Sacramento Valley Union Labor Bulletin

Owned and Published by the Sacramento Central Labor Council and the Sacramento-Sierra’s Building & Construction Trades Council, official councils of the AFL-CIO


Ironworkers mural shows past and future of Sacramento trades

By Sheri Williams

Ironworkers Local 118 unveiled a new mural in its headquarters in April, meant to honor the past deeds and future accomplishments of its members in Northern California.

About 200 people turned out for the unveiling of the 26-foot mural, painted by artist Robert Lindsey.

“The mural is an excellent example of the work that the Ironworkers have done,” said Sacramento-Sierra Building and Construction Trades Council executive director Kevin Ferreira. “It’s a historical tribute to the Ironworkers. The artist’s rendering is exceptional. It gives Ironworkers pride.”

The triptych design features iconic structures that Ironworkers have helped build, including the Oroville Dam and the Tesla plant in recent times.

“We actually sat down and made an initial design and it was cool, but it was a lot simpler,” said Lindsey. “Then all the retirees started putting in photos. I had over 1,500 photos to go through to really research it. It was pretty inspiring. Hearing the stories from all the retired guys, seeing how that’s going to affect the next generation and how important it is to pass down to the next generation, that’s really what this piece is all about.”

A couple younger guys snuck in during the installation and it was cool to hear them say, ‘Oh, I worked on that bridge! I worked on that building! Oh, there’s the Tesla plant, I just got back from the Tesla plant!’”

Karl Pineo, business manager for Local 118, said the mural was a way to help unite members.

“We’ve always been thinking about a way to bring membership together, and so one of the ideas was having a mural,” said Pineo. “The retirees formed a mural committee and they worked on this thing for about six months to make this happen.”

Don Zampa, President of the California District Council of Ironworkers, was one of those present for the unveiling.

“Local 118 out of Sacramento and Reno has a long and proud history and this mural will demonstrate some of the past, the current and the future,” said Zampa. “It’s just a great event to see all of the retirees and active members gathered here a positive event. It’s a fantastic opportunity to build the union camaraderie.”

Tracy Holland, Local 118 business agent in Northern Nevada, also came to Sacramento for the event.

“The mural really shows all the facets of work that the ironworkers commit to,” said Holland. “It’s a proof of our commitment to training and professionalism. We’ve come a long way and all you have to do is look at this mural to prove those facts.”

Doug Nickell, President of Local 118 Retirees, said the mural was an important way not just to honor the work of previous generations, but also to inspire future union members.

“We’ve had a lot of help with this. It’s really good. We love all you guys. You’re the future of this group,” said Nickell. “We’re the old timers, we want to show you guys where you can start your own mural for another wall. Get out there, do your job, work safe, go home every night and enjoy your families. We love you all.”

Mike Messina contributed to this story.