Way to go, Ohio: 400,000 hours HONDA’S NEW PAINT FACILITY DRAWS MEMBERS FROM FOUR LOCALS The auto brands that compete with Detroit’s big three for U.S. sales have nearly all built American production facilities, and Union sheet metal workers have made deep inroads in those new domestic plants. One example—large, early, and still growing—is Honda’s operations based in Marysville, Ohio, northwest of Columbus. Honda opened its first Ohio facility in 1982. That Marysville plant now measures in at 3.6 million square feet and employs 4,200 American workers making models such as the Honda Accord sedan, hybrid and coupe, and the Acura ILX and TLX. In 2015, Honda announced its investment in a new 300,000-square-foot vehicle paint system for one of its two assembly lines there. The new facility aims to trim the environmental impact of the company’s Marysville operations by reducing energy use, water consumption and chemical emissions. Fabrication for this project started in April 2016, and the job is expected to run through fall 2017. Once complete, the line will have an annual capacity of 229,000 vehicles. Demand for labor brings organizing opportunities SMART Local 24 has supplied the core of 120-150 members currently working on the paint line site. Due to the scope of work, the installing contractors also have tapped hiring halls from SM Locals 20, 33 and 7 to work at the new facility. The leadership of SMART Local 24 estimates the project will have created roughly 400,000 Union sheet metal work hours by the time it is complete. That strong demand for labor has given Local 24 the opportunity to organize new members, both for work in its many signatory fabrication shops as well as at the Marysville site. Across the automotive industry, especially on a paint line project, there are usually several Union sheet metal companies serving as both fabrication and installation subcontractors. The huge Honda site has hired signatories TKS Industrial, Mid-Ohio Mechanical, Kirk Williams Company, MRS Industrial, Poynter Sheet Metal, Kalkreuth Roofing & Sheet Metal, and Tek Mor. GP adds talk with members to itinerary of planned visit Given the important industry, vast project, multiple locals and numerous signatory employers, General President Joseph Sellers had long ago decided to visit the Marysville site. Plans came together early in 2017. With his “listening tour” having started at the end of 2016, he added time during the Ohio trip for a conversation with members, including a session with Local 24’s Young Leaders Committee (see box). “I would like to say thank you to [SMART Director of Craft Services] Charlie Mulcahey and TKS industrial for scheduling the tour of the Honda Marysville project,” said Scott Hammond, Local 24 Business Manager. “We greatly appreciate the time and the discussions we had with General President Sellers concerning the automotive industry. It was a great experience to host GP Sellers and to listen as he talked with members at Marysville as well as at our Columbus JATC.” YOUNG LEADERS SHOW THE UNION WAY After his visit to the Honda plant in Marysville, Ohio, General President Sellers met with SM Local 24’s Young Leaders Committee. The busy group, started several years ago, has steadily built momentum and now includes apprentices, instructors, journeypersons and business representatives. “Members like these exemplify the best of our Union spirit,” Sellers said. “They are engaged with one another on and off the job. They step up and take action to add jobs and build the Union. And they enhance our image by being involved in the local community.” Members of the committee assist with coordinating and operating events and activities at the Union Hall; attending Political events; helping with summer picnics and the Annual Charity Car Show fundraiser; working at Career Fairs doing hands on demonstrations with High School students; and working on ideas for future events to get more members involved. Local 24 Business Manager Scott Hammond explained, “we are hopeful that this activity will build up a base of experience to help pass the torch on to new generations of Local 24 members. “Our role as Union members makes us representatives of our Union and our trade—on the job and where we live. That’s why it’s important for us to serve with distinction and become the community leaders of tomorrow as we act on what’s best for our fellow members, our communities and our nation.” GP Sellers meets TD leaders during Texas conference GP, TD PRESIDENT PREVISICH ADDRESS NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS Along with meeting rank-and-file members throughout his travels, General President Joseph Sellers, Jr. has always attended the Union’s various leadership meetings. On April 20, GP Sellers met with SMART Transportation Division General Chairmen and other leaders at the SMART TD Western General Chairmen’s Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The General Chairmen’s conferences, held regionally, are annual events designed to provide participants with an open forum to discuss new developments across the transportation industry and in the Union. They also exchange vital information that informs their representational duties. National freight carrier update Both General President Sellers and SMART TD President John Previsich spoke to participants during the conference, and both took time to address the national negotiations with rail freight carriers. Previsich provided a status update on the national negotiations—SMART has requested federal mediation. He cited a statement of strong support from GP Sellers assuring that resources from the International Association will be dedicated to assist the complex process now and into the future. Numerous participants remarked on how a unified SMART Union strengthens our ability to negotiate with carriers. Sellers also spoke about seeking increased funding for the National Mediation Board so that the arbitration process would cease to remain at a standstill. He reiterated the union’s bipartisan attempts at addressing this issue as highlighted by the Union’s contacts with President Trump and White House officials. The GP also detailed the training and education opportunities for Union officers through the SMART Education Department. Meeting TD leaders from immediate area Sellers and SMART Director of Railroad, Mechanical and Engineering Tony Iannone met with General Chairman Roy Davis and members of the General Committee attending from surrounding areas (see photo) to go over recent and future developments in the Union and what those evolving changes will mean for SMART TD members. An important part of the discussion included the issue of discipline on the railroads, something that has been a cause of concern for many members. Other issues, all also raised by members in other forums, were the progression of claims (including legislative support), the backlog of claims due to limits in Federal budgets, and future budget allocations for Amtrak and regional transit lines (see related article, p. 18). NABTU: Invest more in jobs, keep wage-protection laws TRUMP AGAIN TALKS INFRASTRUCTURE JOBS—BUT NOT FUNDING North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) opened its annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. on April 3 by focusing on a campaign to support renewed infrastructure investments and maintain community wage and benefit protections under state and federal prevailing-wage laws. More than 3,000 national, state and local attendees, including more than 200 leaders from SMART, heard from a host of national leaders, led by President Donald Trump and including American Electric Power CEO Nicholas Akins; Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke; Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA), Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY), Governor Larry Hogan (R-MD), Sen. Joseph Donnelly (D-IN) and Rep. Peter King (R-NY). McGarvey urges leaders to build bipartisanship In his address, NABTU President Sean McGarvey urged building trades leaders to bridge the partisan divide and attempt to work with both parties. “It is in the best economic interests of our members and our unions,” said McGarvey, “for us to go everywhere and anywhere with business and industry leaders, community leaders and political leaders, and to engage in deliberations, conversations and discussions that have the potential to advance the economic interests of our members and their families.” President doubles down on promised infrastructure jobs In his remarks, President Trump renewed his administration’s commitment to advancing an ambitious package of infrastructure projects. “I’m calling on all Americans, Democrat, Republican and Independent, to take part in the great rebuilding of America,” said the President. While the President forcefully repeated his call for the massive infrastructure projects, he gave no details on how the administration would work with his party’s majority in Congress to fund what some say should be as much as a trillion dollars in repairs and new construction. President Trump went on to urge the delegates to remind their Members of Congress that the President agrees with building trades unions on the push to rebuild America. Prevailing wages remain focus for member action With respect to rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure while ensuring strong community wage and benefit standards, the President told the assembled union officials, “You have come to Washington to meet with members of the House and Senate. When you see them you can tell them that America’s building trades unions and America’s President are very much united.” Following his address, President Trump signed an executive order urging American businesses to “Hire American and Buy American.” The executive order pledged to crack down on H1-B visa violators and urges end-users to select American made products for their building projects.
Published by Mosaic - SMART . View All Articles.