Portland-based Boilermakers Local 500 has consolidated with Spokane-based Local 242, announced Business Manager Mark Keffeler. The consolidation boosts Local 242’s membership to nearly 550 shop and field construction boilermakers, with jurisdiction in Eastern Washington starting at the Canadian border, in Southwest Washington to Longview, and in Oregon.
Local 242 was established in 1960. It maintains a large training center in Spokane and is politically active in the state.
At the time of the consolidation, Local 500 — chartered on July 1, 1984 in Salem — represented approximately 200 field construction boilermakers in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Its business manager, Darin McCarthy, had been out on medical leave since February, following complications from back surgery. An interim manager was running the local, and it was still struggling financially due to the Great Recession.
Keffeler met with the Oregon boilermakers in October to explain the consolidation. Keffeler told the Labor Press that he hopes to maintain the Portland training center located at 2515 NE Columbia Blvd. He has reached out to Boilermakers Local 104, which represents workers at the shipyards, in regard to sharing the training facility. Local 104 is headquartered in Seattle, but has a satellite office in Vancouver.
Keffeler also wants to maintain an affiliation with the Oregon Building and Construction Trades Council.
Several members from Oregon attended Local 242’s union meeting and barbecue in Spokane Nov. 9.
Keffeler’s goal is to hold bi-monthly informational meetings in Portland starting next year.
He said the work picture for Boilermakers looks strong in the months ahead. “We have a lot of work on the books, it just hasn’t broke yet,” he said. “We’re going to survive.”