• Welcome to Community Labor News Forum. Please login or sign up.
March 04, 2021, 03:38:19 am


If you are a member of the original vbulletin forum and wish to post with your former username you'll need to Reset your password  If you need help remembering your username or the email address you used to register, please feel free to contact Tony using the CLNEWS Contact Form

Latter Day Jim Crow In The Ironworkers Union

Started by GREGORYABUTLER, April 06, 2007, 07:17:09 pm

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.



Back in 2000, the Ironworkers Union signed an agreement with the National Association of Reinforcing Steel Contractors.

Those companies install steel rebar in reinforced concrete buildings and many of them are non union, particularly the companies that operate in the South or West.. Many of these contractors employ undocumented Mexican immigrant lathers (or as they are known in that part of the country, "rodbusters") and they pay them less than they would pay White lathers...

Many of these scab rebar firms occasionally find themselves on union jobsites and therefore they need a union contract... not a REAL union contract, of course, but a sweetheart contract - so they can be nominally union while actually paying scab wages and benefits and having non union working conditions..

Jim Hunt, the current general president of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, stepped in to help them..

Hunt believes in corporate unionism - that is, he feels that the job of unions is NOT to fight for the rights of workers, but to "help union contractors compete" - and workers wages, hours and working conditions can be freely sacrificed to help "our good union contractors compete with the non union"

Or, in this case, non union companies can be made union, on paper, while still being allowed to have scab working conditions and substandard wages..

Making matters worse, the lathers who's interests were to be sold out by President Hunt were the lowest paid and most miserably exploited workers in our business - undocumented Mexican immigrants..

To give you an idea of just how racist this sellout deal was, not one Mexican person was present in the room when the contract was signed.. a room full of White union officers and White rebar contractors sat in a room, and worked together to screw over Mexican lathers...

Hunt charted a new local 846, which covers parts of 21 states - Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming

There are ironworker locals in all of those states - local 846 overlaps their territory

Supposedly, this was done because contractors are no longer local, but are allegedly national in scope...

One little problem with that - steel contractors have ALWAYS been national, going back to the days when US Steel/American Bridge and Bethlehem Steet pioneered structural steel contracting in this country in the 19th century..

Ironworker locals have long been able to operate in a national labor market - locals routinely request extra members from other locals when their entire membership is working, and ironworkers have a 110 year tradition of traveling to follow the work, and having their interests represented by the local union in the area...

Hunt wanted to undermine this century long tradtion of solidarity and struggle, by undermining local union standards, by creating a vast catch-all national local

Hunt also played the race card, by segregating the newly organized Mexican ironworkers out of largely White local unions... perhaps out of fear that Mexican immigrants, known for their labor militancy, might push these locals in a more militant direction, or maybe just to divide the newly unionized Mexicans from longtime White and American Indian union members...

In any case, Hunt restored an ugly tradition - Jim Crow Unionism..

American unions had a longstanding practice of segregating Black workers into "colored" unions - starting right after the Civil War and continuing right up until the International Longshoremen's Association and the American Federation of Musicians disbanded their "colored" locals in 1972...

But there's a new wrinkle...

The old Jim Crow "colored" segregated unions usually had Black officers

Not so local 846 - it's a segregated Mexican union run by White men... and not one Mexican person was even in the room when their first contract (reprinted below) was bargained... and, since the local covers 21 states, it's impossible for most of the local 846 lathers to have any say in the political life of the union - if you're working in Idaho, or Arizona, or Mississippi, how are you going to attend a union meeting at local 846's headquarters in West Palm Beach, Florida????

Analyzing the agreement, we can see WHY they didn't want Mexican lathers to see what they would be subject to...

The contractors can make local 846 lathers work a 10 hour straight time day, and they don't have to pay you journeyman ironworker wages until YOU'VE WORKED FOR THEM FOR 2 YEARS... up until that time, you get "A man" wages....

And local 846 journeyman pay, which varies from area to area is NOT based on union ironworker union scale in the area - or even the local Davis Bacon prevailing wage for lathers

Instead, it's $ 2 bucks an hour more than non union lathers are making in that area

And that non union pay scale estimate is based on what the local 846 contractors CLAIM is being paid by the scab outfits - NOT on objective state Department of Labor prevailing wage data for that vicinity

Also, the contractors can use all company man crews, and don't have to hire local men unless they feel like it...

