Name: Michael Taylor
Local: Local #183
What does it mean to you to be a union member?
It feels great to be a part of something bigger than yourself. To support your brothers and sisters when they need it the most and obtain one common goal; to provide for our families and earn respectable wages.
Do you have any union history within your family?
My grandfather was UAW 174 – Retired.
Why did you join the carpenters union?
The wages were great and I was tired of not having insurance for my family.
Did you work non-union before becoming union?
How was it?
Stressful, mostly always wondering when you’re getting paid and the insurance was hard to afford.
Do you think you have an advantage over a non-union carpenter?
Yes, definitely; we are trained in every aspect of the trade through our apprenticeship.
What is your favorite aspect of carpentry?
I like the wood part of it, even though it is getting to be a lot of metal and other materials. I love building kids toys for toys for tots, my first project in apprentice school was a wooden rocking horse for my son. That felt great so I have built them every year since.
What contractors have you worked for in the past?
Schindler and Sons, Central Illinois Interior Construction, Millworks Inc., Allied Construction, Schielein Construction, D. Joseph Construction.
What is the biggest project you have worked on in your career?
Morton, Holiday Inn – That was also the most difficult project too.
Is there a chance that your children will join the trade?
I want them to go to college but if they joined a union I would support them all the way!
Do you attend union meetings regularly?
It makes me feel like I am a part of something. It is also a good way to network with your brothers and sisters you wouldn’t meet otherwise.