Starting 2019 Strong by Charles Fogell

 In News, Newsletter: Winter '18

A strong economy here in the northeast continues to drive development and growth in all the areas represented by our District Council. All the trades represented by our union have been busy over the past few months, and we anticipate strong work opportunities throughout the coming year.

Recently at the Brockton and Vicinity Building Trades, we met with representatives of the proposed Brockton Casino project. From a trades perspective, we never sided with one project over another in Region C as designated by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. With options and appeals dwindling for the Wampanoag Tribe, other sidelined proposals are beginning to resurrect. Recently, Rush Street Gaming reached out to the commission and requested to reopen the Region C (Southeastern Massachusetts) Category 1 gaming license. The commission is accepting comments at mgccomments@state.ma.us as an avenue to hear from the public. Rush Street Gaming had a proposal on the table earlier to build a $677 million facility in Brockton. We may have another opportunity in Southeastern Massachusetts for a substantial project that will produce construction jobs and permanent jobs. It will be a travesty to not have a full-fledged gaming facility in the area that could produce much-needed resources for cities and towns of the area. Let’s roll the dice for a Region C Casino!

Recently, I met with representatives of Stout Drywall Solutions and discussed the terms and conditions involved with becoming a union signatory employer. I am pleased to report that we can welcome Stout Drywall Solutions as one of our newest union drywall finishing contractors. We are confident that they have a good perspective on the business climate and they should have the ability to grow within the market.

Since my last article, I have also met with representatives of Senices Enterprises Inc. After a few discussions with company president Carlos Senices, they have decided to sign on with District Council 35. Senices Enterprises looks forward to working with our union and we welcome them to our union.

In recent months, I have devoted a great deal of time working on collective bargaining agreements. I am pleased to report that the members working at Back Bay Sign have ratified a new four-year agreement. I have also been working closely with the Area Trades Council on various agreements for maintenance workers at Curry College, Novartis Biotech and Stewart Hospital just to name a few.

On the international level, I participated in the most recent Leadership Conference held by the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. At the direction of our General President Kenneth Rigmaiden, I had the privilege of being assigned as Chairman of the National Sign and Display Committee. It was an honor to interact with so many District Council leaders throughout the United States and Canada. Our meeting covered many topics, but most importantly, we nurtured an open line of communication across the U.S. and Canada. During the coming months, we will be joining forces in a collective effort to promote the sign and display industry and ultimately, create opportunities for current and future members. With the assistance of Secretaries Mark O’Donnell of DC 14 Chicago and Tony Watroba of DC 6 Ohio, I had the privilege of reporting to the delegates of the IUPAT Leadership Conference.

Last but certainly not least I would like to congratulate Jay Hurley of Iron Workers Local 7 on his recent retirement. Jay has been a longtime friend of the building trades and all of us here at District Council 35.

In closing, I wish all the Members, Officers and Staff of our Organization a safe and Happy Holiday Season. Merry Christmas and all the best to you and your families in 2019.