Working Toward an Improved Work Picture

As I sit down to write this month’s article, I have just finished checking the out-of-work book and am disheartened to recognize so many names amongst the over 900 members who are listed. Many who I have worked with, some who I have brought into membership and even family members are on this list. I know that these members are relying on me to better their situation, and while our present situation is worrying, I do see hope on the horizon.

I have spoken with various contractors, and they have all expressed to me the work that they have on the books but are just waiting to be let. Some reasons for the delay are customers are anticipating an interest rate change and are waiting for that to drop, some are still affected by the supply-demand issue and cannot get the material needed to perform the work, and other reasons for the delay.

While the work picture is slow now, the amount of work to come will be plentiful. Just to mention a few:

Burbank airport broke ground on a $1.2 billion project which will include a new terminal that will replace the old one and will bring stores, lounges and gardens.

The $1.7 billion Harbor UCLA Medical Center revamp also recently broke ground and will include two brand new medical buildings which will consolidate services on the 72-acre facility. This joint venture between Morrow Meadows and Rosendin has about 20 members on site, and they anticipate many more.

The $2 billion 4th & Central mixed-use Downtown project has cleared major hurdles in the approval process and will add a 42-story skyscraper and mid-sized buildings, which will incorporate “workforce housing” which will allow more Trades members to live in the structures they build.

The $1.2 billion ARCHES hydrogen hub is only a portion of the $12 billion that will come from a public-private partnership that will build infrastructure that can transport, store and dispense hydrogen throughout California. These hydrogen hub test sites will be built in the Ports of LA and Long Beach.

Let’s not forget the work that will be coming prior to the Olympics and World Cup.

These projects are on the horizon and will put our members to work, but what can be done now?

I have met with our NECA partners, and we will look into the feasibility of increasing the SUB plan payments. We should know by the end of the month if it is possible without jeopardizing the fund. To ease the burden of falling off the books for striking out on a call, I have suspended the strike system and wiped the slate clean of all strikes any member may have accumulated.

When we start to have calls going unfilled and the strike system is reimplemented, then our members will start from zero. You will also start to see the exact address of the job site that is listed in the call, so you know if you want to come into the hall for dispatch or not. We will add a hyperlink to the zip code so you can see if your zip code is one of them included in the call.

For those interested in becoming a SALT, we will be putting on a SALTing class in the near future, so please contact our Organizing department or any staff member so we can put you on the list. All these suggestions were given to me by members I have visited on job sites to introduce myself as your Business Manager.

I want you to know that I take every suggestion or idea into account and will try and implement them if possible. I have always done my best to better the lives of our membership and this IBEW Local. I know what it is like to be on the books for months at a time waiting for a call and trying to provide for my family and I will always do my best to ease as much of that burden on our members as I can.

On a lighter note, I want to thank all the women who attended the very first IBEW Local 11 Women’s Luncheon we held a couple of Saturdays ago at our Electrical Training Institute. We had an excellent line-up of speakers which included the very first woman in our Local, the leader of EAA and a couple of women who run signatory electrical businesses in our jurisdiction.

I was thrilled to witness the energy in the room as these women shared their stories and advice on how to become successful tradeswomen in our industry. We had close to 100 participants in total and I am excited to see how next year’s event will grow.

In Solidarity,

Robert Corona
Business Manager/Financial Secretary

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