You Are The Union by Bill Legrand

 In News, Newsletter: Summer 2020

The most important asset in this union is YOU, never forget that. I hope this newsletter finds you and your family well. Every one of us has been impacted by this terrible pandemic, but to ensure a safe workplace, DC 35 leadership instituted a work site plan of action to protect its’ membership and families. To avoid redundancy, you can read more on that action in our BMST report.

District Council 35 continues to see accomplishments in all of its zones. In the northern states of New Hampshire and Maine (identified as zones 4 and 5) we all know how difficult it is to compete with an independent contractor (which we realize are just misclassified workers) within the drywall finishing, painting and glazing industry, and the underground workforce, which in most cases is working for substandard wages and no benefits. District Council 35 leadership has continually fought to oppose these kinds of business practices. Many city council chambers have successfully approved responsible contractor language on taxpayerfunded projects, as seen in Portland, Maine. At the Maine State House, we have submitted language for improving wage theft and prevailing wage legislation that became law, so not only a town, but the entire population of the state shall benefit.

One of our newest signatory painting contractor, ORBIS, which requires Abrasive Blasting Certification (SSPC C-7) or Coating Application Specialist (CAS) training, provided 32,165 hours in wages and benefits to DC 35 members in 2019, and the year 2020 will surpass that number dramatically. Originally ORBIS had won a contract calling for 20 blaster/painters, and then received an extension contract with a call for 10 more blaster/painters, bringing the total to 30. Even better, ORBIS won a six month contract (June – December) for an additional 18 brush/roll painters, then Electric Boat requested to extend an additional contract with ORBIS for 3 painters, one of which is the NACE inspector.

Due to these successes, we have gained market share, and with the extensive specialized training our membership has gone through to become certified in all aspects of our industry, we are now seen on: college campuses, hospital expansions, tanks, overpasses, transmission towers, wastewater treatment plants and energy plants, and are working towards residential projects. Our QP-1/QP-2 DC 35 signatory contractors have a safe, highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce which continues to perform work on specialized projects throughout the entire jurisdiction of Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire.