Dear Brothers and Sisters:†
This Labor Day is a great time to step back from the multitude of issues facing us as a country and focus on the strength, unity, care and concern we all have for our fellow union brothers and sisters.
The UBCís recent General Convention made history by successfully conducting its business in a virtual format, which enabled 30 remote locations throughout North America to simulcast proceedings for delegates from every Regional Council. In addition to making history, the event also secured the next five years of solid leadership, when delegates re-elected the Doug McCarron team to continue providing its superior guidance to its near half-million members, including those of us here in the Southeastern Regional Council. That team includes Southern District Vice President Dennis Donahou, who has been an outstanding voice for our Council and the other Southern District councils, and we congratulate him on his achievements.
The SECRC enters Labor Day in good shape, despite the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic brings. Our members continue to train, work hard and represent the signature union carpenter work ethic on every job site. Our staff continues to provide daily leadership in the field and in the union halls to keep members working and Local Union operations running.
2019 was a great year for our council, as we gained almost ONE MILLION manhours over the prior year. We also saw a jump in membership in 2019 over 2018ís numbers. Even our arrears rate dropped several percentage points in 2019 over 2018.†Before the pandemic, we were on pace to top 2019ís successes. We may take a bit of a hit in our 2020 numbers, but I want every member to hear me loud and clear when we I say this: Stay the course. 2020 will hold its own and we are positioned for an outstanding 2021.
Our work outlook is positive. Long-term work at job sites such as Plant Vogtle, TVA and Chickamauga Dam continue to employ hundreds of members. We also are pursuing more work in the already successful solar industry. And we will continue to fight for market share in all five states.
We also anticipate growth from our training department. In North Carolina,†a new 25,000 square foot training center is being built in Charlotte.†The community there has embraced our arrival and we anticipate developing many important relationships to help us build membership and market share there.†In Nashville, groundwork for a new training center†is achieving success and support from community leadership as well.
Our efforts to service the members of the Southeastern Regional Council, and the employers who hire them, is an everyday priority for myself and the SECRC staff. We know that our success is because of our members, and their dedication and professional skills. Thank you for the privilege of working for each of you.
Happy Labor Day!
Yours in SolidarityTom Jenkins, EST