“Workers Shortage” Has Not Reached Most Central Illinois Unions | Local

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BLOOMINGTON – Michael Irvin kept adding a few incidents to his dry-erase board this summer, but he’s had more and more erasing lately.

Irvin is a business agent for the International Alliance of Theater and Stage Employees. Local 193, Central Illinois provides stage construction and dismantling services for concerts, plays, conferences, and other stage events throughout Central Illinois.

It may be Lots of jobs In industries such as Retail and cateringMost union work remained stable as some companies began to offer their own incentives to go back to work. But Irvin’s industry is one of the strangest.

He said Delta variant COVID-19 members were in his union when the virus shut down a large concert-style rally for over a year and began delivering workers again after a long hiatus during the pandemic. I spent money on the activity.

“No other union is as badly affected by this pandemic as we are,” said Irvine. “We were the first to close and the last to go back to work. As far as I know, almost all unions are back in action. “

Such is the case of Ron Paul, a Bloomington-based business manager for Workers Local 362 at the United Nations for workers in the North American Midwest.

Paul said their trade workers have been working since the pandemic started. In fact, they have recently added members with around 50 new workers in the past two years, down from the usual 5 to 10 over that period, he said.

Paul called the present a “building boom”. Credit for electric car startup Rivian As a “big reason” for more work.

“It’s a good time now because I’m very busy,” said Paul. “We don’t take men in and let them wait three or six weeks before they find a job. We are currently sending men to work before we get the list. I have a job waiting for you. “

Josh Sap, chairman of the Decatur Building, Construction and Trade Council who is also the executive director of Decatur-based IBEW Local146, said Paul about “pretty fierce competition” for travel-grade craftsmen like plumbers and wire workers. I repeated it.

“This skill-level job is pretty good all over Illinois,” Sapp said. “When I’m late, I usually loan each other out to help with work, but right now the work is good enough that this type of work is unnecessary.”

Private sector unions are experiencing a construction boom, but Adam Heenan, vice president of the Bloomington Normal Trade and Labor Assembly, said more workers are not uniform. Some employers will stop hiring union jobs, he said.

Some cases of union members not being hired resulted in informational demonstrations in multiple locations across Bloomington Normal.

Heenan said Local 18 of the International Association of Operational Plasterers and Cement Masons staked a construction site near Dollar Tree and Hy-Vee on Veterans Parkway in Bloomington.

Other pickets IATSE Local 193 stagehands Two summer concerts in Corncrib ago. The information strike was intended to initiate a dialogue on contracts with executives from Corncrib, Castle Theater and NTL Productions.

Using untrained workers to assemble and dismantle the stage risks “from the truck to the entire assembly,” said Irvin.

Union leaders say the United States is not facing labor shortages, wages are not keeping up with inflation, and some employers are not providing adequate benefits and security measures. I agreed.

Sapp said the Decatur union has seen an increase in non-union workers interested in joining the union throughout the pandemic. He said the driving force behind this is that union work is likely to have health insurance and more rules on safety in the workplace.

Henan went on to say: I like to work when I can’t afford to put food for my family on the table or on the roof over my head. “

Please contact Kade Heather at 309-820-3256. Follow him on Twitter: @kadeheather

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