This not only shuts out local men from employment (further inspiring White lather resentment and racism towards Mexican lathers), it basically forces local 846 guys to either get a company man spot or not work at all, since they cannot get jobs from their local union..

As those familiar with construction know, when union members cannot freely leave substandard jobs and get alternative employment from their union, they will do whatever they have to do to keep that job... even if it means working off the books for less than union scale and no benefits..

This is ESPECIALLY true of undocumented immigrants, who already have limited employment options...

Basically, this is a scab union contract....

Which explains why scab rebar contractors needing a bogus sweetheart union contract would turn to local 846.... which is EXACTLY what J.D. Steel, a scab rebar contractor in Arizona, did in 2002...

600 out of local 846's 1,000 members are company men for J.D. Steel...

Now, there is no reason on earth why those Phoenix-area lathers, who work for an Arizona contractor that does the bulk of it's work in-state, could not have been initiated into Arizona Ironworkers local 75...

Of course, bringing 600 Mexican lathers into a largely White and Hopi Indian structural ironworker local would have changed the racial and political balance of power - since 75 would from then on be a majority Mexican local....

And, J.D. Steel would have had to sign on to local 75's regular agreement, and had to pay full journeyman wages (instead of "A man" pay) to it's workers..

And, the White men and Hopi Indians currently in local 75 would have had opportunites to work for J.D. Steel as local men - and they'd be far less willing to tolerate off the books pay and other job abuses then J.D.'s current undocumented Mexican workforce are forced to endure...

So, Jim Hall and the Ironworkers union used local 846 to undercut the pay, benefits, working conditions and out of work list rules of Arizona Ironworkers local 75... the very purpose why this disgusting Jim Crow segregated sweetheart contract local was created in the first place...

Bottom line, as the American construction industry becomes more and more Mexican every day (about a third of the nation's 7.2 million construction workers are Mexican immigrants) the task of unionizing these underpaid and abused brothers and sisters gets more and more urgent..

But, our Mexican fellow workers deserve the same pay and benefit standards that American workers get - not "seperate but equal" sweetheart contracts....

