Laborers Local 737 elects its first business manager

Laborers Local 737 members elected Zack Culver as business manager Aug. 17 in their first completed union officer election as a merged local.

Culver outpolled Dave “Boo Boo” Clark 250 to 101.

Zack Culver

Local 737 has roughly 2,600 members, including all union laborers in building and road construction in the state of Oregon, about 200 Portland shipyard laborers, about 200 employees at 18 small public employers around Oregon, and 350 retirees. It was created Sept. 21, 2015, with the merger of Local 296, Local 320 and Local 121 of the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA).

On Oct. 28, 2015 — about month after the merger became official — the local was placed under supervision by the international union. Laborers Northwest Regional Manager Bob Abbott was named supervisor, and Culver served as assistant supervisor. Local 737 was released from supervision Feb. 28, 2017, with Culver serving as business manager until the election.

An initial officer election was held June 15, but the union opted to re-run the election after several election challenges were filed.

The vote results were the same the second time around: Culver and all members of the “Team 737” slate of incumbents won office.

Culver, 37, grew up in Gales Creek and graduated from Forest Grove High School. He joined Laborers Local 296 at the age of 18 in June 1998, and worked in the field for 16 years, most of that time doing concrete work. After attending Labor Day picnics and union holiday parties, he became interested in the life of the union and started attending meetings. In 2007 he was elected to the executive board, and later won re-election to that and other offices.

Now, as business manager, he oversees local union field agents and office staff, and as secretary-treasurer, he’s responsible for financial reporting. Culver said he hopes over the next three years to continue to sign new contractors and grow the local to as many as 3,000 members

Construction work is booming. Local 737 has over 200 apprentices and is actively recruiting more. [Apply online at] After a two-year, 4,000 hour apprenticeship, they earn journeyman laborer wages of $28.86 an hour plus $13 an hour for fringe benefits like pension and health insurance.

Other Local 737 officer election results:

  • President: Matthew Jensen ran unopposed
  • Vice president: Greg Held ran unopposed
  • Recording secretary: Mitch Ricker outpolled Jodi Guetzloe-Parker 235 to 188
  • Executive Board: For the three board spots, Gary Moore, Gary Jackson, and Brandon Jordan ran unopposed
  • Sergeant at arms: Rick Ohmie ran unopposed
  • Auditor: For the three auditor spots, Jeff Olson, Jeff Gritz, and Ben Guzman outpolled Carolyn Shaffer
  • Delegates to the District Council: Greg Held, Gary Jackson, Gary Moore, and Mathew Jensen outpolled Jodi Guetzloe-Parker for four spots

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