We Grow as Our Union Grows

APPRENTICE PROFILE: Anthony Zavala, Local 13 Nevada

Journal: Issue 4 - 2016


Anthony (Tony) Zavala, a first-year Finisher apprentice of BAC Local 13 Nevada, said there are no other organizations than labor unions that provide equal opportunities for working people who strive for better economic growth. “More than 20 years ago, my dad and my two uncles came to this country with dreams and passion but they struggled to make a living,” Brother Zavala recalled. “When they saw the opportunities and benefits offered by the building trades, they joined the Union without a blink.” Though Tony’s father Juan passed away in 2006, his two uncles, Eduardo and Jose Zavala, are still actively serving BAC.

BAC Local 13 NV apprentice Tony Zavala participating in the Mountain West Administrative District Council Local Apprenticeship Contest.

It’s not just Tony’s father and uncles who support unions and the labor movement. His mother, Marisela, has been a hotel worker and long-time member of Culinary Union Local 226. In addition, Tony’s four cousins are also members of BAC Local 13 NV. Last year, Tony chose to start his union apprenticeship. “I saw the same thing my dad, mom, and uncles saw – equal opportunities for learning and growing. There are financial reasons for me to join the Union, but it’s more than that. I want to be part of something bigger,” Tony said.

“Something bigger” means more than a paying job but a career achievement with Union pride. “At the beginning of my apprenticeship, I didn’t have sufficient knowledge on how to use the tools. I was nervous on my first job, but my Union brothers and sisters welcomed me, showed me how to improve, and answered my questions,” Tony said. “So far I’ve worked on several tile projects at many grand hotels, including Caesars Palace, Wynn, Harrah’s and the LINQ. At the end of each project, I saw beautiful finished products in front of my eyes. I felt satisfied with my work and am proud of my Union.”

“Something bigger” also means growing with the Union and helping the Union grow. Tony remembered that when he was a kid, his dad used to take him to picnics hosted by the Local. “Many of our members watched me grow up and get into the trades. They helped me broaden my horizon, learn knowledge and gain skills,” Tony said. “I would tell other members to let their family and friends see how special their work is. I would do everything I can to give back to my Union. When our Union grows, we grow.” In Tony’s words, it is “a sense of pride and responsibility.”

Tony takes his training courses seriously and is certified by OSHA. He is always on time for his Saturday morning training classes. “I’m working on my grouting these days. Thanks to our Local, we have a nice training floor in the back of our union hall to ensure that we get sufficient training before we go to jobsites. This is the union difference,” Tony said proudly.

Carlos Aquin, Director of Mountain West Administrative District Council, said that Tony is a reliable member and is always willing to lend a hand. “His hard work and dedication to his apprenticeship exemplifies solidarity and the importance of the program for his Brothers and Sisters amongst him, whether in class or on the job,” Brother Aquin said. “I had the opportunity to know his father on the job and personally; he was a dedicated BAC Brother. I know he would be proud of his son. We are proud he is a part of the BAC family.”


Apprentice Tony Zavala with brothers of BAC Local 13 NV. From left, Local 13 NV members Gildardo Venegas, Tony’s uncle Eduardo Zavala, Rolando Lanuza, Tony’s uncle Jose Zavala, Jose Hernandez, Tony’s cousins Jose Zavala Jr. and Richard Zavala both of whom are apprentices, apprentice Gilberto Venegas, Alejandro Tomax, Pablo Morales, Mario Cortes and Tony Zavala.

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