-commentary by GREGORY A. BUTLER local 608 carpenter

Iron Workers International Announces Formation of New 19 State Regional Local 846
Saturday, January 1, 2000
Included in photo are, front row, left to right: Dan Baker, Baker Concrete; General President Joe Hunt; Fred Codding of the National Association of Reinforcing Steel Contractors. Second row, left to right: Bernie Evers, Director of Organizing; Don Mitchell, Titan Rebar; Dennis Toney, General Treasurer; Jeff Green, Davis Rebar; Michael Fitzpatrick, General Secretary; Dick Whaley, Whaley Steel; Steve Parker, General Organizer.
Contractors and Iron Workers officers met to sign the new Regional Local Union 846 agreement at Iron Workers International Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Local will have portability of manpower throughout particular regions. The Employers and the Union agreed that there will be a "Union Management Committee" whose purpose is to discuss issues of importance to the Employers, the Union, and to the Employees. The board members of the committee consist of equal contractor and union representatives, and will meet quarterly to monitor our progress.
This Agreement is made and entered into on this day of , 20 , by and between Regional Local Union No. 846 of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, hereinafter referred to as the "Union" and , hereinafter referred to as the "Employer."
Section 1. The Employer recognizes Regional Local Union No. 846 of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers as the exclusive collective bargaining representative of all reinforcing steel iron workers employed by the Employer within the geographical areas stated in Article XXI of this Agreement.
Section 1. The Employer retains full and exclusive authority for the management of its operations. Except as expressly limited by other provisions of this Agreement, the Employer may direct the working force, at its sole prerogative, including hiring, selection of foreman, promotion, transfer, layoff or discharge of its employees. No rules, customs or practices shall be permitted or observed which limit or restrict production of employees except as expressly limited by other provisions of this Agreement.
Section 1. The Employer shall have the right to employ employees from whatever source in the jurisdiction covered by this Agreement and shall have the right to transfer employees into any jurisdiction within the coverage of this Agreement.
Section 2. Should a signatory Employer employ journeymen Iron Workers from another Iron Worker Local Union in the geographic area in which it is working or bring in journeymen from another Iron Worker Local Union, then the Employer will pay those employees the wages and benefits required under their Local Union agreement or the rate provided for in the other Local Union contract, whichever is higher.
Section 1. It is agreed that the jurisdiction of work covered by this Agreement is that provided for in the charter grant issued by the American Federation of Labor to the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers.
Section 2. The work covered by this Agreement includes all or any of the following:
(A) Work in connection with field fabrication, handling, racking, sorting, cutting, bending, loading and unloading, hoisting, placing, burning, welding and tying of all materials used to reinforce concrete construction.
(B) Realigning of reinforcing iron, wire mesh placing, bricking, pulling and similar reinforcing materials, placing steel dowels as well as refastening and resetting same while concrete is being poured.
(C) Reinforcing steel and wire mesh in roadways and sidewalks in connection with building construction.
(D) The handling or placing of "J" or Jack bars on slip form construction; the placing of all clips, bolts and steel rods and wire fabric or mesh pertaining to gunite construction; the placing of steel-tex or paper-back mesh used primarily for reinforcing and placing wire mesh to reinforce gypsum roof construction.
(E) Post Tensioning: All loading and unloading, hoisting, placing and tying of all post tensioning cables. Also wrecking of cones, wedging of the tendons, stressing, cutting and repairing.
(F) Any other work related to subparagraphs (A) through (E) above.
(G) Any work assigned by the Employer and agreed to by the Union on a specific jobsite, although such agreement will have no precedented impact on other jobsites.
Section 1. The Employer and the Union agree that there shall be established a "Union Management Committee" whose purpose shall be to discuss issues of importance to the Employers, Union and employees and which shall establish, subject to union ratification procedures, an hourly wage within the various geographical areas within the coverage of this Agreement.
Section 2. The Committee shall consist of three (3) representatives of Employers, who shall be selected by the majority of Employers signatory to this Agreement and will be designated at the time of execution of this Agreement, and three (3) representatives of the Union, who shall be selected by the International President of the Union. The Employer and Union representatives shall establish the initial wage rate for each geographic area at the time of execution of this Agreement and shall set forth the region and the wage in that Region in Appendix A attached hereto. Any journeyman wage established by the Committee shall be at least two dollars ($2.00) more than the prevailing non-union wages in the geographic area, excluding Davis-Bacon. The Committee shall meet at least every six months to determine if the wage rate is competitive within the area, unless the Committee believes that additional meetings are needed.
Section 3. Wages due shall be paid to all employees weekly, but not later than Friday. Payment may be made by check or direct deposit, at the Employer's discretion.
Section 1. Hours of Work.
(A) The workweek, except as otherwise specified in this Agreement, shall be Monday through Sunday. Eight (8) hours per day shall constitute a standard workday with a one-half (½) hour unpaid lunch period. All employees shall be entitled to a ten (10) minute morning break which shall be taken within two and one-half hours after start time. These working hours may be changed by mutual consent of the Employer and the Union. Employees shall be at their place of work prepared to start work at the designated starting time each day. Forty (40) hours per week shall constitute a regular week's work. A designated one-half (½) hour unpaid lunch period shall be scheduled at the midpoint of the scheduled work shift. Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as guaranteeing any employee eight (8) hours per day or forty (40) hours per week.
(B) The Employer has the option of working either five (5) eight-hour days or four (4) ten-hour days to constitute a normal forty (40) hour workweek.
(C) When the four (4) ten-hour day workweek is in effect, the standard workday shall be an established consecutive ten (10) hour period evidence of a one-half (½) hour unpaid lunch period. Forty (40) hours per week shall constitute a regular week's work.
