve the standards of the middle class. Portland’s city council has recently been holding hearings on ‘Responsible Contractor’ language, brought forward by the Maine Building Trades Unions. DC 35 representatives and local members have been attending and giving testimony in favor of the language. Through this work, Portland has achieved a victory where responsible contractor language is now included into bid documents for all projects in Portland that have Tax Increment Financing (TIF) from the city. This is just the beginning. The goal is to use this language on all projects funded by taxpayers.
DC 35 also has members on the glazing and drywall finish contracts at the $512 million Maine Medical Center renovation and expansion project in Portland and painting contracts are still in negotiation with Turner Construction showing interest in one of our signatories.
In New Hampshire, the industrial work has outpaced commercial work, and DC 35 members have seen opportunity on projects in the wastewater treatment facilities, on bridges and overpasses, on gilding on the dome of the New Hampshire Supreme Courthouse, as well as various interior commercial spaces.
DC 35 has partnered with ORBIS Inc. for labor needs since 2013 and will continue to provide certified, skilled, safe labor in the industrial painting and blasting disciplines. ORBIS Inc. realizes and embraces the value of working with union craft. This year, ORBIS Inc. signed a U.S. Navy Ship Maintenance Agreement with the North American Building Trades Unions, which allows them to pull qualified labor on all coasts of the continental United States in order to renovate and repair naval vessels.
ORBIS Inc. will be placing a call to DC 35 for up to 20 Abrasive Blasters starting in February 2019 with a schedule that continues through December. If you have the S.S.P.C. C7 Dry Abrasive Blasting Certification, please call Business Representative Bill Legrand at 617-592-2224 to get you started on this opportunity.
Merry Christmas to all, and have a safe and prosperous New Year!