Electric company, union recruit workers for Amazon project
by Jonathan Partridge | Patterson Irrigator and Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
Feb 27, 2013 | 3447 views | 3 3 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
02-28-2013--An electrical worker who did not wish to be indentified filled out an application for employment to be an IBEW 684 electrician Monday, Feb. 25 in the parking lot of the Hammon Senior Center.  The union, in conjunction with Collins Electric of Stockton held a hiring drive in Patterson Monday and Tuesday.--Photo By Nick Rappley
02-28-2013--An electrical worker who did not wish to be indentified filled out an application for employment to be an IBEW 684 electrician Monday, Feb. 25 in the parking lot of the Hammon Senior Center. The union, in conjunction with Collins Electric of Stockton held a hiring drive in Patterson Monday and Tuesday.--Photo By Nick Rappley
A week after a carpenters union protested Amazon.com’s use of out-of-state workers to construct a local center, an electricians union and a Stockton-based electrical company recruited building tradesmen in Patterson to work on the project.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 684 and Collins Electrical Co. Inc. looked for 80 to 120 electricians to work on wiring at a Patterson fulfillment center for Amazon.com Inc during an open house at the Hammon Senior Center, 1033 W. Las Palmas Ave., on Monday, Feb. 25, and Tuesday, Feb. 26.

Business Manager Billy Powell of Local 684 drew a contrast between the open house and protests by Carpenters Local Union 152 on Feb. 13 and 19 that featured a giant papier-mache angel of death in front of Patterson City Hall.

“With the carpenters out there doing their rogue activities, we’re trying to show some positive things out there rather than having a big grim reaper,” Powell said.

Bobby Stutzman, an organizer for Local 684, said the union was boosting the local area by looking for electricians within it.

“We came out to show support the last two days,” he said. “The IBEW is really big into being local and showing we support the area we work and live in.”

The union and Collins Electrical sought state-certified electricians, registered trainees and would-be apprentices to work on the Amazon building and other projects.

Powell said Patterson was a natural place to recruit, given the 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center Amazon.com Inc. is having built off Sperry Avenue and Park Center Drive. He said the union is looking to expand its membership.

Chris Riley, general superintendent at Collins Electrical, said his company also hoped the open house would attract new blood.

“We’re looking for some new guys that want to get into the trade,” he said.

Fewer than two-sdozen applicants actually put in applications at the event and applicants were reticent to talk to the media about applying for new jobs for fear of losing their current employment.

Walls of the Amazon.com center are in the process of being erected by Big-D Construction of Pleasanton off Sperry Avenue and Park Center Drive. The distribution hub, which will package and distribute products that the Seattle-based retailer sells online, is slated to open this summer.

Representatives of Martinez-based Carpenters Local Union 152 passed out fliers in front of Patterson City Hall on Feb. 13 and 19 in protest of Amazon’s use of construction workers from Nevada-based Tedesco rather than carpenters union members from California.

The union has a Manteca office and represents a portion of Northern California that includes Stanislaus County.

Fliers distributed by Local 152 urged city leaders not to commit to a sales tax-sharing agreement with Amazon.com regarding its Patterson center.

The city has not formally discussed doing so, but several cities with Amazon fulfillment centers, including Tracy, have such agreements in place.

Scott Littlehale, a spokesman for Local 152, said this week that the union had hoped highly skilled local workers would be used for all Amazon’s construction projects.

He described the grim reaper as “a symbol of the depth of our concern that we don’t sell out the future of our community.”

Powell, of the electricians union local, stated in a Feb. 21 letter to the editor that several local contractors were working on the Amazon construction, and in other cases, contractors from outside the area had hired local tradesmen.

Irrigator reporter Nick Rappley contributed to this report.

• Contact Jonathan Partridge at 892-6187, ext. 26, or jonathan@pattersonirrigator.com.

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February 27, 2013
Are you joking me?? The Carpenters Union which is so corrupt the Feds have to run the New York City Carpenters Council.The UBC International President Douglas Mccarron and his local cronie Frank Spencer supported corrupt Council Officers who were robbing the membership while funneling money to the mob. They looked the other way despite being asked on numerous occasions to act. Now a Federal Judges has had to take the operation over.

Today that Judge,Richard Berman, is being asked to approve new contracts that include language with forced Union Membership in direct violation of the Taft Hartley act and a provision called full mobility. Because there is no federal judges watching in the rest of the UBC this is already passed and in play. Full mobility means that a Union contractor can bring his or her entire crew in form out of state or any other area and man a job without hiring a single local worker. You know the local worker guarantees they promise when they want a PLA or State Tax Dollars.The fact is once the Carpenters get on the job THEY will bring in the very out of state workers they are protesting against.

In upstate NY we have a project called Global Foundries. This project took 3 billion in tax dollars from New York State and promised local workers jobs. Go into the workers parking lot and try to find a New York plate. Te Carpenters Union has maned the job with out of state Union workers who are being paid higher wages than the Local Union Carpenters who are sitting at home maybe collecting Unemployment.. How hypocritical is it for these Carpenters to protest what they do across the country. This is nt about Local workers but just more extortion tactics by the UBC. By the way.I WAS a member of the UBC for 25 years
February 26, 2013
Unions need to dry up and go away. They are a blight on this country.

Look what the union did to the Patterson Frozen Foods company. Now it is empty.

The time of unions has come and gone.
February 24, 2013
I am glad Amazon is going to bring in some local workers. I see the issue of not hiring local workers, and bringing in workers from Nevada being bad because of people here needing jobs. However what this article fails to mention is the revenue that is being brought in by these out of state workers. Are they not paying to stay in our local hotels? Paying for our local food and entertainment? The more of that money to come in, the less likely they are to raise your taxes. I guess then they can find some group to go protest about that.

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