New York, NY – The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Local 46 is located in Manhattan, and its jurisdiction includes the boroughs of New York City, as well as Westchester, the Southern Section of Rockland County, and Suffolk and Nassau Counties. Their work involves all segments of reinforced steel, post tension, wire lath, black iron and suspended ceilings, to name a few examples. They also do highway, airports and commercial and residential buildings.
Michael Anderson is the Business Manager/Financial Secretary Treasurer for the Local. LaborPress got the chance to find out more about him, and this important union.
LP: Where did you go up?
MA: I grew up in Brooklyn, NY. I migrated to NJ in 2001.
LP: What got you interested in being a union man, and briefly, what was your career trajectory?
MA: I come from a union background. My father worked at American Airlines as a crew chief. He eventually became an officer of the union. He explained to me the benefits of being in a union. In 1989, my union was able to sponsor me into Local 46. I started as an apprentice in 1989. After completing my apprenticeship in 1992, I worked as a journeyman. In 2001, I became a deputy foreman, and in 2005 I became a general foreman. In 2011, I became a business agent, and in 2020 I became the business manager for Local 46.
LP: What exactly does your current title involve?
MA: What exactly does your current title involve? My current title is Business Manager/ Financial Secretary. As the Business Manager I am in charge of the daily operations of the Local Union. I am a Trustee to all the union funds and chairman on the negotiation committee for the union. As the financial secretary, I am responsible to keep an accurate [accounting] of the finances of the Local Union. Other positions I hold are the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee, NYC Executive Board Member, NY District Council of Iron Workers Executive Vice President.
LP: How old is Local 46?
MA: Local 46 is 126 years old
LP: How many members are there?
MA: Local 46 has 1200 active members
LP: What is of the most concern to you now in terms of the members’ welfare?
MA: The most concern for my members’ welfare is the market share for my union. We are facing an uptick in the non-union sector. It is hard to compete against lower wages and the exploitation of non-union workers. When a union pays to put their apprentices through training to make sure they learn their craft, learn about safety, and pay benefits on each member so they can retire one day while the non-union does not. It effects how our signatory contractor can competitively bid against the non-union sector. We need more enforcement and politicians to step up and protect the non-union and raise their bar to ours.
LP: What are you most proud of as far as your accomplishments during your tenure in Local 46?
MA: One of the things I am most proud of during my career in my Local is the ability to serve my membership. Every three years we go through an election process, and I am proud to have the membership’s trust and respect to continue to serve them. I am only as good as the people around me and I serve a great membership. Before becoming an officer, I would say working on the rebuilding of the World Trade Center in 2009-2011.
LP: What are some of your hobbies?
MA: I like to coach, workout, and read.