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Stand with Unions and the Middle Class Against Corporate Greed
Unions protect the interests of workers. Prior to Unions, workers often worked in horrible conditions that were unsafe and not humane. Big business owners and CEOs continue to see workers as expendable, literally, lives and livelihood aren’t as important as profits to make corporate executives even wealthier. Thanks to Unions, the work place is safer and more people share in the American dream but the health and livelihood of workers are still threatened by corporate greed. The collective voice of workers, through Unions, allows a “seat at the table” to discuss fair wages, healthcare and retirement for the reliable, skilled and quality work delivered by the Union workforce. America is stronger with strong, middle-class families, but aristocrats ever-eager to make more money are spending lots of cash to confuse the public and tear down unions. Know the Issues!
Blue Collar Occupations are worthy of the best
Elitists who disregard those choosing to not take white-collar jobs often make assumptions on the value of those in labor. Skilled professionals have a tremendous amount of training required to be certified in the building trade professions. The trades often apply technical math and physics to complete their job. Many choose labor for its physicality versus working behind a desk or like the earn while they learn apprentice programs to get a career without the college expenses and debt alternative. The quality of society, and our economy, is critically dependent on the strength of those who build and maintain our infrastructure, constructing the world’s finest and safest buildings, roadways, bridges, power plants and more.
“Right to Work” is Wrong for America
The phrase “Right to Work” may sound good, but it is driven by a wealthy few that get richer and further the wage disparity between workers and CEO. The facts are “Right to Work” is bad for workers, businesses and the economy. It drives down wages, healthcare and creates a dangerous workplace for everyone. Businesses want a healthy economy fueled in part by good jobs, skilled labor and a solid infrastructure that the Building Trades Unions bring. Right to Work proponents say workers should have a choice to be in a union or not on the hopes to weaken the collective bargaining and essentially give those that do not pay for the bargaining a free ride to enjoy the benefits of the union without being in the union. Freeloading isn’t right and it is what is wrong with “right to work”.
Prevailing Wage Laws are a Positive Force for All
Prevailing wage statutes simply sets a floor on workers hourly wages and benefits who work on government contract jobs. The floor is the “prevailing wage” and standards for that community. Having prevailing wage laws keeps predatory companies that travel around and try to undercut the local bidders using migrant workers the stipulation that they’d also have to pay their workers the same fair pay standards of the community where they work. Often the argument is government could get more by paying less, but the facts are the cost of labor is far more than wages, it is health, pension, payroll taxes and training investments. Cutting training and critical benefits and protections are not a solution.
While we all share in the desire to cut waste and protect our constitutional freedoms, the livelihoods of the American workers are fundamental to the American dream. Making a decent living and having safety, healthcare and retirement protections are necessary to live.
Make sure you are registered to vote.
If you work out of town or traveling, be sure to get your absentee ballot. It is easy. For information about registering to vote:
For Missouri, candidate for Governor, Chris Koster, chriskoster.com respects the workers and wants to protect the trade unions. A vote for Koster is a vote for the American worker. Koster is running against Kinder. Remember Koster NOT Kinder.
Career options in the Kansas City metro area
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Electrical workers include linemen, who work on electric utility company distribution systems at higher voltages, and wiremen, who work with the lower voltages utilized inside buildings. Wiremen are generally trained in one of five primary specialties: commercial, residential, light industrial, industrial, and low-voltage wiring, such as control wiring, fire-alarm, fiber optics and voice/data/video equipment. Attracts individuals with an aptitude for math and science, hands-on work with the ability to distinguish colors.
Sheet metal workers are highly skilled and trained to fabricate, install and service heating, venting and air conditioning systems; architectural sheet metal work, blowpipe and industrial systems, metal roofing, coping and flashing and stainless steel work for restaurants, kitchens and hospitals. Attracts individuals that are mechanically-minded, problem solvers and physical strength is a bonus.
Boilermakers specialize in steel fabrications from plates and sections. International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, and Forgers and Helpers that construct, maintain, manufacturer and perform emergency repair of pressure vessels, plat and structural fabrications used in the power industry as well as other vessels, like boats and cranes. These skilled specialists use acetylene torches, power grinders and other equipment for welding, burning, cutting, rigging, layout and bolting. Attracts strong individuals and those with an interest working with fire.
Ironworkers assemble and erect steel framework, pre-cast concrete panels and other metal parts in building, bridges, dams, etc. Types of ironworkers include ornamental ironworkers install systems such as curtainwall and window systems; reinforcing ironworkers who place rebar, mesh, composite bars, and post-tensioning cables in structures; and rigging ironworkers who unload, move, and set machinery and other challenging objects. Attracts those with mathmatical skills, mental alertness, good mechanical aptitude and spatial reasoning abilities.
Operating engineers are the point running the heavy equipment that excavates and transport heavy material around building sites. Operators also perform mechanical repairs of the equipment including bulldozers, cranes, front-end loaders, pile drivers, etc and are surveyors, and stationary/power engineers. Operating Engineers build buildings, factories, roads, tunnels and bridges. Operating Engineers attract those who would enjoy controlling powerful equipment and systems, follow directions, mechanically inclined and watchful of machine indicators and gauges.
Laborers are critical workers to almost every job site, as a result there is significant job demand. Workers have extensive safety training and best practices supporting the various trades. Laborer jobs range from demolition, material preparation, and environmental remediation to job site preparation, landscaping, concrete mixing and installation, build scaffolding, road and bridge construction, signaling, clean-up and much more. Jobs especially appeal to those who like variety and enjoy staying fit on the job.
