Oregon Building Trades: Ready to take it to next level

The new top officers of the Oregon State Building Trades Council are Executive Secretary Robert Camarillo (left) and President Jim Anderson.

SUNRIVER, Oregon — Robert Camarillo of Iron Workers Local 29 was elected executive secretary of the Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council (OSBCTC). The election took place at fthe organization’s 57th Convention held Aug. 22-24. Camarillo was appointed to the post last May following the resignation of Tim Frew. The appointment was made by business managers of the affiliated union locals that make up the Building Trades Council.

Jim Anderson, business manager of Operating Engineers Local 701, was elected president of the council. Anderson was appointed to the post shortly after Camarillo took office. The president at that time was Joe Bowers, business manager of Iron Workers Local 29. OSBCTC’s constitution doesn’t allow for top officers to be from the same local, so Bowers stepped down.

Both Camarillo and Anderson ran unopposed. Terms are for three years.

Sean McGarvey, president of the National Association of Building Trades Unions, says his group is focused on getting a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure package passed in Congress: “Our message to Congress is ‘take action now.’”

The 69 convention delegates took action on 11 resolutions, and heard reports from National Association of Building Trades Unions president Sean McGarvey and from newly-elected Washington State Building Trades Council executive secretary Mark Riker. Representatives from the Portland Diamonds Project, University of Oregon, Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector Pipeline talked about billions of dollars of projects on the table in Oregon — including a Major League Baseball stadium in Portland.

Hans Bernard, assistant vice president of state affairs at UO, reported that the first-ever project labor agreement at the University’s new $1 billion Knight Science Campus is working wonderfully.

“It’s helping set a new framework for the University of Oregon and I’m cautiously optimistic that it is something we can replicate at other universities,” Bernard said.

Before the project broke ground earlier this year, OSBCTC signed a project labor agreement with the university and general contractor Hoffman Construction.

“The investment by the state in our project would not have been possible without the support of the building trades,” Bernard said. “We know it, and all of our folks in Eugene know it.”

Major League Baseball in Portland?

Joe Esmonde, retired political coordinator for IBEW Local 48, reported briefly on an effort to bring a Major League Baseball team and a new privately-built stadium to Portland. Esmonde and retired Local 48 business manager Keith Edwards have been retained by backers for outreach to labor and minority communities.

“Major League Baseball wants to come here. We’re getting all the signals that they want to bring a team here,” Esmonde said.

The three teams of interest that have been discussed on sports talk radio are Oakland, Tampa Bay, and Arizona.

Esmonde said principals of the Portland Diamond Project — who he did not identify — are reviewing a project labor agreement with the building trades on construction of a new stadium, the location of which also is still uncertain.

“This group is committed to hiring locally, local contractors, minority contractors, local suppliers, as much as they can,” he said.

As there will be no public money involved, Esmonde said he’s also talking to several money managers regarding possible pension fund investments in the stadium. Stay tuned.

Labor commissioner-elect Val Hoyle thanked the Building Trades Council for helping get her elected outright in the May primary. The daughter of a union laborer, Hoyle vowed to “always remember where I came from. I will remember what you’ve done for me, I will work side by side, and I will ask you to remember where you came from and what the unions have done for you.”

Politicians stopped by, including Labor Commissioner-elect Val Hoyle, State Treasurer Tobias Read, House Speaker Tina Kotek, and several state senators and state representatives.

In his first report as executive secretary, Camarillo said he wants to help take the Building Trades Council to the next level.

“I’m going to give it everything I’ve got,” he said. “I won’t leave anything unturned. We’re going to shake things up a little bit. That’s part of us taking it to another level.”

OSBCTC gave $1,000 scholarships to Hailey Chrisman, daughter of UA Local 290 member Ken Chrisman; and Jamie Grassl, daughter of Randy Carmony of Elevator Constructors Local 23. Hailey is attending George Fox University for electrical engineering, and Jamie is attending Eastern Oregon University for business accounting and leadership. Winners were selected by Elana Pirtle-Guiney, labor liaison to Oregon Governor Kate Brown. Funding for the scholarships is provided by Ferguson Wellman Capital Management and Quest Investment Management.


