Growing our Union was the theme of the BAC Executive Council’s March meeting in San Diego, CA. To achieve that goal, “we must organize and grow dramatically – in hours, in members, and in the scope of the work performed by our Union,” BAC President James Boland told the Executive Council on the first day of the meeting. “We’re going to rededicate ourselves to organizing for real growth. We’re going to diversify the work we organize, and we’re going to adapt to tomorrow’s construction industry. We’re going to establish member-based organizing committees in each of our Locals, and the IU will back you every step of the way.” The BAC Executive Council welcomed a line of inspiring guest speakers – Donna Brazile, Former Interim Director of the Democratic National Committee; David Cooper, Senior Economic Analyst at the Economic Policy Institute; Dr. Eden King, Associate Professor of Psychology at George Mason University; Evan Wolfson, President and Founder of Freedom to Marry; and Sean Hinga, Program Director of the State Innovation Exchange.
BAC President James Boland said that BAC is the longest serving continuous union in North America because our members have always been able to withstand difficult times and rebuild the Union. He encouraged members of the Executive Council to embrace the challenges the Union is facing. “Organizing is hard work,” Boland said. “But one thing I know about the members of this Union – the one thing I know about everyone in this room – is that we are not afraid of hard work.” BAC Secretary-Treasurer Tim Driscoll presenting an update on BAC/IMI projects in the U.S. and Canada. Donna Brazile, former Interim Director of the Democratic National Committee, spoke to the BAC Executive Council about the 2016 presidential election and the political outlook for the labor movement. A long-term champion of the labor movement, Brazile thanked BAC brothers and sisters for protecting and fighting for the rights of working people. She also encouraged BAC members to be more involved in politics. “We have a history in this country to encourage our young generation to run for office and be active in politics,” Brazile said. “We cannot lose hope. This is the fight we need to be more engaged in and help people who need us the most.” David Cooper, Senior Economic Analyst at the Economic Policy Institute, shared his research on construction employment and its impact on organizing at the meeting. “Racial composition of construction workers across the country is changing,” Cooper said. “For unions to remain politically and socially relevant, they must diversify their membership.” Sam Biondo, the National Technical Director from Mapei, posed and answered the question that’s regularly on every craftworker’s mind who works on floors – “How flat is flat?” Sam’s engaging presentation highlighted many of the techniques and products available to tile setters and finishers to ensure excellent tile installation and prevent lippage. BAC President and Chair of the Brick and Block Craft Committee James Boland, left, discussing growth opportunities in structural masonry with Bob Thomas, President of the National Concrete Masonry Association. BAC Executive Vice President Gerard Scarano provided an update on the new silica standard. “Challenges were raised in the federal circuit courts by both labor to strengthen the standard, and industry to undo the standard,” Scarano said. “We must remain vigilant to protect the standard for which we’ve fought so hard, and help our members understand the standard and know what to expect on their jobsites.” BAC Executive Vice President Carlos Aquin gave an update on trade jurisdiction. At the Plaster Craft Committee, chaired by BAC Executive Vice President Gerard Scarano, participants heard from Jim Slawnikowski, General Manager of R.G. Construction Services and Plaster Instructor at DCTC in Addison, IL, on how BAC craftworkers utilized plaster to restore and transform the historic Chicago Athletic Association building. Bartek Dajnowski, President of G. C. Laser Systems, Inc., delivered an informational presentation on adopting laser cleaning in restoration during the Joint Labor-Management meeting, left, and later provided a detailed explanation of the tool at the Restoration and Retrofit Craft Committee, Co-Chaired by BAC Secretary-Treasurer Tim Driscoll, Caretti Restoration and Preservation Services President and CEO Greg Hess, and BAC Regional Representative John Wurtenburg.
BAC Regional Directors gave reports on updated collective bargaining agreements, work hours, ongoing projects, and organizing efforts in each region. Clockwise from left, BAC North Central Regional Director Keith Hocevar, Canadian Regional Director Craig Strudwick, South Regional Director Ed Navarro, Northeast Regional Director Al Catalano, and West Regional Director Raymond Keen.
Five retired members of the Council were recognized for their service to the Union’s highest advisory body: retired BAC Secretary- Treasurer Henry Kramer, North Central Regional Director Steve Bailey (not pictured), West Regional Director David Sheppard, Director of the Eastern Missouri Administrative District Council Don Brown, and Local 7 NY/NJ President Tom Lane.
Retired BAC Secretary-Treasurer Henry Kramer was recognized for his dedicated service to the Union at the Executive Council Meeting. From left, BAC Executive Vice Presidents Gerard Scarano and Carlos Aquin, Brother Kramer, and BAC Secretary-Treasurer Tim Driscoll. Retired West Regional Director David Sheppard was recognized for his dedicated service to the Union at the Executive Council Meeting. From left, BAC Executive Vice Presidents Gerard Scarano and Carlos Aquin, Brother Sheppard, and BAC Secretary-Treasurer Tim Driscoll. Retired Director of the Eastern Missouri Administrative District Council Don Brown was recognized for his dedicated service to the Union at the Executive Council Meeting. From left, BAC Executive Vice Presidents Gerard Scarano and Carlos Aquin, Brother Brown, and BAC Secretary-Treasurer Tim Driscoll. Retired Local 7 NY/NJ President Tom Lane was recognized for his dedicated service to the Union at the Executive Council Meeting. From left, BAC Executive Vice Presidents Gerard Scarano and Carlos Aquin, Brother Lane, and BAC Secretary-Treasurer Tim Driscoll.