UA Local 38

Working to Get Out the Vote

Local 38 Members' Voices Heard

Right: Local 38 members have a history of encouraging participation in the political process, and supporting candidates who themselves support the rights of working men and women.

The history of the labor movement is a history of political struggle, and Local Union 38 is no exception.

Through the years, union members have fought hard for political causes that meant more work and better lives for themselves and their communities.

Members of the Marin Plumbers, Local 769, for example, spent the first ten years of this century fighting for the adoption of sanitary codes in their jurisdiction, culminating with the 1910 adoption of the first sanitary code for the City of San Rafael.

Typically, many of these fights have taken place in two arenas -- at the ballot box, and in the streets.

Strikes and demonstrations have long been one of organized labor's most dramatic weapons, while organized voter registration drives, political campaigns and get-out-the-vote efforts have results in countless victories for labor's friends and defeats for labor's enemies.

Local 38 supports candidates who recognize and respect the rights and points of view of working people.

Throughout the years, our members have played important roles in the election of a host of candidates willing to represent working families:

San Francisco mayors George Christopher, Jack Shelley (himself a Teamster and a Bakery Wagon Driver) and Joe Alioto; Congressmen John and Phil Burton; Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi; Governor Pat Brown; Senator Gene McAteer; President Bill Clinton

The list is endless.

We have also fought hard in less successful campaigns. Organizing a statewide labor committee to support Hubert H. Humphrey, or backing Helen Gahagan Douglas when she ran against Richard Nixon, are just a couple of examples.

Local Union 38 also has a proud political history of fighting for programs or issues which were important to San Francisco's working men and women, such as the Homeporting of the USS Missouri at Hunters Point, the construction of Mission Bay, and more recently in the campaigns for new ballparks for the San Francisco Giants and the San Francisco 49ers.

Our Market Street building has become a well-known political landmark over the years, housing colorful banners shouting "Alioto for Mayor" or "No on Prop. M."

Local 38 representatives also have served on the Golden Gate Bridge Board, the San Francisco Housing Authority, the Recreation and Parks Commission, the Human Rights Commission and the San Francisco Airport Commission, among others.

Local 38 Members Protest Unfair State Wage Policy

Right: Local 38 members demonstrate their opposition to proposed changes in overtime pay regulations.

But not all of our political battles have been fought in the polling booths. Over the years we have frequently found it necessary to take to the streets, demonstrating for or against various individuals or programs.

Several years ago, for example, we joined hundreds of other building trades members at Moscone Center, for the infamous "Rat Monday" demonstration against the Associated Building Contractors and their anti-union employers.

And last year we joined thousands of building trades workers in the largest protest rally seen in Sacramento in recent years, protesting Governor Pete Wilson's attempts to repeal California's prevailing wage laws.

More recently, Local 38 members were on the streets because of Wilson again, this time joining the demonstration at San Francisco's State Building to protest his drive to repeal overtime requirements.

These struggles are part and parcel of making labor's voice heard in the political arena.

It is a struggle with a proud history, and one which will continue into the future.

Return to History Page