Our Union was built to last and an early part of our story began in Baltimore. The first Baltimore bricklayers’ local was formed on St. Patrick’s Day in 1864. A year later they joined with fellow bricklayers in Philadelphia to build the International Union from the ground up. As we continue to build, adapt, and change, we gather this week in Baltimore to celebrate 150 years of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers.
We come together this week in September 2015, only a stone’s throw from Camden Yards, the classic ballpark built by our host Local 1 Maryland/Virginia/DC. Only a block away stands the imposing Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, also BAC-built. The U.S. Customs House, the Fallon Federal Building, Baltimore City Hall, and M&T Bank Stadium – our Union built this city, as we have so many others, with pride and craft.
These, like all BAC projects, past and present, demonstrate that our members have the time-honored skills necessary to take our cities and communities forward. We’re not only the oldest continuous labor union in North America, we’re advancing our future through innovation in materials and training, construction design and delivery systems.
Contestants at this year’s International Apprentice Contest are some of the most talented we’ve ever seen, and they’re just getting started. As we celebrate our first 150 years in Baltimore this week, we’re planning our next 150, because we build to last.
2015 BAC International Apprentice Contest Winners
BAC apprentices are the life-blood of our Union, and 83 of the best went toe-to-toe this year competing in eight BAC trades. The 2015 International Apprentice Contest, sponsored by BAC and the International Masonry Institute, brought local and regional winners from across the U.S. and Canada together in stiff competition at the John J. Flynn BAC/IMI International Training Center in Bowie, MD.
Apprentices in brick, tile, stone, marble, terrazzo, cement, plaster, and PCC/restoration competed on the main floor of the 61,000 square-foot, two-story open bay training center. Under the watchful eyes of spectators and judges who are masters of their crafts, apprentices concentrated body, mind, and soul to prove their excellence in recently acquired skills and knowledge of their respective trades.
To make the grade, competitors had to demonstrate superior mastery of both hands-on and theoretical skills. Written tests challenged their understanding of safety, craft-specific learning, trade math, and labor history.
Two days of tough competition and growing friendship culminated Saturday night, September 12, at an awards dinner at the Baltimore Hilton. A proud and fraternal crowd of 500-plus Union members, industry partners, and apprentices and their family members rose from their seats to applaud and call out to the 24 winners who placed first, second, and third in their respective crafts.
Winners shared pride of accomplishment, deep comradeship, and awe in the enthusiastic support and fraternity of Union members who cheered them to the banquet hall rafters.
Calendar Spotlights Union & Labor History
There’s just too much rich labor and BAC history to fit into a traditional January to December calendar. That’s why at this milestone Convention, delegates and guests will receive a special commemorative 16-month calendar running from September 2015 to December 2016. Chock-full of important dates in history, images, quotes, and events, the BAC150 calendar encompasses BAC crafts, members at work, safety and health, apprenticeship and training programs, and noteworthy U.S. and Canadian leaders. We hope you enjoy using it for the rest of the year and the year to come.
Heritage on Display
With our 150th year around the corner, we’re celebrating with an impressive array of Union artifacts and trowel trades tools that comprise Heritage on Display, located in the foyer of the Key Ballroom.
The exhibit was made possible through the generosity and cooperation of Locals and ADCs across the country that either carefully shipped their items to the International or hand-carried them to Baltimore. The Convention Journal will profile these in greater detail over the next few days, with additional articles slated for post-Convention Journal issues.
Representing one of the International’s two founding cities and earliest members, the IU is especially honored to feature a number of rare artifacts, courtesy of Local 1 Pennsylvania/Delaware. These include a beautifully framed and preserved collection of 19th-century photographs of Local 1’s founding leaders (pictured right). The images were most likely produced using a gelatin dry plate, which means the negatives were made of glass. One can even see the tintype residue in the hair of the leaders from the development process. Other contributions from Local 1 PA/DE include original charters from 1887 and 1894, dues books, and a 1904 membership card.
“I am honored to be part of the legacy of pioneers from Philadelphia who had the foresight and skill to organize. I could not be prouder as I look around at what this great International has become 150 years later,” says Local 1 PA/DE President Dennis Pagliotti.
BAC Convention Committees Meet
The 12 Convention Committees are charged with reviewing resolutions and related materials referred to it by the Executive Board, hearing testimony from delegates, and recommending a course of action to the full Convention. The Committees will report to the full Convention on Thursday, and Friday if necessary.
Any delegate who wishes to testify before a committee may do so by signing a list that is located in the Registration Area. The times and locations set aside for testimony by the committees are posted in this area.
The Resolutions Book indicates which resolutions were referred to which committee.
Delegates serving on the Committees are listed below: