By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — They are the faces of Sacramento’s blue-collar workers.

“We need to speak up about it.”

Some younger.

“It gives me a super-excited feeling,” said Richard Gibbens with IBEW Local 340.

Some older.

“It’s been really rough. I’ve been out of work for almost two-and-a-half years,” said Jim Hancock with IBEW Local 340

All are hoping for work at the proposed Downtown Plaza arena through their membership with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 340.

This union orientation only happened to fall on the same day Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson unveiled an arena labor agreement with 22 unions.

The agreement does allow some nonunion contractors to bid on jobs, but IBEW is already counting on 150 jobs for its electricians.

Right now 300 names are posted on the union’s out of work list. The arena labor agreement will likely cut the list in half.

Suddenly Sacramento’s electrician craft is coming alive, almost like the flip of a switch.

“It makes it very encouraging for me, after waiting on the books for two-and-a-half years to get a job.”


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