On Veterans Day, November 11th, 2013, a delegation of sheet metal worker veterans from the Vietnam, Gulf, and Afghan wars had a message for BRE Properties, a major developer in San Francisco.
They demanded that BRE CEO Connie Moore provide Middle Class job opportunities and to employ apprentices from approved State of California Apprenticeship Programs. BRE has refused to reach an agreement with Sheet Metal Workers' Local 104 that would ensure veterans got the opportunity they deserve. (View Video)
Once the delegation arrived to the elevator, they were notified that they would not be allowed access to Connie Moore and she had expressed a strong desire NOT to meet with the veterans. The veteran delegation returned to their supporters outside. Two veterans, both of whom are sheet metal workers, William Leighton and Jason Hutton, held their ground when the police would no longer allow the protest outside of the building. They were arrested for trespassing.
Their Union, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART), prides itself about its policy giving a select number of veterans the opportunity at direct entry into its trade. Two years ago at the first Campaign for Jobs Conference, one of the main goals adopted by the over 250 rank and file Campaign for Jobs leaders in San Francisco was to create a direct entry program for veterans to give them the opportunity to return from war with their head held high.