IUPAT DC 53 Member Spotlight: Max Moore

IUPAT DC 53 member spotlight is Max Moore, a dedicated member of Local Union 804 hailing from Clarksburg, West Virginia, with an impressive 30-year tenure in the Union.

Max joined our Union family in 1993 and has been working for Easley and Rivers, based in Morgantown, WV, for the majority of his career.

Starting his journey as an industrial painter, specializing in steel painting and sandblasting, Max transitioned to drywall finishing influenced by his father’s concern for his safety. He found his career in finishing work, appreciating its year-round stability compared to the seasonal nature of industrial painting. Max has developed many skills over the years, from Exterior Insulation Finish System (EIFS) work to plastering, fireproofing, and even Venetian Plaster.

Max reflects on the positive changes in safety over the years, emphasizing the shift towards prioritizing the well-being of workers. Saying there has been a decrease in accidents, attributing it to a newfound focus on individual safety. According to Max, it’s now more about the worker than just getting the job done.

“It’s gotten a lot safer. We have less chance of accidents out here than it was when I first started. Back then they didn’t care about what you did or how you did it, just as long as you got it done,” Moore said. “Now it’s more about you than it is about the job as far as that goes.”

One of Max’s favorite parts of working as a finisher is the ever-changing nature of his job. Max also enjoys seeing his finished product, especially when receiving compliments for his craftsmanship.

“The one thing I enjoy about finishing is just seeing the finished product. You don’t see the framing, you don’t see the drywall. All you see is the finished product and that’s what we do. The finish and the paint. That’s what everybody sees when they walk in the building. I get a certain amount of pleasure out of seeing our finished work, getting complimented about your work,” Moore said. “Doing different things makes it really nice as far as breaking it up. I might finish for six months, my next job might be spraying for four months, or it could be painting. That’s what keeps it from getting old. There’s always something new. The more you learn, the more opportunities you have.”

Max highlights the importance of union benefits, citing insurance and retirement annuity as key advantages. He acknowledges the security and peace of mind these benefits bring, especially in contrast to non-union workers who may lack such comprehensive packages. Retirement, in particular, is a significant motivator for Max, offering a tangible reward for his years of hard work.

“The benefits are always really the main reason for any type of job. Of course everybody wants that money now, but we all want to retire someday. I know several people that work for themselves or they work for smaller contractors that are non union mostly,” Moore said. “They don’t have anything to look forward to but social security, and everybody knows that’s nothing. We are getting a lump sum at the end. It’s one thing everybody can look forward to.”

For new union members, Max shares advice based on his own early struggles. He emphasizes the need to persevere during the initial period, where building a reputation takes time. Max encourages newcomers to stay with the Union, saying that the hard work will eventually lead to job security and a fulfilling career.

“The one thing that I really think is extremely important is getting new guys in here. They need to realize a job usually lasts around six or eight months. All these jobs come to an end and they freak out. Get laid off, and then they just go right back to working for somebody $12 an hour or a plant just to stay working,” Moore said. “I had a rough time when I started, you just got to stick it out. It just takes a little time to get your name out there. Then once people know you’re a good worker you will have no trouble getting work.”