Kanetra Henderson, a plumber’s apprentice from Local 761, stood with her fellow union members at the Training Center for the Southern California Pipe Trades in Van Nuys to talk about why she, and union members around the city, oppose Measure S: if passed, it would cripple the building trade -- and their livelihoods.
Measure S would eliminate 24,000 jobs, including 14,000 in construction alone. This would mean almost $1.2 billion in lost wages and roll back the effects of Proposition JJJ.
Kanetra’s story is one of the thousands of reasons L.A. is united against Measure S. Here, she describes in her own words what that apprenticeship means to her family.
My name is Kanetra Henderson. I’m a plumber’s apprentice with local 761. I started the apprenticeship about two years ago.
I love my job. I really enjoy using the skills that I’ve learned at the training facility and on the job site. I’m busy all day, and I enjoy physical work. At the end of the day I have a great feeling of accomplishment. I get a sense of pride when I drive past a building I helped build.
I really enjoy learning how to install and repair pipes the proper way. I love getting the knowledge and wisdom from the journeymen who are willing to teach me everything they know. I honestly wish I would have started in the construction trade sooner.
And I love learning here, at this training hall. First I’m learning how to be a plumber. Next, I would like to learn welding.
I love my job. Also, I need my job.
I’m a single mother. I have two boys, age 13 and 9. I grew up in Los Angeles, but the cost of living is too expensive for me at the moment.
Before I was an apprentice, I went from job to job seeking a career path that was right for me. My current career path is one of stability. I am now able to give my boys what they need and set an example for them.
At the moment, I’m laid off. I’m still learning, and I can’t wait to be back on a real job site.
If Measure S passes, I probably won’t make it back. I’ll have to find another way to support my boys. And a lot more apprentices won’t either. Look around at the people who will lose their jobs. We all have families. We all have dreams. And please vote no on Measure S.
Watch Kanetra Henderson share her story on the Goes Too Far Facebook page.