Wright appointed business manager of Bricklayers Local 1

Keith Wright is the new business manager of Portland-based Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1.

He succeeds John Mohlis, who left late in his term to take a job as executive secretary-treasurer of the Columbia-Pacific Building Trades Council.

Wright, 54, has been a union bricklayer for 28 years, starting as an apprentice in the former Eugene Local 6 in 1978. A native of Flint, Michigan, Wright worked on construction jobs in numerous states before settling in Oregon in 1978.

He has served as Local 1’s president and as a field representative since 1994. He resigned as president earlier this year to take over as business manager.

Local 1’s new president is Matt Eleazer, who also was hired as a field representative.

“Work is good, and it should remain good through the summer,” said Wright, who also is a delegate to the Oregon State and Columbia-Pacific Building Trades Councils, and to the Northwest Oregon Labor Council.

“We have a lot of work in Central Oregon (Madras and Bend), which should give us some in-roads for organizing,” he said.

Local 1 has increased its membership from 650 to 745 over the past year, and has 50 apprentices in training.

On April 1, the union hosted its annual retiree pin dinner in Portland. The keynote speaker was Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski. More than 225 people attended.

Kulongoski, who is seeking re-election, said it is the American labor movement that created this nation’s middle class. “We need more people to pick up the tools of the trade to build America. You helped build America. Without a skilled workforce, this state and this country cannot move forward.”

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