  • Executive Secretary Robert Camarillo, Iron Workers Local 29
  • President Jim Anderson, Operating Engineers Local 701
  • Vice President Russ Garnett, Roofers Local 49
  • Guard Randy Carmony, Elevator Constructors Local 23
  • Conductor David Winkler, Floor Coverers Local 1236
  • Trustees Matt Eleazer, Bricklayers Local 1; Geoffrey Kossak, Cement Masons Local 555; Charlie Johnson, Sheet Metal Workers Local 16; Zack Culver, Laborers Local 737; Lou Christian, United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local290; Luke Lafley, Boilermakers Local 242; Gary Young, IBEW Local 48.
  • Executive Board members Lane, Coos, Curry, Douglas Building Trades Council – Jeff McGillivary, UA Local 290; Southern Oregon Building Trades Council – Jon Flegel, IBEW Local 659; Central Oregon Building Trades Council – Dave Burger, UA Local 290; Salem Building Trades Council – Steven Purdy, Sprinkler Fitters Local 669; Pendleton Building Trades Council – Jeff Gritz, Laborers Local 737; Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council — Willy Myers, Sheet Metal Workers Local 16.


Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council passed the following resolutions at its convention:

  • Support Legislation to Establish Prevailing Wage Rates Based on Collective Bargaining Agreements  OSBCTC will work with stakeholders to promote legislation to establish the Prevailing Wage Rates based on Collective Bargaining Agreements, thereby eliminating the need for a statewide Prevailing Wage Rate survey system.
  • Require Project Labor Agreements for Public Projects  OSBCTC will work to pass legislation requiring public works projects currently covered by prevailing wage law to enter into Project Labor Agreements.
  • Ask the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries to Study the impact of Prevailing Wage  OSBCTC calls on the Commissioner of the Oregon Burea of Labor and Industries to study the impact of prevailing wage rates, and requests that the results of the study be presented to a meeting of the Executive Board, committees of the Oregon Legislative Assembly, and other stakeholders.
  • Survey Members and Pass Statewide Utilization Requirements  Calls on affiliated locals of OSBCTC to survey their active members, asking them to self-identify their veteran status, gender and race; and to submit the survey data to the Executive Secretary to aid in the development of public policy on aspirational goals and utilization requirements.
  • Expand Apprenticeship Utilization Requirements  OSBCTC will work to pass legislation to expand the apprenticeship utilization requirement by decreasing the subcontractor threshold as low as can be negotiated through the legislative process, and work to ensure the Oregon Department of Transportation adopts similar standards for the Heavy Highway Crafts.
  • End Wage Theft  OSBCTC swill work to ensure unscrupulous contractors who engage in wage theft are held to account; and will work to ensure the State of Oregon creates an unpaid worker fund, which will be paid for by contractors, to ensure that no worker goes unpaid for work they performed in good faith.
  • Oppose Healthcare Claims Taxes and Incentivize Companies to Provide Healthcare Benefits  OSBCTC will work to oppose any tax on union healthcare plans; and will offer an alternative proposal to tax employers who do not provide health insurance to their workers as a means of funding the Oregon Health Plan; and will offer an additional proposal to require contractors who bid on public projects to certify that they provide health insurance to their workers as part of the responsible bidder process.
  • Oppose Ballot Measure 105 to Repeal Oregon’s Sanctuary State Designation Oregon’s statewide sanctuary law has been in place for more than 30 years, and organizations that advocate for immigrants strongly support sanctuary laws; OSBCTC affiliates have friends and family who are immigrants, and repeal of Oregon’s sanctuary law would cause hardship for those members. OSBCTC opposes Ballot Measure 105.
  • Support the Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Export Terminal and the Pacific Connector Natural Gas Pipeline  OSBCTC calls on Gov. Kate Brown, members of the Oregon Legislature, and members of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation to fully support the permitting and construction of the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal at North Bend, Coos County, Oregon, and the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline to improve the economy of the Pacific Northwest.
  • Allow Executive Board Members to Attend Meetings and Vote Remotely Meetings of the OSBCTC Executive Board may be attended remotely using communication technology; instructions for participating in meetings remotely will be sent to members in advance of the meeting; Executive Board members may cast votes when participating in meetings remotely.
  • Support Oregonians To Maintain Community Standards The OSBCTC will levy for one year, starting the date this resolution is adopted, an assessment of $1 per member, per month, for the purpose of supporting the efforts and work of OMCS, OSBCTC’s political action committee. The Executive Board will review any further increases or decreases in six months, and have the authority to adjust according to need.

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