(D) In the event the job is down for any reason beyond the Employer's control, then any day except Sunday and holiday may, at the option of the Employer, be worked as a makeup day; straight-time pay not to exceed ten (10) hours or forty (40) hours per week.
(E) The Employer will designate starting time.
Section 2. Overtime.
(A) All overtime work performed in excess of forty (40) hours will be paid at time and one-half the straight time rate of pay.
(B) Work performed on Sundays and Holidays will be paid at time and one half the straight time rate of pay.
Section 3. Shifts.
(A) When so elected by the Employer, multiple shifts may be worked.
Section 1. On all jobs covered by Davis-Bacon or any state prevailing wage law, the Employer agrees to pay the wages and fringe benefit amounts prevailing on those jobs, provided those wages are higher than the wages established by this Agreement.
Section 1. The recognized holidays shall be as follows:
New Year's Day
Labor Day
Memorial Day
Thanksgiving Day
Fourth of July
Christmas Day
Section 2. Under no circumstances shall any work be performed on Labor Day except in cases of emergency involving life or property. In the event a holiday falls on Sunday, the following day, Monday, shall be observed as such holiday. Monday holidays shall be honored in keeping with Federal Law. If employees are required to work on a holiday, as observed, they shall receive time and one half the straight time rate of pay. Holidays listed above may be changed by mutual agreement by the Union and the Employer.
Section 1. Any question arising out of this Agreement involving its interpretation or application, excluding trades jurisdictional disputes, shall be settled under the following procedures:
Step 1. When any employee or the Union subject to the provisions of this Agreement believes a violation of this Agreement has occurred, acting through the Local Union steward, within three (3) working days after the occurrence or non-occurrence giving rise to the dispute, said employee or the Union shall give notice to the Employer stating the section alleged to have been violated. Failure to raise any dispute within three (3) working days of the occurrence or non-occurrence shall constitute a waiver of the right asserted by the employee. The dispute shall be discussed by the aggrieved employee with the steward and the Employer's representative at the construction site. If the dispute is not settled within twenty-four (24) hours, Step 2 of the Grievance Procedure may be pursued no later than two (2) working days thereafter.
Step 2. The employee, the local business representative of the Union and a representative of the Employer shall meet within ten (10) working days after timely notice of proceeding to Step 2 has been made and endeavor to adjust the matter. At this point the grievance shall be submitted in writing by the business representative of the Local Union to the Employer. If agreement cannot be reached after the meeting between these parties, the matter shall be referred to Step 3 of this Grievance Procedure within three (3) working days thereafter.
Step 3. Failure under Step 2 to reach a decision shall constitute a basis for submittal of the dispute to arbitration for a binding decision. Unless the Employer and the Union cannot otherwise select an impartial Arbitrator, then the Employer and the Union shall choose an Arbitrator from a panel of seven (7) requested from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Costs of the Arbitrator shall be borne equally by the Union and the Employer. The decision of the Arbitrator shall be binding upon all parties.
Section 2. The time limits specified in any step of the Grievance Procedure may be extended by mutual agreement. Failure to process a grievance, within the time limits provided above or within a mutually agreed upon extension of time, shall be deemed a waiver of such grievance.
Section 3. In order to encourage the resolution of disputes and grievances at Steps 1 and 2 of this Grievance Procedure, the parties agree that such settlements shall not be precedent-setting.
Section 1. In states where applicable, it shall be a condition of employment that all employees of the Employer covered by this Agreement who are members of the Union signatory to the governing local labor agreement in good standing on the effective date of this Agreement shall remain members in good standing and those who are not members on the effective date of this Agreement, shall become and remain members in good standing in the Union signatory to the governing local labor agreement. It shall also be a condition of employment that all employees covered by this Agreement and hired on or after its effective date shall, on the eighth day following beginning of such employment, become and remain members in good standing of the Union signatory to the governing local labor agreement. In States where applicable, if the Union notifies the Employer that an employee has failed to pay periodic dues and initiation fees uniformly required, the Employer shall be obligated to terminate the employee for such failure.
Section 2. The provisions of this Article shall be effective in all jurisdictions where not prohibited by law.
Section 3. This Article shall be interpreted in accordance with the provisions of Section 8(a)(3) of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, as amended.
ARTICLE XI WORK STOPPAGES AND LOCKOUTS Section 1. During the existence of this Agreement, there shall be no strikes, picketing, work stoppages, or disruptive activity by the Union or by any employee; and there shall be no lockout by the Employer.
Section 2. The Union shall not sanction, aid or abet, encourage or condone a work stoppage, strike or work slowdown at the project site and shall undertake all possible steps to prevent any strike, work stoppage or work slowdown. No employee shall engage in any activities which interfere with the normal operation of the project. Violations shall be subject to disciplinary action, including discharge.
Section 3. The Union shall not be liable for acts of employees for whom they have no responsibility.
Section 1. The Employer agrees that work to be performed at the project site pursuant to the terms and provisions of this Agreement shall not be subcontracted to other firms, parties, Employers or other entity unless such subcontracted work is undertaken, performed and executed by employees who are employed by a contractor or subcontractor signatory to an Agreement with a union affiliated with the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers. It is understood and agreed that the purpose and function of this provision is not in any way to limit or restrict the ability of the Employer party to this Agreement to do business with other Employers, but rather, this provision is designed and intended to preserve work for employees whose wages, hours and conditions of employment are prescribed by this Agreement or, in the event subcontracting of work contemplated by this Agreement is undertaken, that the performance of such work and the practice of subcontracting do not result in the undermining of wages, hours and conditions of employment achieved by the Union through the collective bargaining process.
