Organized Labor, May, 2007
Pile Drivers: Extreme Construction
“We work with the limits of the building trades,” states journeyman pile driver Daxz Sweeney. “It doesn’t get any messier, muddier, more technical, or more dangerous.” “Pile butts” build everything from bridges to high rise foundations to freeways. They dive underwater, excavate into the earth, and dangle from cables 150 feet in the air. They pour concrete, weld steel, and assemble cranes. And the most important thing, for foreman Dennis Garland, is that they do it safely, and that no one gets hurt. Organized Labor interviewed Pile Drivers Local 34 members working for Mansion Construction at birth 35 of the Port of Oakland, who were upgrading a container dock so that it can accommodate the next generation of giant container cranes and super freighters.