Organizing Our Industry by Justin Desmond

 In News, Newsletter: Winter '18

The agency is proud to have recently unionized with DC 35! Seated center: 617MediaGroup President Jeff Hall and DC 35 Organizer Rob Jelley sign the union contract.

District Council 35 is proud to welcome 617MediaGroup and 617 President Jeff Hall as a new signatory company and to welcome 18 new members employed by 617 to our union. DC 35 is also happy to welcome Skyline Glass and Skyline’s owner, Local 1044 member John Maguire, as a new signatory glazing company.

Our Organizing Department, along with our regular job visits and member expansion, has continued to work on multiple short term and long term campaigns. We are in ongoing conversation with open shop companies and workers within our trades. We have been visiting job sites all over our region, collecting information for bidding opportunities for our signatory contractors and these conversations continue to result in jobs for our contractors. We stood in solidarity with the UNITE HERE Local 26 hotel workers while they have been on strike against Marriott.

At this year’s National IUPAT Leadership Conference, I had a great opportunity to meet with all of the Organizing Directors from the US and Canada and talk with the IUPAT Regional Organizing Directors. I was able to share what DC 35 is doing, and I brought back many new insights on different styles of organizing. Across the regions, it’s clear that we cannot take our local economy for granted, and that union members need to stay actively involved in our local politics.

I would like to wish everyone a Happy Healthy Holiday season and a prosperous New Year!

Organizer Bryan O’Sullivan, owner of Skyline Glass, Local 1044 member John Maguire and Business Representative Joe Itri.

Local Politics

District Council 35 spent a lot of time canvassing Labor to Labor walks, talking to fellow union members about the importance of voting for pro-union candidates and legislation. We also attended multiple rallies supporting allies like Elizabeth Warren and Senator Paul Feeney. Paul is a card-carrying member of Local 2222 who fights tirelessly for the working class and union rights. We spoke to our communities about voting ‘Yes on Question 1,’ which was a safeguard against corporate for-profit hospitals who spent more than $20 million trying to weaken safe patient limits for nurses instead of hiring more nurses to serve the needs of the patients. Thank you to all the District Council 35 members who helped us in all our efforts.

Wage Theft

The Organizing Department continues to help workers victimized by wage theft access resources through community groups, worker centers and ultimately, the Attorney General’s office, where cases are filed to help these workers obtain their stolen wages and the State’s stolen taxes. DC 35 is currently working on two separate cases and are hopeful for positive outcomes.

Community Engagement

The Organizing Department partnered with the Central Square Business Association to work on a great charitable project, contributing to the accessible-art mural project in Lafayette Square Park. We have continued our partnership with Madison Park High School by working with the students and our Apprentices on community work and attending advisory meetings. Working closely with the Worcester Community Labor Coalition and the Worcester building trades, we hope to secure a Community Betterment Agreement (CBA) on the new Wo-Sox Stadium. DC 35 has been helping Somerville Stands Together spread the word on the need for family-sustaining wages and benefits coming from the $1 billion worth of planned development projects in Union Square. We all have to keep fighting for living wages and benefits and stop independent contractors from using loopholes in a race to the bottom.

Current Industry Needs

District Council 35 contractors have been awarded many projects that call for Glaziers.

District Council 35 contractors have been awarded many projects that call for Wallcoverers.

Drywall Finishing continues to have the need for Tapers.

If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please contact 617-898-7969.

Every victory we’ve won this year has been due to standing together to put our values first. Our committee extends our special congratulations to all DC 35 STAR award winners. I would also like to personally thank all the District Council members who helped in our Community Engagement projects, and to the Organizing Team for all their hard work and dedication to District Council 35, our membership and our partners.