Glaziers Local 581
How long have you been in the union?
I have been in the union for 25 years in good standing.
What advice do you have for anyone that isn't familiar with your trade, and the union?
My advice would be to give the trades a shot. If you can show up, have the work ethic, and want to learn a skill or trade it will provide for you throughout your lifetime. The Union is how we stay with the times in regards to fair wages, training, and constant education. The Union is as good as you make it. If you are involved and proactive it is something you can be proud of just like a skilled trade. If you don’t put anything into it our your skill set it will never progress or grow. In short, you are the Trade and the Union.
What is an unexpected benefit of working in the trades or being a part of the union?
An unexpected benefit is making a wage that you can raise a family on, pay your bills, and have the opportunities to be as good as you want to be.
If you had to pick one thing, what would be your favorite thing about the trade?
My favorite thing about the trade is seeing people retire that had a big influence on me and now watching young personnel grow into good mechanics and really buy in to being a proud tradesperson.
What trade do you work in?
I work in the Architectural Metal and Glazing trade.
What has your involvement been in the union? What positions have you held?
My involvement in the Union started at a young age by being involved in the E-board. From there it went to being selected by my peers to the President of LU/ 581 and instructing our local apprenticeship in my later years. I have unofficially always been active in trying to recruit people into the trades.
What do you wish to see in the future? What hopes do you have for the trade?
I wish in the future for society not to look at the trades as a second choice or ditch diggers but as the people, this country was founded and built on. After all the trades “Build America”. Work hard, tell the truth, respect your peers, and always hold yourself accountable. No matter if you’re a Doctor, Lawyer, or Tradesperson, I believe these are principles of getting things done every day. This world needs to focus on these little things and we would all be better off. Ask any tradesperson who has been around a while and they will tell you that making mistakes is how we learn as human beings.
My final statement would be that I have been fortunate to experience unfortunate events in my life as a Soldier, Police Officer, Glazier, and Superintendent at multiple shops, now with Forman Ford. This has given me many lessons that are not picked up in a book both good and bad but have made me the person I am and forged my character. I grew up building with my father and was introduced to glazing and worked at a shop in this trade since I was 14. I didn’t know at the time this trade would provide for me and my family like it has. Is it always rosy? Hell no there are slow times, it is hot, it's cold, you work hard but through it all, if you really want something and to be good at it there is way more opportunity than not to succeed.
All I can say is whether it’s a trade, school, or your marriage; you have to wake up every day and buy into what you are doing and be PROUD OF IT!
Painters and Finishers Local 1178
Painters and Finishers Local 1178 (Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois) President Corey Cameron
1. What work did you do before working in the trades?
I’ve done a few different things before joining the trades. I worked in a restaurant for a while bussing tables, I sold cars for a couple of years, and I also worked in a hospital.
2. How long have you been in the union?
I joined the union in April 2004, a week before my 20th birthday.
3. What advice do you have for anyone that isn't familiar with your trade, and the union?
My advice to anyone is to at least look at the benefits of being in a union. When I was younger, the only option that was presented to me was college, but luckily I was made aware of the potential of the union trades shortly after high school. Now I can see the lifestyle, freedom of debt, and benefits outweigh what I would’ve achieved going to college.
4. What is an unexpected benefit of working in the trades or being a part of the union?
An unexpected benefit for me is the safety aspect of the union. I have never felt unsafe at my job, but if I was asked to do something unsafe I know I have a support system in place that I could wait to do that task until proper safety measures were put in place.
5. If you had to pick one thing, what would be your favorite thing about the trade?
My favorite thing about the trade is the fellowship of brothers and sisters in the union. My coworkers aren’t competitors to me, but rather guys and gals taking the same journey that I am and are supportive of.
6. What trade do you work in?
I am a painter in the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.
7. What has your involvement been in the union? What positions have you held?
I was a trustee for 3 years and now hold the role of President for Local 1178. I am also in my second year as an apprenticeship instructor.
8. What do you wish to see in the future? What hopes do you have for the trade?
My hope is to see the increased growth of our union, both in the jobs we obtain and the number of members we have.