Skilled trowel trades specialists, including bricklayers, tile setters, plasterers, cement masons, marble masons, restoration, terrazzo and mosaic specialist, construct using various forms of materials that make a lasting impact seen in buildings, stadiums, monuments and landmarks. Attracts individuals who enjoy working outdoors, have good hand-eye coordination and a technical aptitude.
Skilled plasterers finish interior walls and ceilings or plaster decorative moldings applying plaster on masonry, metal, wirelath or gypsum. Cement masons pour, smooth, and finish concrete floors, sidewalks, roads, curbs and responsible for cement construction of bridges, canals, dams, reservoirs and roads and other engineering feats. Attracts individuals who enjoy working with their hands and can demonstrate precision and care in their work and manual dexterity.
Painters are part of the "finishing trades" who transform the final construction through paint and hanging wallpaper. Other specialties include glaziers who prepare and install various kinds of glass, mirrors, metal framing and doors/entrances to buildings, and specialists in drywall and taping, floor covering (resilient floors, carpets and decorative coverings) and sign/display who install billboard vinyl, convention displays and show decorators. Attracts individuals that have attention to detail and take great pride in their work and a steady hand.
Pipefitters install, assemble, fabricate, maintain and repair pipes carrying water, steam, air and other liquids or gases necessary for sanitation, industrial production, heating and cooling and more. Pipefitters usually begin as helpers or apprentices. Journeyman pipefitters deal with industrial/commercial/marine piping and heating/cooling systems. Attracts those with an aptitude in math and attention to detail.
Plumbers and Gas Fitters are highly skilled and trained to install and service systems that utilize water, steam, or gases. Specifically gasfitters install, maintain and repair natural gas equipment, fixtures, appliances, and gas meters, regulators, valves, and burners, in residential, commercial and industrial areas. Attracts individuals who are mechanically inclined, attention to detail and common sense problem solving.
Elevator constructors are highly qualified and trained to construct, modernize, repair, and service elevators, escalators, moving walkways, and other state-of-the-art conveyances. Attracts individuals with a firm grasp of hydraulics, electricity and computer electronics that enjoys change to keep the pace with technological innovations.
Commercial roofers are trained professionals that specialize in the installation and removal of roofs using a variety of materials. Roofers install hot built-up and single-ply roofing systems. Waterproofers install moisture-resistant products on below-grade structures and other surfaces to prevent water intrusion into buildings. Members also operate a variety of mechanical and electrical equipment associated with the installation of roofing and waterproofing products. Attracts those who enjoy outdoors with a vantage point above most things.
Sprinkler fitters install, test, inspect and certify automatic fire suppression systems in structures. Sprinkler systems installed by sprinkler fitters can include the underground supply as well as integrated overhead piping systems and standpipes. Attracts individuals with a practical application of engineering science and technology, math and critical thinking.
Teamsters working in the construction industry include riggers, demolition workers, landscapers, pipeline construction workers, warehousers, and workers engaged in building supply manufacturing. Attracts individuals looking to upgrade their driving skills and be part of a diverse group of proud, loyal and skilled Teamsters.
heat & frost insulators
Heat and frost insulators fabricate, manufacture and apply insulation materials to plumbing, heating, cooling and refrigeration systems, piping equipment, and pressure vessels to reduce the passage of heat, cold, sound, smoke or fire. Some of the main duties include applying and securing insulation. Attracts individuals with an understanding of algebra and geometry, the ability to work with machinery, hand tools and power tools.
Glaziers work with glass in construction performing cutting, installing, removing and replacing glass windows, skylights, displays, mirrors, and protection glass. Glaziers build metal framework and install hinges, handles, locks and other hardware. Glaziers are coordinated, flexible individuals who are good at adapting technology and equipment to serve their needs.
A Drywall Finishers measures, cuts and fits drywall panels and Tapers apply a joint compound and apply a paper tape, followed by sanding any rough areas to create/restore finished walls and ceilings. Drywall Finishers use stilts, lifting devices to help place drywall panels on the ceiling, trowels, taping bazooka and various sanding equipment to finish professionally. Good eye-hand coordination, dependability, good work ethic and attention to detail are needed to be successful. Drywall Finishers can start earning income and benefits as they are going through career training.
Carpenters are skilled trades people who do cutting, shaping and installation of building materials during the construction of buildings, timber bridges, concrete formwork, etc. Attracts critical thinkers, attention to detail, with good math and mechanical skills operating power tools.
Careers in the Building Trades offer an excellent way to stay fit and healthy (think crossfit, versus being chained to a desk).
Unlike many "desk jobs" in our country, the job of a skilled individual who helps build an American building, stadium, power plant, arena or road cannot be outsourced to a worker who lives half-way around the world.
Most unions provide opportunities for additional training and career advancement even after you become a full-fledged member of the trade.
- How do I determine which trade is best for me?
- What is a typical day like for people who work in this trade?
- Are these jobs year-round?
- How much is the average pay?
- What are the benefits? For example, will I be offered health insurance for me and my family?
- Do I work as a contractor or an employee?
- How do I get into the apprenticeship program?
- How long will it take me to be fully trained?
- After I become a full-fledged member of the trade, what kinds of additional training can I receive that will enable me to advance further in my career?
Today’s lean, productive, technologically savvy trades are looking to teach world-smart young men and women like you a lifetime skill.
The bottom line: We’re offering you a chance to be the best, to BE YOUnion!