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The University At Buffalo Honors Unionized Construction Workers At Its ‘Made In Buffalo Day’ At UB Stadium/UB President Calls Building Trades “Excellent” & Thanks Them For The Role Trades Leadership Played In Making UB 20/20 Initiative Reality

Published Sunday, November 20, 2011 11:00 am
by Tom Campbell/Editor-Publisher
The University At Buffalo Honors Unionized Construction Workers At Its ‘Made In Buffalo Day’ At UB Stadium/UB President Calls Building Trades “Excellent” & Thanks Them For The Role Trades Leadership Played In Making UB 20/20 Initiative Reality Editor’s Note: The University at Buffalo celebrated its Made In Buffalo Day during the UB Football Bulls game against the Akron Zips on Saturday (November 19th) at UB Stadium in Suburban Amherst.  Also honored were the Buffalo Building & Construction Trades Council for the high-quality construction work performed by Unionized Construction Workers on UB’s area campuses and for the important role the Trades played in making the UB 20/20 Initiative reality.  Several Trades Leaders, including – pictured left to right: IBEW Local 41 Business Representative Judd Payne, Elevator Constructors Local 14 Business Manager Don Winkle and Buffalo Building Trades President Paul Brown – were honored by taking part in the coin toss at mid-field just prior to kick off.  (Photo Made Available to Courtesy Of UB Athletic Department)


(AMHERST) – If you didn’t look twice, you might have missed him standing there in a group of Labor Leaders and Union Members who were tailgating Saturday outside a big blue-and-white tent a couple of hours before the University at Buffalo (UB) Football Bulls took on the Akron Zips at UB Stadium in Suburban Amherst.  But there he was, a smiling UB President Satish Tripathi, rubbing elbows and sharing laughs with Unionized Construction Workers and Trades Leaders – making it a point to personally come out and thank them for a job more than well done when it comes to building UB’s future in Amherst and Buffalo and playing such a major role in helping push the UB 20/20 Plan over the goal line to make it reality.

“I’m also here to ‘thank’ (the Buffalo Building & Construction Trades Council) for their support on UB 20/20 (a strategic plan to grow and physically expand UB in the years to come),” President Tripathi (pictured below in the middle/ Photo) told as he spoke with Buffalo Building Trades President Paul Brown (on the right) and IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local 41 Business Representative Judd Payne (on the left) at the gathering.

It’s anticipated more than 1,600 Construction Jobs, including many to build a new UB Medical School in Downtown Buffalo, will be created by the UB 20/20 Plan that was passed in June by New York State.  It will allow Western New York’s premier Research-Intensive Public University, which serves as a flagship institution in the State University of New York System and is its largest and most comprehensive campus, to create 1,325 new jobs at UB (including 410 Faculty and 915 Staff to support Clinical Care, Service, Teaching and Research), 1,740 new jobs in the community resulting from UB's research growth, and another 200 jobs in 10 start-up companies developed from UB research and partnerships.  It will also allow UB to move from its 60-year-old Medical School that is located on the South Campus in North Buffalo to a state-of-the-art building linked to other Health Facilities in the Downtown Medical Campus.  UB Officials have said the move could be a catalyst for other expansions in Buffalo’s burgeoning Medical Corridor - including Kaleida Health (which also has a stellar working relationship with the Buffalo Building Trades Council and its Member Unions) moving its Women and Children's Hospital there - that could produce more than $650 million in overall economic development.  Founded in 1846, UB has more than 28,000 students who are pursuing their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs.

An intense lobbying effort by Organized Labor, most notably the Buffalo Building Trades Council, helped make the UB 20/20 Initiative reality, which was not lost on UB President Tripathi: “We’re working together on this economic development initiative that will also improve the quality of UB.  I’ve worked with (Building Trades President) Paul (Brown) before and we’ve had a very good relationship.  I know his family and like them very much.  I’ve never had any personal (preconceptions of working with the Union Trades and their leadership).  The Trades have been very professional and they do their work efficiently.  They are excellent.”

