Brothers and Sisters, The Northern California Painters Master Agreement is set to expire at the end of the month. Please attend Local 3’s membership meeting to voice any concerns; Thursday June 8th, 6pm at 2020 Williams St. San Leandro. Work for Painters has been picking up with requests from Valdez Painting, KBI Painting, and J&R […]June 02, 2023
I may be new to you
Posted December 16, 2022
My name is Randy Rojas, and I have been the Business Representative for District Council 16/Local 1237 for 8 years. I wanted to take the time to introduce myself to new members. I have been a proud member of Local 1237 for over 28 years. In that time, I served a four-year apprenticeship, held the office of Local 1237 Recording Secretary for 12 years, Vice-President for 2 years, been a Local Delegate to District Council 16, and have been a Trustee to the Resilient Flooring Pension Fund, and Resilient Health and Welfare Trust. I also sit on the Board of Directors for the United Way California Capitol Region as the construction liaison. I was fresh out of high school and looking for a job when a friend told me, Simas Floors was looking for a warehousemen. After working in the warehouse for two years I was asked if I wanted to become an installer, and that was where my journey as a union flooring installer started.
During my apprenticeship I was instructed by Steve Saucedo, Vince Echeverria, Cel Aja, Robert Ringor and Mark Conrad. They are and were some of the finest teachers in the trade. I have also had the honor of working with some of the best journeyman in the trade while an apprentice. Ed Velasquez, Keith Gums, Dave Crites, Charlie Chaney, Vince Echeverria, Andy Morse, and Darin “Bubba” Meier are just a few. After being at Simas Floors for over 13 years, in June of 2004 they went non-union. I soon went to work for Nick Ures at Floor Covering Installers. I remained with Floor Covering Installers for over ten years. After that in December of 2014, I became the Business Rep. for Local 1237. During my years as an installer, I have also been employed by BT Mancini, Robert Simas Floors, and Golden State Carpet.
From the start of my apprenticeship, I have attended union meetings and been involved with my local and DC16. If floor covering was to be my trade, I was going to be a part of making the decisions on where my raises went, what we wanted in our Collective Bargaining Agreements and who was going to lead our union. In January of 2000, I became the locals Recording Secretary and quickly learned how our Executive Board is a vital part of our union. The 14 years on the Executive Board have been some of the best and proudest moments of my union career. It’s because of hard work and my involvement in Local 1237 and District Council 16 that I am the Business Representative today. Over the years my devotion to being a good union member, proved that I have always put the union’s needs before my own.
My parents (Bob and Jackie) and my older sister (Charlene) helped me to grow up to be the person I am today. I married my high school sweetheart (Suzanne my wife of 29 yrs.) and she also made me the person that that I am today. I can never repay her for all the times I was not there, meals that she ate alone, having to be both mother and father to our boys because of my work schedule. We have two sons (Colby 27 and Hunter 21) and our daughter in law Hannah (Colby’s spouse). Both Colby (journeyman) and Hunter (apprentice) followed me into the flooring trade, and I couldn’t be prouder of both. In May of 2019 I was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer and spent much of the next year and a half fighting it. I couldn’t have done without my family and union family. I have now been in remission for 2 ½ years and take it one day at a time. Having cancer made me realize what is truly important to me and what is senseless and a waste of time. It changed me and helped me prioritize my life and manage my expectations of life.
I have lived in Sacramento for 51 years, I have been out of work, been on strike and walked more than a few picket lines. I know what it’s like to work out of town for long periods of time and must reintroduce yourself to your family on the weekends. At times it has been a struggle but looking back it was all part of becoming an adult and paying my dues, literally and figuratively. Some of my favorite quotes are “the only easy day was yesterday” used by the Navy Seals and “build a bigger table, not a higher fence” Mike Roeder. If you are a union member there is always room at our table and remember the saying “if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu”. I hope this gives you an idea of who I am, where I come from and what I’ve been through. I would like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and a prosperous year in 2023.