BRICKLAYERS AND ALLIED CRAFTWORKERS LOCAL 1 NEW YORKBRICKLAYERS AND ALLIED CRAFTWORKERS LOCAL 1 NEW YORKhttp://bricklayersandalliedcraftworkerslocal1ny.org//image/bricklayers-logo.pngBricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1, NY is dedicated to the craft of bricklaying, stonesetting, stone tending, masonry restoration and plastering.(718) 392-0525

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Meet Joseph Muscarello – BAC Local 1, NY Member for 75 Years!

Oct 13 2015

Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local No.1 is proud to feature Joseph Muscarello, a member with the Bricklayers Union for 75 years. Joseph also known as “Joe” is now 94 years old and began working with L. Barber Construction, at the age of 17. With great wisdom, he shares memories on his life as a bricklayer, as well as how times have changed since he first began working in 1938.

When asked about what structures stood out to him the most throughout the years, he said with much fondness, “they were all good.” He described that he remembered cutting and laying bricks for civil projects including Metropolitan Hospital and Staten Island High School. Joseph also stated that civil projects were his favorite types because he felt that his hard work was going towards the benefit of the communities the structures were being built in. He also mentioned a brief time that he was able to work on Rikers Island, where he layed bricks for several civil structures there as well.

“The Membership at the BAC Union helped me receive better pay and benefits,” Joseph commented when asked how membership enhanced working conditions. He went on to say that once membership was established, “bosses” had to begin to adhere to rules and regulations that the Union had placed. Also, he explained that following his membership to the Union, he noticed more structure and organization at his company. Joseph felt supported and thanked the Union because he knew that he could rely on the Union to make sure working conditions were safe and that his pay / benefits were always fair.

“When I began my career in 1938, companies pushed the workers harder,” Joseph commented while discussing the differences were in bricklaying then and now. He expressed that working and safety conditions are much better today than they were 75 years ago. Also, he explained that with all the advancements in technology now, structures are built much faster than they used to be. He said, “Tools and materials are also much more advanced now, so the buildings get built a lot faster.” He also noted how buildings are being built much stronger and safer than they once were, with ability to endure natural disasters.

Joseph recalled enjoying many tasks, but remembered performing basket weave bond brickwork with particular fondness. “It was hard work, but it was good work – I liked when we got to work on the fancy projects,” he remarked. He noted that he met and worked with a lot of good men, in which he built longstanding friendships with. He felt a comradery with fellow brick layers and laughingly remembered horsing around and using the side of a brick wall as a restroom.

Maryann Grey, daughter of Joseph Muscarello, remembers her father leaving for work at 5:00 AM every morning and arriving home around 5:00 PM. She remembers her father coming home and always having a funny story about what had happened at work that day. She said, “he worked very hard, and to this day, even at the age of 94 he always stops to chime in when he sees a bricklayer He can instantly tell whether the bricklayer is doing a good job or not.”