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California signs safety bill that brings more Boilermaker work

“We anticipate that the effect of this bill will be immediate…the bill will create thousands of opportunities for new apprenticeships in the industrial trades and millions of new journey-level hours.”

J. Tom Baca, IVP-Western States

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law Sept. 30 that will almost immediately increase work opportunities for Boilermakers.

Senate Bill 740, which was authored by state senator Dave Cortese, expands the protections afforded in SB 54, a landmark bill requiring that at least 60% of journeyworkers employed in California refineries must be graduates of a California-state approved apprenticeship training program. SB 740 expands the requirement to hydrogen, alternative fuels, chemical and carbon capture facilities.

“This is a huge victory for the building trades,” said IVP-Western States J. Tom Baca, who serves as secretary-treasurer for the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California, AFL-CIO.

“This bill will mean that as California continues to transition towards new climate innovations, these industries will be built and maintained by the highest-skilled construction workers in the nation, ensuring that communities will be kept safe.” he said.

He noted the new law will result in a significant annual increase in man-hours for Boilermakers in California. The new law goes into full effect upon enactment in January 2024. Unlike similar past measures, like SB 54, that provided a phase-in period and parameters for enactment, there will be no ramp-up phase to SB 740.

“We anticipate that the effect of this bill will be immediate,” Baca said. “Please think about the facilities in your jurisdiction that will be covered by SB 740 and prepare accordingly. We anticipate the bill will create thousands of opportunities for new apprenticeships in the industrial trades and millions of new journey-level hours.”

He credits the teamwork of the building trades for swift and favorable bipartisan reception of the bill.

“SB 740 was the priority bill of the State Building Trades and the Boilermakers, and we appreciated the involvement of the local councils and crafts, including the dozens that lobbied the bill during our lobby day in August,” Baca said. “I want to especially thank IR Tim Jefferies, Marketing Manager Johnny Baca and Erin Lehane, who is the Boilermakers' Political Director for California, for organizing our efforts. Local 92 (Los Angeles) and Local 549 (Pittsburg,California) had a great turnout and represented the Boilermakers well.” 

He said that the bill received incredible bipartisan support in the legislature with resounding unanimous votes out of the State Environmental Quality and Appropriations Committee and the Assembly Labor and Appropriations committees. The measure passed 76-1 in the Assembly and 36-2 in the Senate.

“[Governor Newsom] understands that communities are safer, more prosperous and more equitable when green industry has a skilled and trained workforce,” said Cortese. “SB 740 will protect neighborhoods from hazardous factory accidents and open a bright future for California with good-paying jobs in our emerging sustainable industries. This law marks a new, bright day for the California economy!”

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Boilermaker Reporter Issue

Published October 6, 2023

The Boilermaker Reporter

Volume 63, Number 1
Jan 2024 to Mar 2024
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