Organizing Our Industry by Justin Desmond

 In News, Newsletter: Summer '19

District Council 35 is proud to welcome Trust One Building Co. as our newest Drywall Finish Company, and to welcome Trust One Building Co. President David Villanueva as our new partner.

DC 35 stands and fights for fair wages and benefits. At Essex Landing in Saugus, TB Holdings owners Michael Touchett and Michael Barsamian undermined Community Standards on wages and benefits when they hired a General Contractor with subcontractors that do not pay workers wages and benefits at the Area Community Standard. Our DC 35 Organizing and Service Departments, along with DC 35 members, spent weeks manning a banner and leaflet action against TB Holdings, LLC on Route One in Saugus.

DC 35’s Community Day of Action was a great success again this year. DC 35 members and staff volunteered time to repaint and freshen up the gallery walls at RAW Art Works for their annual art auction. RAW is a youth arts organization rooted in art therapy. RAW believes that all kids should be seen and heard and that everyone has a story to tell. Located in Lynn, RAW offers a variety of free programming from painting to filmmaking, for kids ages 7-19.

DC 35 hosted a wage theft seminar as part of our Community Day of Action. The seminar was held to help workers better understand their legal rights when it comes to wage and hour violations by bad contractors within the construction market. The seminar also included information on Massachusetts’ earned sick time law and how to request time.

The Organizing department continues to work hard supporting workers throughout our jurisdiction who fall victim to wage theft. The Organizing and Political Departments attended a public hearing at the Massachusetts State House in front of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development in support of Wage Theft legislation bill LD 1066. Organizer Jorge Rivera testified and helped workers share their stories of Wage Theft. DC 35 joined many other unions and their members to spread the message about Wage Theft throughout Saugus and Lynn by passing out fliers in both cities and by urging state representatives to pass Wage Theft legislation.

DC 35’s New Stewards Training was held in June for Painters, Tapers and Glaziers. The presentation and training were presented by Paul Canning, DC 35 Reps, and Organizers.

DC 35 continues to work with the Worcester Building Trades and the Worcester Community Labor Coalition to secure a Community Betterment Agreement (CBA) on the new Worcester Triple-A Red Sox Stadium. We recently met with city officials to help them understand the positive results for using a CBA on construction projects.

We continue to visit jobsites all over our region to collect information for bidding opportunities for our signatory contractors, and these conversations continue to result in jobs for our contractors. I would like to personally thank all the District Council members who helped with our labor actions, and the organizing team for all their hard work and dedication to District Council 35, our membership, and our partners.