Section 2. The furnishing of materials, supplies or equipment and the delivery thereof shall not in any case be considered as subcontracting.
Section 1. The Employer and the Union agree there shall be no discrimination against any employee or prospective employee due to race, color, creed, sex, age, religion or national origin.
Section 1. Any provisions in this Agreement which are in conflict with any Federal, Provincial, State or Local laws or regulations affecting all or part of the limits covered by this Agreement shall be suspended within the limits to which such law or regulation is in effect. Such suspension shall not affect the operation of any such provisions covered by this Agreement, to which the law or regulation is not applicable.
Section 1. All employees hired or employed under this Agreement shall be classified as "A" Rodman until the employee has completed either two (2) years or 4,000 hours as an "A" Rodman under this Agreement. Thereafter, the employee shall be classified as a Journeyman Rodman.
Section 1. The Employer agrees that all work under this Agreement may be performed by his employees, who may travel from site to site, throughout the geographic jurisdiction of this Agreement and who are regularly and customarily employed by the Employer whenever he has work and who have been employed by him at sometime during the past six (6) months and who because of this special knowledge, skill and expertise regarding the Employer's operations are considered necessary by the Employer to efficiently perform work under this Agreement.
Section 2. In addition to key persons so hired, persons from the Local Union referral hall in the geographical jurisdiction which the work is being performed may also be hired, to complete the manning of a job if available within forty-eight (48) hours.
Section 1. The Employer and the Union have agreed to the establishment of a jointly-administered defined contribution plan to be established pursuant to Trust and named the Rebar Retirement Plan and Trust. The Employer agrees to be bound by the terms of the Trust and the rules adopted by the Trustees. The Trust shall be administered by three (3) Employer and three (3) Union Trustees. The initial Employer Trustees shall be appointed by the majority of the signatory contractors. The Union Trustees shall be appointed by the International President of the Union and shall serve at his pleasure.
Section 2. Key persons. The Employer agrees to make timely payments into all fringe benefit funds negotiated and described herein. With respect to all key employees who designate home Local Unions other than the signatory Local Union, the Employer shall make contributions in required amounts to the home local pension, health and welfare, annuity, vacation and other welfare benefit funds, if any, of the home Local Union provided that the trust funds so designated agree to accept the contributions and credit the key persons for those contributions in accordance with the trust funds' rules. The contributions shall be at the customary rates set by the home trust funds. The key persons for whom contributions are made to home trust funds shall look only to those trust funds for benefits. If the home trust funds refuse to accept the contributions then the contribution amounts shall be added to the key person's take home wages. This section pertaining to key persons shall apply only to those individuals agreed to by the Union as key persons who are members of a Local Union other than those signatory to this Agreement and other than the Local Union which has geographic jurisdiction where the work is performed. With respect to all other employees the remaining provisions of this Article XVII applying for other than key persons shall apply.
Section 3. Other than key persons. Any Employer obligated to the terms and provisions of this Agreement shall contribute, pay and remit to the trustees of the fund or funds at the office of the fund or funds amounts as set forth in Appendix A for each hour worked by each employee covered by this Agreement at least until such time that the rate of contribution may be changed in the manner hereinafter provided for. This Agreement authorizes contributions to such pension, health and welfare, vacation, annuity and other welfare benefit funds as are legal and appropriate under ERISA or under another applicable Federal Labor Law to which the Employer and International Association agree to make contributions in such amount as is agreed and reflected in Appendix A Fringe Benefits.
Section 4. On January 1 of each year of the term of this Agreement, or more frequently if agreed to by the Union and trustees of the various funds, they shall determine the amount of funds to be distributed to each of the pension, health and welfare, annuity, vacation and other welfare benefit trusts, which constitute the fringe benefit trusts covered by this Agreement. The sum of all contributions to all trusts shall always equal the amounts reflected for the appropriate time period in Appendix A. While the contribution rates to each trust may vary to reflect the needs of the various trusts, the sum of said contributions shall be the amounts designated in Appendix A.
Section 5. Failure to make remittances to the fringe benefits funds by the 15th day of the month following the month in which work was performed shall result in the accrual of interest at the rate of one and one-half percent (1 1/2%) per month for all unpaid balances, plus such accounting fees, attorneys fees, auditing fees, and other expert fees as are necessary if litigation is filed to collect said delinquent amounts.
Section 6. The terms of the various trust and plan documents as they currently exist, and as they may be amended by the trustees from time to time during the term of this Agreement are incorporated herein and shall apply to the signatory Employer. Should any Employer fail to make all contributions or file all reports by the 15th of the month following the month in which the work was performed then the provisions of Article XI shall not apply and the Union may engage in a work stoppage, strike or other legal economic activity to enforce the provisions of this Agreement, as well as proceeding under Article IX.
Section 1. In addition to the per hour wage rate, the Employer shall contribute an additional one percent (1%) of the existing wage rate to Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT), a jointly trusteed Cooperative Trust with federal tax exempt status under Section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code as an exempt organization under Section 501(c)(5) of the Internal Revenue Code. The general purpose of the Trust includes the improvement and development of the Ironworker Industry through education, training, communication, cooperation and governmental lobbying and legislative initiatives.
