Glaziers: Creating a View
From the outside, “glass is the thing that holds a building together and makes it stand out,” says glazier Adrian Pereira. When you’re inside, glass windows make all the difference between feeling like you’re in a dark cave or feeling like you’re in a visually pleasing environment.
Glazing is a specialty trade, and glass is an unforgiving media. Everything must be plumb and square and exact, as glazier Alex Miranda explains while crawling around the floor checking every plane with his level.
It can also be dangerous. As Matt McArthur describes, “When you’re hanging off a building in a harness trying to put in a glass panel, with nothing below to stand on, you have to do some tricky stuff to hold your balance. The main thing is to not look down.”
It’s all about solutions and team work, according to journeywoman Madison Hull. And the union is a big part of that, providing job security and training programs and helping the community. Apprentice Tim Rodriguez is proud to be a part of that tradition, taking every opportunity to help out with community work. “When we’re all together at a union meeting, there’s no stopping us,” brags Pereira.
We spoke with members of Glaziers, Architectural and Glass Workers Union Local 718, working on large commercial and residential condos at 1 Rincon Hill, 301 Spear, and 601 King Street in San Francisco. The union, based in San Francisco, represents workers from East Palo Alto through Mendocino County.