Wages rise $4.96 an hour in new Roofers contract

By Don McIntosh

Members of Portland-based Roofers and Waterproofers Local 49 got a pretty healthy set of raises in the new contract that will take effect July 1. Journeymen wages—which are currently $36.23 an hour in the Portland metro area—will rise $4.96 an hour over three years: $1.50 July 1, 2021; $1.65 July 1, 2022; and $1.75 July 1, 2023. Foremen get 10% to 20% above the journeyman wage. Apprentices start at 60% of the journeyman wage and get raises in regular increments as they complete 4,000 hours of on-the-job training to become journeymen. All other terms remain basically the same, including $19.23 for full-family health insurance, pension, and other fringe benefits. That means as of July 1, the total package will be $57.21 an hour.

“Most of our members were pretty happy with it,” said Local 49 business manager Russ Garnett. Garnett said contractors initially offered much less, pointing to the effects of COVID-19. But union roofers haven’t seen much if any impact from the pandemic, Garnett said. Aside from a slight reduction in hours, members are basically at full employment right now, particularly on prevailing wage public works jobs and big hotel and tech projects. Garnett said the contract passed pretty easily.

The agreement covers most of the local’s 650 members when they work for any of the 12 roofing contractors that make up the Union Contractors Group. A separate recent agreement covers contractors in the Eugene area; they got a $2 an hour raise in a one-year contract that runs to June 1, 2022.

The new agreement runs through July 2, 2024.

Union Roofers

  • ABC Roofing
  • Anderson Roofing
  • Arrow Roofing & Sheet Metal
  • Carlson Roofing
  • FD Thomas Waterproofing
  • Garon Roofing & Sheet Metal
  • Griffith Roofing
  • McDonald & Wetle
  • McGilchrist & Sons Roofing 
  • Pacific Roofing
  • Snyder
  • Umpqua Roofing

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