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Robert "Bob" Ryan Oral History Interview

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Bob Ryan worked 43 years as a Union member, leader, and trainer for the Sheet Metal Workers Union (now SMART). Ryan was born in Northern Colorado. His dad apprenticed and attained his journeyman's license at the Sheet Metal Workers' Union in Boulder CO. The family moved to Albuquerque and Ryan's dad affiliated with the El Paso Local #188 until Local #49 was chartered in 1963. Ryan apprenticed to the Sheet Metal Workers' Union (SMWIA) from 1954-1958. In 1958, he started his Union apprentice teaching career which lasted 40 years. Ryan lays out a history of the times from the 1960s to the present and the role of Local #49 in its development of benefits (pension, health care, and wages), apprenticeship training, and legislation. Ryan shares an important chapter of Labor history from the building trades in creating the local technical college (TV-I, now CNM). Ryan joins his dad and his son, Michael, to represent three generations of Presidents of Local #49.

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SMWIA Local #188 and Local #49, Ennis Brooks (El Paso), Health and Welfare Fund, Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee JATC, Art Rutherford, Nelson Lowery (cabinet maker and TVI), Lou Saavedra (City Manager Albuquerque), Painters Union, Ed Miller (Miller Metal), 1958 Strike, Right to Work legislation, prevailing wage, Sen. Pete Dominici, San Juan Generating Plant, Construction Stabilization Industries CSI), National Training Fund. Mandatory bargaining, health and welfare, apprenticeship funds.


Labor History


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