Local 38 Business Agent Frank Reardon and Organizer Tony Guzzetta were among thousands of building trades members who made their way to Washington D.C., last month for the Annual North American Building Trades Unions (NABTU) and the AFL-CIO Metal Trades Department Legislative Conference.
The four-day conference included workshops on important building trades unions legislative issues such as prevailing wage, apprenticeship, health and safety, multi-employer pension plan regulations and infrastructure. The Metal Trades concentrated on protecting and enforcing the Jones Act, which regulated the American shipbuilding and repair industry.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the conference is Lobbying Day, when building trades leaders from around the country meet with their respective legislators to discuss upcoming legislation of importance to NABTU. The San Francisco contingent, including Brothers Reardon and Guzzetta, met with legislators including Senator Kamala Harris, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Representatives Jered Huffman, Eric Swalwell and John Garamendi.
Although the Presidential primary is still close to a year away (it is just eight months away in California, since the state moved its Presidential primary to March) a host of candidates were on hand to make their case to the building and metal trades unions. Candidates appearing before the conference included Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Michael Bennett and Amy Klobuchar, along with several members of the House of Representatives and former Governors.
Videos of the key speeches from the conference are available at the NABTU website, www.nabtu.org.