Rchard Bermack Photography


Plasterers Local 66
Organized Labor
June 2009

Plasterers Local 66 – “It’s in the Finish” From the ancient pyramids to the Palace of Versailles to a parking garage in San Francisco, plasterers have been making buildings durable and beautiful for over 9,000 years. Over the years, the materials and the skills have evolved. Still, watching plasterers coat the inner recesses of the ceiling of the corner wall of a parking structure, one is reminded of the skill and craft that went into creating the walls of a16th century cathedral. Although we often think of plastering as spreading a thin coat of a mud-like substance over concrete walls or sheet rock, there is more to it than that. Today, with materials made out of limestone or synthetics, plasterers create walls that look like they are made of marble or stone and futuristic walls of pattern swirls and every imaginable texture. “When I first started plastering,” says Paul Gutierrez, a plasterer for 24 years, “we only had a limited set of materials. Now, with the new technology and new finishes, there is a whole array of plasters out there. There is so much theory between all the different mixes, designs, and everything else that you have to develop a reading habit. You have to take upgrade seminars or go to the trainings the manufacturers provide for their products.” New materials are also giving plaster a prominent role in the green economy. Eco-friendly products are being used as final coats on buildings, both interior and exterior. They provide insulation and an attractive, durable, finished surface without emitting fumes associated with paint products. Plasterers & Shophands Union Local 66 traces its roots back to the 1860s. It represents 600 members from Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties. “On the Jobsite” visited members of Local 66 working for the Raymond Company, applying a smooth finish to the walls of a parking complex at the Mission Bay project.