By Don McIntosh
In union election ballots counted July 6, Russ Garnett was re-elected as business agent of Roofers Local 49, outpolling challenger James Hale by a wide margin. Business agent is the local’s top office and a full-time position, responsible for negotiating and enforcing contracts and growing the union share of the industry.
Garnett, 56, has served as business agent since 2011, during what has been a boom time in the local construction industry. Over that time, journeyman compensation rates at Local 49 have risen $21 an hour, Garnett said. Journeymen roofers currently make $37.43 an hour plus $19.49 for health, pension and other benefits.
Local 49 represents 654 members employed by a dozen union-signatory roofing contractors, and is looking to recruit more. Roofing work can be somewhat seasonal, tapering off in the rainy winter months, but Garnett says journeyman average 1,600 hours a year, or roughly 9 months at full-time. Union roofing contractors have the majority of local market share in commercial and industrial sectors.
Also elected were:
- President Snuffy Jones
- Vice President Ray Carpenter Jr.
- Recording Secretary Darrell Hopkins Sr.
- Warden Jim Breneman
- Executive Board Ray Carpenter, Travis Hopkins, Ryan Hoover, Snuffy Jones, Rosa Hale, James Breneman, and Jason Barthel
All officers serve three year terms that run through June 30, 2024. –DM