By Don McIntosh
Members of Portland-headquartered Cement Masons Local 555 will be tuning in starting Feb. 10 to watch one of their own go steel toe to steel toe with a bricklayer, a steelworker, a travel nurse, pipe welder, electric lineman, and tug boat operator.
Liz Nichols, a seven-year member of the Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons union, is one of 12 contestants on the second season of the CBS show Tough as Nails. Cast members tackle challenges at real-world job sites, including farms, construction sites, high-rise buildings, and fishing boats. The winner, revealed on the series finale, receives a championship belt and $200,000. The show is co-hosted by Emmy Award-winning producer Phil Keoghan, best known for Amazing Race.
Tough as Nails is billed as a celebration of hard-working men and women who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty to do a hard day’s work. That absolutely describes Liz Nichols, says Local 555 Business Manager Geoff Kossak.
“She’s well respected out in the field,” Kossak said. “Everybody wants her on their crew. She’s a really good hand.” Nichols is also an active member of the local, and serves on its executive board.
The show will air on CBS Wednesdays at 8 p.m. starting Feb. 10. Her fellow union members will be watching.
“We’re proud of her,” Kossak said. “And hopefully she wins.”
MORE: In our Feb. 5 print edition, online Feb. 3, Liz Nichols shares the story of how the union changed her life, and talks about what it was like to be on the show.