Message from Business Manager Chris Erikson
It seems that the happy in “Happy New Year” is a wish that this new year, 2023, will be better for all of us. It comes down to employment, having a job and income. We all share a highly skilled trade. Our jobs pose a danger to life and limb, and our training and safe work practices prepare us and make us qualified to meet those demands, while safely going home to our families every night.
When I refer to the Brotherhood or mention tradesmen or journeymen, I never intentionally mean to offend, demean, or exclude the women, our sisters in our union. They too have successfully completed our apprenticeship training program, so they too are highly skilled, face the same dangers, and enjoy the earned ‘A’ rate of pay and outstanding benefits package we have. Race, creed, color, national origin, or gender should never be a barrier to equal treatment in our union. Our diversity ensures our strength and our collective desire that we all move forward together. You should commit in 2023, if you haven’t already, to being a part of that, because anything less divides and weakens us.
Employment in the construction industry has always been cyclical. Our work sharing plan was instituted in the 1930’s. The devastating economic crisis in 2008 resulted in over 3,000 journeypersons unemployed, some for more than a year. We bounced back. This time, the pandemic took its toll and the industry has still not fully recovered. The high inflation has impacted financing for large projects that are now delayed. These challenges affect our work opportunity as owners and developers have embraced lower cost contractors. Our high standards have been undermined by those less skilled who are willing to work for less, being exploited by unscrupulous contractors. Our members are presently working to fix a number of projects done by unqualified, so-called electricians.
Our skills are more valuable because it’s always done right the first time. Our productivity has been the cause for our success. Every job is important, and when we get it right our contractors will commit to the next one and the ones after that. We will bounce back and are committed to doing everything possible to ensure our members are on every job, both in New York City and in Westchester. Happy New Year, brothers and sisters, and God bless Local 3.