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.