27-YEAR UNION MEMBER TAKES PRIDE IN UNION WORK, ENJOYS BENEFITS
Twenty seven years ago, Rob Gullickson needed a job. When he became a member of Construction Laborers’ Union Local 563, he got a career.
“Concrete cutting has really never been a job because I enjoy it, but, it is, for me, a career," said Rob.
Working in the concrete demolition industry, he is highly specialized in concrete cutting and coring for commercial projects, roadways and much more. Rob started in the trenches, learning and improving his skills alongside fellow members, eventually working his way up to the management side. With the union, there are always opportunities to move up, he said. Plus, it provides great benefits.
“My daughters mean the world to me and being a union member has given me the opportunity to support my family, to get my two daughters into college, my one daughter through grad school, to be able to give them the things to start their life, to get their life to forward,” Rob said.
When he went through a shoulder surgery, the union was there for him with insurance coverage. He said that gives him peace of mind right now and as he thinks about his upcoming retirement.
“With the surgery that I recently had, my out of pocket expenses are minimal, my prescriptions are well taken care of, which is another piece of my retirement [health insurance] that I don't have to worry about.”
Retirement will be interesting for Rob, who over the course of 27 years has worked on so many of the Twin Cities’ large infrastructure projects that it’s hard not to see one driving around. They are a fitting reminder of a career well spent.
“Being able to work with engineers, architects, and other construction companies to get this stuff done in a time frame that's economical and usually quicker than thought and on budget is huge for our economy,” Rob said.
For 27 years, the union has been there for Rob. He sees his co-workers as family, and that won’t stop once he retires.
“[We] have stood together. [We] fight together. We've earned what we have by being able to produce for our contractors, Rob said. “To be able to come to union meetings, and at work, to be able encourage the others to get involved. That this is your future, so why wouldn't I want to consider these brothers and sisters my family and support them, when I'm working now and when I retire?”