Dear Brothers and Sisters:
We are off to a great start for 2020, thanks to everyone’s efforts, every day. Before we get too far into the year, I wanted to present a State-of-the-Council update. I’d like to share information about how our Council did last year and how we intend to grow market share, and service members even better, in 2020.
First, I want to share this news with you from the UBC Southern District office: We are proud to announce that membership throughout the 11-state UBC Southern District continues its multi-consecutive-year increase! Our 11-state district, collectively, achieved a 13% increase in membership in 2019 over 2018, finishing last year with more than 22,000 carpenters, millwrights and piledrivers. And, in just January of 2020, we had a near 2% districtwide membership increase again! We expect to keep our streak going in 2020. Well done, everyone!
Here at the SECRC, we are happy to report that 2019 was a great year for our Council, specifically in terms of growth. We anticipate 2020 to stay in step with this momentum. Here’s a summary of where we stand:
Local 256 300 Hitters
In 2019 the Southeastern Regional Council gained almost ONE MILLION manhours over the prior year. In 2018, we logged 6.7 million manhours. In 2019, we worked 7.6 million manhours, a 900,000-hour increase!
We are equally happy to report that our membership increased by nearly 3% in 2019 over 2018. We currently service nearly 6000 members. We anticipate more membership growth in 2020 because of the depth of work on the horizon (see below). If you know of anyone who you think would be a good carpenter, please send them to NailMyCareer.com.
We started 2019 with a membership retention issue, where members were falling behind in dues. So, we instituted a Local Union rollback program where, each month, Locals can earn a dues rollback check from the Council based on the Local’s success in improving their arrears rate. We are absolutely thrilled to report that every single Local in our Council improved its arrears rate. Within one year, we got our Council arrears rate of 11.5% down to 7.6%. The program continues in 2020.
2020 Work Outlook
Work is expected to be plentiful in 2020 throughout our Council. Some highlights include:
- Four nuclear outages are scheduled for the spring of 2020 with Southern Company and TVA.
- Both DOE plants have increased work projects throughout 2020
- Chickamauga Dam is going well and will last about 3 years
- Vogtle Unit 3 is about 81% complete and Vogtle Unit 4 about 60% complete
Work is also expected in 2020 from these projects:
- Toyota/Mazda plant in Huntsville, Alabama
- Nashville International Airport, in Nashville, Tennessee
- Google Plant #4 in Clarkesville, Tennessee
- Redstone Arsenal Building, Huntsville, Alabama
- Southern Company’s Barry Steam Plant Unit 8 Project
- George P. Johnson
- Mercury Outfall Building – DOE
- Savannah River Site SDU 8&9, and Pit Assembly
- Jobsite Steel
Our training centers are operating at an outstanding level.
2019 saw an enormous effort from each of our centers to service our contractors by getting members trained in whatever was needed to keep jobs running smoothly.
The centers also played a large role in recruitment via open houses, tours, and job fairs. We are grateful to all of our training brothers and sisters for their hard work.
2020 will see even more growth from our training department, especially from these three areas:
- A new 25,000 square foot training center is being built in Charlotte, North Carolina. The community there has embraced our arrival and we anticipate developing many important relationships in Charlotte to help us build membership and market share there.
- The Oakridge Training Center will host the Council’s first open house of 2020 in April.
- The Nashville Training Center is expected to start work on its new facility.
There are many ways that we protect our membership. Fighting for your rights on a jobsite is a top priority. However, we also fight for your right to a level playing field when competing for work.
In 2019 the SECRC started an aggressive Construction Tax Fraud campaign, working closely with the UBC's Tax Fraud program.
- We lobbied at the state capitals.
- We hand billed at post offices around the end of tax season.
- We got several news articles published about the Tax Fraud problem in Atlanta and Nashville.
Look for us to continue our Tax Fraud campaign in 2020. In fact, we are proud to announce that a bill is now under review by the Georgia state legislature to fight tax fraud.
So, as you can see, our efforts to service the members of the Southeastern Regional Council, and the employers who hire them, is an everyday priority for myself and the SECRC staff. We know that our success in 2019 is because of our members, and their dedication and professional skills.
Thank you for the privilege of working for each of you.
Yours in Solidarity,
Tom Jenkins, EST