By DON McINTOSH
Zack Culver won re-election to a three-year term as business manager and secretary-treasurer of Laborers Local 737, outpolling challenger Sheldon Wormley 232-52 in results announced June 13.
With 2,840 members, Local 737 represents laborers in construction, shipyards, and road maintenance, plus several hundred public works employees in over a dozen small cities and counties around Oregon. Laborers do a wide range of work, from demolition and asbestos abatement to material handling and hod carrying for other crafts. They also work as flaggers, mitigate rock fall, and on road crews.
Under the Local 737 master agreement with Associated General Contractors that runs through May 31, 2024, a journeyman laborer in construction earns a $36.11 an hour wage plus $17.28 an hour in benefits. Negotiating a new agreement will be Culver’s top focus next year.
Culver, 43, said his other goals for the next three years are to continue to grow the local, organize new members, expand eligibility for health benefits, and maintain the union’s well-funded multi-employer pension plan.
He also wants to increase the union’s political impact.
“We want to continue moving the needle for all workers in Oregon, and specifically our members,” Culver said.
Culver has led Local 737 since its 2015 creation as the merger of three locals. He first served as appointed assistant supervisor and was elected business manager in 2017 and 2020.
As business manager, he oversees 20 staff and serves as trustee on the local’s benefit funds. He also represents the union on outside bodies, serving on the board of the Oregon AFL-CIO, Oregon Building Trades Council, the Constructing Hope pre-apprenticeship program, and Region 1 of the Oregon Department of Transportation.