Business Manager’s Message
Valentino B. Ceria
In April, I attended the North America Building Trades Unions (NABTU) Legislative Conference, along with President Matthew Brady and Government & Community Affairs Director Kika Bukoski. We had the opportunity to learn about legislative accomplishments and upcoming priorities, also met with other union leaders and congressional members. I met with our own UA General Secretary-Treasurer Pat Kellett to talk about the construction outlook. He mentioned there is a lot of work on the horizon for our membership. The new 1.2 trillion-dollar Infrastructure Bill that President Biden initiated and got passed pushes for Project Labor Agreements (PLAs). That’s union work coming from this funding. Further, President Biden’s Executive Order on PLAs states, Federal agencies “shall require every contractor or subcontractor” on federal projects “to require or become a party to a PLA.” This would be for projects with estimated costs of $35 million or more. This Executive Order affects $262 billion in federal government contracts. We also met with some of our congressional people who supported the Infrastructure Bill such as Senator Brian Schatz, and Congressman Kai Kahele’s Chief of Staff, Christy Wagner. Here in Hawaii, a large federal project coming up is the construction of Dry Dock #5 at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. We recently attended a meeting with Bechtel Corp., one of the five general contractors vying for this project, that is open to a Project Labor Agreement. That is good for all Union affiliates. It is estimated to cost around $3.4 billion and will take five years to build out.
Recently, we had the pleasure of hosting our new UA International Representative for California and Hawaii, Aaron Stockwell, who comes out of Local 447 Sacramento, California. Along with Brother Stockwell was Brother Patrick Dolan, Jr. who is the UA Director of Metal Trades. He comes out of the Steamfitters Local 638 New York. They were here to visit our local union office, the training facility and also to visit the Metal Trades UA Local Union 811 in Pearl Harbor. When they left they had only positive things to say about our organization and was happy to see that the construction industry here is still booming.
Training just had an apprentice recruitment testing and interview sessions on April 9th for prospective new apprentices that would fulfill the contractors’ work requests. Construction is still going strong and we need to make sure we have the manpower available.
Politically, we interviewed many candidates for the upcoming primary election and made some of our endorsements noted in this newsletter (page 3). We will need for you to be registered to vote, so please help support and vote for the candidates who support us.
I am happy to inform you that we have scheduled our annual holiday dinners for Oahu and neighbor islands this year. Dates confirmed are December 5th for Kona, December 6th for Hilo, December 10th on Oahu at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, December 13th on Kauai, and December 14th on Maui. Being that we are living in unpredictable times, we are hoping everything go as planned.
The Hawaii Building & Construction Trades Council has also scheduled the Labor Unity Picnic to be held on Sunday, September 4th, the day before Labor Day. More information will be forthcoming as it gets closer, and I hope you and your ohana come out and attend this free event honoring all union members.
We had our last Union Meeting on May 2nd before the summer break at the DAV Hall. When we start up again on Tuesday, September 6th, we will go back to Washington Middle School. The General Membership Meetings are held the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. except for the summer months (June, July, August). Meeting notices are sent when there is a change in date, venue, or a special notice. We hope that more of you take the time to attend the Union meetings to be informed of your Union. We have a very busy year ahead and so be healthy and stay safe!