Section 2. The reporting, payment, frequency of payment and administration of such contributions shall be governed by the terms of the IMPACT Trust agreement, policies and resolutions.
Section 3. The one percent (1%) contribution shall be in lieu of any and all contractual requirements for contributions to the National Ironworkers and Employers Apprenticeship Training and Journeyman Upgrading Fund and the Institute of the Ironworking Industry.
Section 1. Every Employer signatory to this Agreement agrees to check-off from the wages of any employee employed by such Employer during the term of this Agreement dues in the amount specified in the Union's bylaws and to remit said amount to the Union in the following manner:
(A) The Union will notify the Employer in writing of the amount of dues specified in the bylaws, and will submit to the Employer a copy of the bylaws or the applicable bylaw provision.
(B) On or before the 15th day of each month, the Employer will remit to the Union the amount of dues owing as to each employee for the previous month, together with a list of employees covered.
(C) The obligation of the Employer shall apply only to those employees who have voluntarily signed a dues deduction authorization card, a copy of which shall be provided to the Employer.
(D) Initiation fees: Standard initiation fees are also subject to the dues deduction provisions of this Article. For the initial twelve (12) months of this Agreement, standard initiation fees are waived.
Section 1. Should a project be one that is or will be covered by a National Maintenance Agreement, a General Presidents Agreement or an NCA and that project includes reinforcing as work covered by the National Maintenance Agreement, General Presidents Agreement or NCA, then this Agreement shall not apply and the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement of the Local Union in the geographic area shall apply.
Section 1. This Agreement shall cover the following geographic areas:
Local Union No. 21, Omaha, Nebraska - entire territorial jurisdiction with the exception of the following counties - Cass, Douglas, Otop, Sarpy and Washington in the State of Nebraska and Pottawattamie and Mills in the State of Iowa.
Local Union No. 24, Denver, Colorado - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 28, Richmond, Virginia - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 48, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 58, New Orleans, Louisiana - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 66, San Antonio, Texas - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 79, Norfolk, Virginia - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 84, Houston, Texas - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 92, Birmingham, Alabama - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 125, Beaumont, Texas - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 135, Galveston, Texas - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 167, Memphis, Tennessee - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 184, Sioux City, Iowa - entire territorial jurisdiction with the exception of Counties in the State of Minnesota.
Local Union No. 263, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 321, Little Rock, Arkansas - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 384, Knoxville, Tennessee - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 387, Atlanta, Georgia - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 397, Tampa, Florida - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 402, West Palm Beach, Florida - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 454, Casper, Wyoming - entire territorial jurisdiction (including South Dakota).
Local Union No. 469, Jackson, Mississippi - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 477, Sheffield, Alabama - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 482, Austin, Texas - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 492, Nashville, Tennessee - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 495, Albuquerque, New Mexico - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 584, Tulsa, Oklahoma - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 591, Shreveport, Louisiana - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 597, Jacksonville, Florida - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 601, Charleston, South Carolina - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 606, Wichita, Kansas - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 623, Baton Rouge, Louisiana - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 697, Roanoke, Virginia - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 704, Chattanooga, Tennessee - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 709, Savannah, Georgia - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 710, Monroe, Louisiana - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 732, Pocatello, Idaho - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 798, Mobile, Alabama - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 808, Orlando, Florida - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Local Union No. 843, Greensboro, North Carolina - entire territorial jurisdiction.
Section 1. This Agreement shall become effective on February 10, 2004 and remain in full force and effect until midnight of February 10, 2008, and, unless written notice is given by either party to the other by certified or registered mail at least four (4) months prior to such date of a desire for change or termination, this Agreement shall continue in effect for an additional year thereafter. In the same manner, this Agreement, with any amendments thereof, shall remain in effect from year to year thereafter, subject to termination at the expiration of any such contract year upon notice in writing given by either party to the other at least four (4) months prior to the expiration of such contract year. Any such notice as provided for in this Section, whether specifying a desire to terminate or to change at the end of the current contract year, shall have the effect of terminating this Agreement at such time.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have set their respective hands and seals, and caused this Agreement to be signed by their respective authorized representatives on this day of , 20 .
Regional Local Union No. 846
Employer Name
Union Representative (signed)
Employer Representative (signed)
Union Representative (printed)
Employer Representative (printed)
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code
Telephone Number
Fax Number
International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental, and Reinforcing Iron Workers
1750 New York Avenue NW Suite 400 · Washington, DC 20006
202 383-4800 (voice) · 202 638-4856 (fax) · iwmagazine@iwintl.org
Copyright 2006, All rights reserved.