Brown told Your Regional, On-Line Labor Newspaper: “Several years ago, (former) UB President (John) Simpson needed support from the Buffalo Trades for UB 20/20.  Satish (Tripathi) was the Provost at the time and we hit it off with him.  It was an easy transition (working together) from Simpson to Satish.  The key to getting UB 20/20 done was the Trades sticking together, working together and lobbying hard for it.  In the end, this means the creation of more than six-thousand construction jobs and allows the Trades to transition our Members from the (billion-dollar) Buffalo Schools Improvement Project into these projects on the UB Campus and in the Downtown Medical Corridor.”

However, the president of the Building Trades - which is comprised of 18 member Unions and represents 10,000 Unionized Construction Workers across the area - minced no words when underscoring the point that the Trades played a huge role in helping remove two perceived political roadblocks, which in the end meant finally getting UB 20/20 passed, by ousting long-time State Senators Antoine Thompson and William Stachowski and getting State Senator Mark Grisanti elected.  It was the subsequent support of Grisanti and State Senator George Maziarz that helped push UB 20/20 over the goal line, Brown said.  “We knocked (Thompson and Stachowski) out of the box put those into office who supported the UB initiative and achieved our goal,” he said.

Saturday, meanwhile, was a show of appreciation by UB for the Buffalo Building Trades at UB Stadium on Made In Buffalo Day, where the Bulls bulldozed the Zips by a score of 51-10.  Brown, Payne and Elevator Constructors Local 14 Business Manager Don Winkle were part of a Buffalo Trades contingent that were escorted to the 50-yard-line to take part in the coin toss before the game.  In addition, the Trades purchased a block of 900 tickets for the game – which UB Representatives told was the largest ever, single ticket purchase by an outside organization in the history of UB Football – and offered them to Unionized Construction Workers and their families.  A tailgate party held inside a massive blue-and-white (UB’s colors) tent that was set up not too far from the entrance to UB Stadium had Trades Members and leadership enjoying grilled hot dogs, potato chips and beverages before the game.  Also handed out to Trades Members were blue-knitted, Made In The USA hats that carried the lettering: Buffalo Building Trades, UB, SUCCESS.

“This works back and forth - they helped us and we’re here helping them,” IBEW Local 41’s Payne told  “We’re out here supporting the Bulls.  This is a small way of giving back and showing ‘our’ appreciation to UB.  We appreciate the decisions they’ve made to ‘Build Union.’  The man-hours our Unions have had here (on campus) are enormous.  For example, the IBEW has had more than two-hundred of our Members working out here and I know the Laborers have had more than one-hundred-thousand man hours and the Plasterers ten-thousand (man hours).  It also allows us to build camaraderie between the member Unions of the Building Trades.”

Just before the Trades and their Members headed over to UB Stadium for the game, UB President Tripathi stopped to pose with Buffalo Building Trades Leaders in front of a Trades banner attached to the tent.  Pictured below, from left to right are: The Elevator Constructors’ Winkle; Laborers Local 210 Business Manager Sam Capitano; UB President Tripathi; Buffalo Building Trades President Brown; IBEW Local 41 Business Representative Payne; and IBEW Local 41 Business Manager Mike Gaiser.  ( Photo)

The Buffalo Building Trades Council is comprised of 18 Member Unions, including: Asbestos Workers Local #4 of West Seneca; Boiler Makers Local #7 in Orchard Park; Bricklayers Western New York Administrative Council Local #45 of Buffalo; Carpenters Local #9 in Cheektowaga; Cement Masons Local #111 in North Tonawanda; Electricians Local #41 in Orchard Park; Elevator Constructors Local #14 in Cheektowaga; Ironworkers Local #6 in West Seneca; Laborers Local #210 in Cheektowaga; Operating Engineers Local #17 in West Seneca; Plasterers Local #9 in North Tonawanda; Painters District Council #4/Glaziers Local #660 in Cheektowaga; UA Plumbers and Steamfitters Local #22 in Orchard Park; Roofers Local #74 in Cheektowaga; Sheet Metal Workers Local #71 in Buffalo; UA Road Sprinkler Fitters Local #669 in Buffalo; and Teamsters Local #449 in Buffalo.


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