SF Labor Protests for Construction Jobs

Sheet Metal workers led a protest Wednesday at BRE’s Annual Shareholder’s Meeting in downtown San Francisco.

Members of Sheet Metal Workers’ Local Union 104 and other construction trades unions joined forces this week with environmentalists, transit advocates, and community leaders in a day of action at BRE’s Annual Shareholder’s Meeting to protest use of out-of-area workers at “substandard wages in developments around the Bay Area.
“It is critical that the developers we invite into our communities understand San Francisco values. Developers who take advantage of the unique opportunities found in San Francisco must stand by the letter and the spirit of our First Source agreement, which is to provide middle class job opportunities in the construction trades by paying a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work,” said Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo).
BRE Properties did not return a call from the Post requesting a comment.
Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 104 led the day of action on Wednesday at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 222 Sansome St. in San Francisco’s financial district to expose what the union calls BRE Properties’ practice of importing out-of-area workers and paying substandard wages in developments around the San Francisco Bay Area.
The union represents 9,000 workers in Northern and Central California in the commercial, industrial, and residential sectors and is a shareholder of BRE Properties.
“Billions of dollars are pouring into the Bay Area, fueling the construction of new developments. BRE Properties is exploiting the workers it hires to build its projects simply to increase its corporate profits. That is not how the Bay Area builds,” said Jack Jones, sheet metal worker from Sunnyvale, California.  BRE is building hundreds of new apartments in Sunnyvale where hundreds of workers from outside the Bay Area were brought in to complete the job some being paid 80 percent less than the Area Standard Wage.
“BRE has brought in out-of-town, inexperienced workers, and they’re paying them substandard wages with little or no benefits.  It’s a slap in the face to our communities. Sheet Metal workers support the community and the City. We live in this community, we pay taxes, our kids attend school here, and we support small businesses that support the local economy,” continued Jones.