News in Brief

New Contractor Brings Largest Group of New Members in Recent History

Journal: Issue 4 - 2016


A six-week organizing campaign involving members in the South led to a win-win, five-year collective bargaining agreement between BAC Local 8 Southeast and R G Masonry (Hendersonville, TN) that will provide family-sustaining jobs and retirement benefits for all working under the collective bargaining agreement.

Ramiro Reyes, Owner of R G Masonry, started his own company with members of his family by building brick mailboxes – a family story in the construction industry. Twelve years later, the company is running over $20 million in contracts annually. Today R G Masonry employs over 200 people across nineteen active construction sites in Tennessee.

BAC President James Boland welcomes masonry workers at R G Masonry into BAC membership. "We are glad to have masonry workers at R G Masonry in our BAC family. They will be getting a significant raise in their standard of living and in their plans for a dignified retirement," said Boland. He also reflected that "in labor-management dynamics, it doesn't get much better than when two sides can come together and agree to terms that will benefit both."

This organizing success was the result of a coordinated campaign involving the IU Organizing Department, Local 8 SE leadership and staff, and rank and file members in Nashville, who dedicated their own time to help out. Meanwhile, Local 5 Oklahoma/Arkansas/Texas has been helping in meeting the considerable staffing needs.

BAC South Regional Director Ed Navarro, left, and owner of R G Masonry, Ramiro Reyes.

"Without our members' help, we would not have signed R G Masonry," said BAC Local 8 Southeast President Jay Smith. "This campaign involved members from the local area who were willing to help, and members will continue to be involved in the success of the company and our local."

BAC Secretary-Treasurer Henry Kramer noted that "this is a great success, and we are very proud of the work our members and staff did to bring this new contractor under the union umbrella." In addition to retirement benefits, workers at R G Masonry will be offered training opportunities, representation, and an opportunity to help build the future of the oldest continuously running union in North America.

New members of R G Masonry at a new member orientation with BAC Local 8 Southeast leadership in October.

BAC Local 8 Southeast President Jay Smith, center, with new members of R G Masonry.

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