from POLITICAL AFFAIRS [the Communist Party, USA's theoretical journal]:

Iron Workers win at J.D. Steel
By Laureen Lazarovici

Iron Workers' win at J.D. Steel reaches Latino workers with key protections and could strengthen rights for 10,000 construction workers--AFL-CIO


In March 2003, workers spearheaded a campaign to form a union with the Iron Workers at JD Steel, a reinforcing iron subcontractor for such projects as water treatment plants, sports stadiums, performing arts centers and parking lots.

As a subcontractor, the company often received public funds. To draw attention to the campaign, the union activists focused on educating elected officials across Arizona about JD Steel and the workers' issues.

In September, the JD Steel workers won a watershed victory that has the potential to reinforce the workplace rights of as many as 10,000 construction workers nationwide. The Iron Workers signed a union contract with JD Steel, covering 600 workers in 21 states. The agreement provides for improved wages, health insurance, pensions, a grievance procedure and a training program.

The pact also creates a unique multistate organization, Iron Workers Local 846, giving the union and the employer the flexibility and mobility to reach out to more workers. This wide geographic scope is attracting interest from other companies, say union leaders. As construction companies expand nationally and increasingly do business in many states, unions have to change their own structures to better enable workers to have a voice on the job, Iron Workers leaders say. Creating a multistate local is one example of how unions are changing to help the workers and employers in their industries build strength.

