June 2004 IBEW Journal
L.U. 158 (i,mar,spa,mt&it), GREEN BAY, WIOur local held a multi-benefit seminar to inform our membership of what is available to them at retirement. Speakers included Jack Sahm of NEBF; Peter Risberg, WEEBF; Pat Culligan, Social Security Administration; and IBEW Sixth District Int. Rep. Michael E. Daugherty. Tim Hitterday from Wells Fargo spoke about our local Pension Fund.
Thanks to Wells Fargo for setting up and sponsoring the production of a DVD, which we will make available to our members who could not attend the seminar. Its important to have an understanding of all your benefits when planning for your retirement.
We had a great turnout and a very good question-and-answer period.
James Neuens, B.M.
L.U. 164 (c,i,o&t), JERSEY CITY, NJAfter a seven-year run of outstanding work in our jurisdiction, Local 164 has had a downturn in employment opportunities. "At one time or another during the past seven years we had in excess of 1,000 traveling brothers and sisters employed," said Local 164 Bus. Mgr. Richard Dressel.
Bush economics is finally taking its toll on the economy, causing a slowdown in construction starts throughout the United States and Canada. Nationwide, few construction locals are experiencing full employment at the time of this writing. "Although our traveling members have moved on," said Dressel, "I would like to thank [everyone] for doing such a terrific job for Local 164s signatory contractors during the past seven years."
On a brighter note, there is light at the end of the proverbial "work tunnel." With the mammoth 4.7 million square foot mixed use "Xanadu" project at the New Jersey Meadowlands about to break, along with many other construction projects in Newark and along the Jersey City waterfront, future employment opportunities for our electrical and telecommunications divisions seem bright. "I remain cautiously optimistic that full employment will return sometime this summer for both our electrical and telecommunications divisions," Dressel said.
David Milazzo, Pres.
L.U. 180 (c,i,o&st), VALLEJO, CAWe welcome Artistic Lighting and Okhomina Electrical as two new signatory contractors. Artistic Lighting was signed due to the great efforts of Local 551 Organizer Larrick McDowell. Artistic Lighting will provide jobs in the extreme upscale home market of the Napa Valley. Okhomina Electrical is home-grown from our Small Business Incubator program. Our member Donatus Okhomina is pursuing the untapped maintenance and small government project market available to small business.
The Solano County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to negotiate PLAs for all projects over $1 million and to require a PLA for projects over $10 million. Solano Community College also finalized a PLA for the $145 million bond project. These are for future projects. Many more are in the works.
We regret to report that the sweet work picture for travelers, previously forecasted last January, has soured as a result of the poor economy, unemployment and workers comp issues in California. The projects we had projected are on hold and the companies are considering departing the state. PLEASE check web site www.ibewlu189.org before traveling to our local in search of employment.
Michael C. Smith, B.A.
L.U. 196 (govt,mt,o,t&u), ROCKFORD, ILAt press time our Outside construction is holding its own. Our Telephone & CATV work is not good. We have stripped away workers from the nonunion and signed up contractors. However, for every worker and contractor we sign there are two or three new contractors to take their place. We do have four salts working with us to combat these problems. It would help if the provider of the CATV Services was union but at this time they are very much against the idea of organized labor in any way.
We currently have four municipal contracts open and it is no surprise that rising health insurance costs are a major topic in each one. The more our groups stand together, the better our chances are to get favorable contracts.
I would like to thank everyone who has attended the Union Orientation class and the COMET classes. Also, congratulations to all who showed up for the March meeting to receive their "Years of Service" pins.
Remember: This is an election year so make your vote count! Vote your paycheck and always attend your monthly union meetings.
Edgar Mings, B.M.
L.U. 252 (ees,i,rts&spa), ANN ARBOR, MIBus. Mgr. Greg Stephens and staff thank the many members who contributed to the charity food-drive "Rockin for the Hungry." The annual event is hosted by the Food Gatherers, based in Ann Arbor. Special thanks also go to Bus. Agent Ron Motsinger, who endures the elements and devotes much time and energy to this project.
Local 252 sponsors "Kool 107.1" radio station, on location in front of the supermarket. In return for our sponsorship, we participate in many "on-air" conversations and promotions relating to Local 252. This provides us with an excellent opportunity to speak about the +5 Residential Program, types of electrical apprenticeships, and the community programs supported by Local 252. The five-day drive exceeded its goal and collected more than 117 tons of food for the needy in Washtenaw County.
"Miss Michigan Teen USA," daughter of a Local 252 member, donated time to support the food-drive as well. We are proud to be associated with this worthwhile cause. It was a great showing for Local 252.
Timothy Bortles, P.S.