Union Workers Highlighted As NBC Covers One World Trade Center

John Schaffner, Operating Engineers Local 14, raises the final piece of the 1WTC spire to Ironworkers from Local 40.

This morning, the last section of the spire atop One World Trade Center was lowered into place, bringing the total height of the new building to 1,776 feet, the tallest building in the Western hemisphere.

On the Today Show on NBC, Matt Lauer covered the events live from the crane platform, and repeatedly praised the skill and dedication of the local union members who have put so much of themselves into this  monumental build.

The video form NBC is embedded below, here are a few excerpts from Matt Lauer’s reporting from this morning.

“They’re going to get to see the crowning achievement in a couple of minutes.  By the way, the guy who gets to have the honor of lowering the final two sections of the spire into place –  he’s up in the crane just above me here, he’s with the Operating Engineers Local 14, that’s John Schaffner in the cab, and it’s a delicate process.  He’ll pick this 75-foot piece of spire up, lift it above what’s already in place, and gently, ever so gently, lower it to those Ironworkers from Local 40 up on the crow’s nest, and they will then bolt it into place.”

“I would imagine down on the ground there are a lot of other trade members, union members who have had some role in the construction of this building.  They are probably gathered down there and there will be a huge piece of applause when this thing is finally lowered into place.”

“Talk about the skill and precision a guy like John Schaffner in that cab has to employ at this time.  It has to be so steady.  You can’t get that moving in any bad direction.  You don’t want it to knick slightly the existing structure.  It’s probably getting 20, 30 feet from where the Ironworkers are from Local 40, it will be raised above them, the crane will swing a little bit, check it one last time and John Schaffner will slowly begin to lower it.”

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