U.S. workers face massive obstacles to forming unions

With its recent victory at JD Steel, the Iron Workers-like many other building and construction trades unions-are accelerating their commitment to helping Latino workers, especially immigrant workers, win justice on the job. These unions are using innovative strategies such as hiring bilingual organizers, forming alliances with community groups and providing outreach services to Latino workers. In 2002, for instance, the Iron Workers launched a partnership with a social service and advocacy agency in Silver Spring, Md., to provide legal help to immigrant workers (see America@work, October 2002).

Workers in the United States-regardless of their job or country of origin-face harassment and intimidation when they try to form unions. Fully 92 percent of private-sector employers, when faced with employees who want to join a union, force workers to attend closed-door meetings to hear anti-union propaganda, according to Cornell University scholar Kate Bronfenbrenner. And during 25 percent of organizing campaigns in the private sector, employers illegally fire workers just because they want to form a union.

But immigrant workers face additional obstacles. For those who are undocumented, employers' threats of deportation literally can be a matter of life and death. Top officials at the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) say the question of resident status hampers the agency's investigations. "In responding to immigrant worker deaths, the agency encounters a difficult situation because sometimes workers are afraid to speak out about unsafe or unhealthful conditions for fear of being deported" John Henshaw, OSHA administrator, told a Senate subcommittee in 2002.

Latino workers need the freedom to speak out because they suffer disproportionately from job hazards. The rate of work-related fatalities among Latino workers is 25 percent higher than for workers overall, and foreign-born Latinos are more likely to die than Latinos born in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Even though private-industry injury and illness rates overall dropped 35 percent between 1992 and 2001, fatalities among Latino workers in the United States increased by 67 percent in the same period and have dropped only slightly since then, according to BLS statistics from November 2003. The construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries, and while Latinos make up about 11 percent of the US workforce, they make up 15 percent of all workers in the construction industry.

The new contract with JD Steel gives workers the tools to address workplace safety issues, including a union-management committee and a grievance procedure.

Engaging local elected leaders

In seeking support for their efforts to form a union, workers and union activists reached out to local lawmakers, meeting with mayors, city council members and staff in Arizona in the year and six months before the union reached agreement with the company. The engagement of elected officials who recognize that supporting working families benefits the communities they represent helps create an environment in which employers feel less emboldened to wage aggressive anti-worker campaigns.

Elected officials make decisions about how to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars every day on public projects as water treatment plants. Typically, they choose the general contractors for such projects, and the primary contractor in turn selects subcontractors such as JD Steel. Workers met not only with general contractors but also other decision makers in charge of large projects, including the owners of the Arizona Cardinals football and Phoenix Coyotes hockey teams to discuss their issues.

Ensuring workers remain front and center

Leaders of the Arizona AFL-CIO and the Maricopa Area Labor Federation tapped into their relationships with affiliate unions and elected officials, nurtured over years of political campaigns and legislative battles, to aid the Iron Workers' organizing campaign. "We take the workers-not the organizers, not the leader-to the politicians" says Rebekah Friend, president of the Arizona AFL-CIO. "The politicians have to listen to the workers."

Meeting with elected officials was a new-and sometimes daunting-experience. Worker Felipe Hernandez says before talking with the Glendale, Ariz., city manager, he had never been inside a city hall. When TV cameras showed up to film the workers testifying at a Glendale city council meeting, worker Roberto Duran says, "We were nervous." But Duran says he stayed focused on his goal of justice on the job.

"We understood that's what we had to do" he says. "The key is we were telling the truth and insisted they do something." Now that the workers have a contract with JD Steel, they are visiting elected officials again-this time to tell them about their newly won contract.

"We are very happy and proud" says worker Martin Ramirez. "People never thought we'd win" he says, but the Iron Workers' victory "sets an example that we can."

"I believe the agreement with J.D. Steel...sends a clear message to the construction community that this organization is willing to do whatever it takes to make being union a good business decision" says Iron Workers President Joseph Hunt.