Operatives in Washington are trying to destroy the IUPAT Apprenticeship Program. Let’s not let them. Send an email right now to the Department of Labor: Tell them to protect IUPAT apprenticeships.
Building trades unions and our contractor partners spend millions of dollars every year creating the best-trained work force in the world. Our programs train 75% of all construction apprentices in the U.S., and those workers deliver projects on-time and under-budget.
But greedy anti-union contractors want to destroy our apprenticeship programs so they can cut corners and boost their own profits. It's time to make our voices heard and stop the assault on our training.
Hopefully as this newsletter hits your mailbox, the weather has improved to a normal spring/summer temperature and you’re getting the opportunity to enjoy it.
A few months back I had the opportunity to speak to a member who was at the Painters District Council as part of an investigation into allegations made about one member against another. Although I wasn’t involved in the investigation I stopped to talk to this member about work, home life and things in general. During that conversation he made a statement that there was only one or two people who cared about the members. Obviously, I corrected him immediately telling him how that was untrue and how the District Council works hard to represent and defend all the members. Since that conversation it has bothered me that we have members who may truly believe that.
I want all our members to know that if you are a member of this union, we will always do our best to protect you. Whether it’s for wages or benefits owed to you, sexual harassment, racial discrimination or job site abuse we are here for you. We even offer members a free counseling service for more personal issues. I cannot guarantee 100% success on every case, but I can guarantee 100% failure if you do not inform us about a work related problem. A couple of key points to remember is to bring up any problems in a timely manner. The longer a situation is not addressed the harder it is to get it corrected. Cases can be corrected with total anonymity please have proof, documentation, and witnesses. If we have no solid proof, we cannot take it to a court of law.
It matters not if you attend union meetings, (although we encourage you to) or utilize our picnics, STAR classes, or volunteer for charity projects. Nor will it matter if you’re a Drywall Taper, a Painter, a Glazier, a Wood Finisher, Metal Polisher, Sign Painter, or Industrial Worker.
I promise you this . . . We are here to enforce our contracts and protect our membership Period.
John Spiros Jr.
Dear Labor Leader,
Last summer our union, UNITEHERE Local 1, went on strike at 26 hotels. As a leader I learned many lessons. I learned that a strike changes everything, and quickly. I learned that a strike binds our members together like nothing else ever will And I learned even more about what a wonderful labor movement we have in Chicago.
So many union members and leaders picketed, offered Union halls for negotiations, lent us rats, spoke at rallies, marched with us… it changed our Union forever. However, there was one story that I thought had not been told, and that was how members of other Unions respected the picket lines.
During the strike I spoke with Union members and their leaders, and I’d heard some stories of other Unions respecting our strike. But in order to teach our members what the Union really is in this city, we decided to make a video. We wanted to interview members from other Unions who worked at the same hotels who had respected our strike lines.
We reached out to many of you and scheduled as many interviews as possible. Unfortunately, it was impossible to schedule and include everyone.
Our friend Richie Ross produced the video, conducted the interviews, oversaw the editing, and took extra care on this project. There are so many things I could say, but I want the video to say them to you.
This is a Chicago story, a Union story, and if I used a word or words besides solidarity (which sometimes feels overused) I’d says it’s a believe in something/stick together/love story.
Thank you for all you do.