Why SMWIA & SMACNA?
Please let me introduce myself, I am Tom Keating, the Executive Director of Sheet Metal, Air Conditioning Contractors National Association - Colorado Chapter (SMACNA Colorado). SMACNA Colorado is a Trade Association comprised of 45 contracting companies in the heating, ventilating, air conditioning, HVAC service, testing and balancing, architectural sheet metal, kitchen equipment, and custom metal fabrication markets. SMACNA Colorado members are located up and down the "front range" and vary in size from annual sales of $800,000 to $28 million. Some SMACNA Colorado members are third generation family owned companies, others are employee owned. Some of our members are on the "cutting edge" of technology, using products such as 3 dimensional CAD systems, others use more traditional methods. SMACNA Colorado members are diverse in their business practices, but they all share one common element, they are all signatory to a labor agreement with Sheet Metal Workers Local #9.
SMACNA Colorado serves as the bargaining agent for it's members in matters pertaining to labor related issues. We collectively bargain a labor agreement with Local #9. Our members, along with representatives of Local #9, direct and administer our apprenticeship programs; health, welfare, vacation and 401k funds; industry promotion programs; labor/management cooperative committees; and a number of other activities aimed at improving the quality of the sheet metal workforce and the profitability of the sheet metal contractor.
I fully realize that the decision to sign a labor agreement is neither easy or simple. There are a myriad number of issues concerning work rules, wages, benefits, job conditions, etc., that first must be answered. I can not attempt to anticipate nor answer your questions in this letter, but rather, I can extend an offer to meet with you in order to take some time to discuss your issues/concerns. I am always available at the SMACNA Colorado office, as listed below, and would welcome your phone call to arrange a meeting. If you decide to accept my offer, please understand that you would be free to have anyone from within your company join us for the meeting so that we can address their issues.
Because of my previous statement that there are simply too many issues to address in one letter, I will conclude this correspondence. However, I would like to leave you with one thought.
Over the years the image of labor-management relations in the construction industry has typically been a negative one. It seems as if confrontational exchanges, strikes and aggression were the only way to characterize those situations. Clearly, neither side benefited from that type of arrangement.
In Colorado, we think that we've got a better plan. We know that confrontational relationships no longer work. To be successful, both labor and management have to succeed. We've got to be on the same page, and we're working to achieve that goal. I would currently describe SMACNA Colorado's relationship with our labor partners, Local #9, as positive, energized and forward-focused. We meet together on a regular basis to discuss issues (before they become problems), to strategize about manpower needs and to plan for a better future. Over the past 5 years, we've opened two new apprenticeship training centers and we've embarked on an aggressive industry recruitment campaign. We're doing things better, and we're making progress.
Once again, during your decision making process whether or not to become a union signatory contractor, I am more than willing to make myself available to you to provide input.