For the past 25 years, IBEW Local Union 1049 has led the way in organizing in the Utility Industry in the IBEW. Armed with a strong volunteer organizing committee and a local membership educated and knowledgeable about the many tasks facing a shrinking "in-house" group of members and the need for 100% Market Share for contract leverage, then Business Manager Richard Redmond hired Bill Graham, then shortly after, Rick Fridell. They lead the way in organizing new work being contracted out, such as Directional Drilling, Flagging, Environmental work, Generation valve repair contractors, and to a lesser extent, but equally important, keeping non signatory contractors from performing Electric Line Construction, Gas Construction and Line Clearance work. Over time, notable names such as current Business Manager Pat Guidice and Business Representative Bill O'Leary, led the charge to organize Cablevision/Altice, Utility mark out work and many other threats.
As Labor day is upon us, its important to remember: Unions won us weekends. "Approximately 70% [of Americans] worked at least one weekend a month, with 63% saying that their employer expected them to put in time on an average Saturday and Sunday." - Forbes.
Unions won us paid time off. "A total of more than 30 days of vacation time allotted to workers in France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom stands in stark contrast to the 10 public holidays in the U.S., which are not guaranteed to come with pay." -- CNBC
Unions won us sick leave, unions won us social security, unions won us a minimum Wage, unions won us (theoretically) equal pay, unions won us anti-discrimination laws, unions won us the eight hour workday, unions won us overtime pay, unions won us child labor laws, unions won us the 40 hour work week, unions won us employee pensions, unions won us collective bargaining rights, unions won us age discrimination laws, unions won us whistleblower protection, unions won us privacy rights and unions won us parental leave.
Our job, our burden, is to fight and protect working people; ALL working people. Harm to some, is detrimental to all. You, brothers and sisters, are charged with leading this fight, and you do. Assistant Business Manager Rick Fridell is looking to build an Organizing Committee of volunteers, who are ready to meet this burden, and lead this fight. 4,000 organizers will always be more effective than 1 or 2. Please contact Assistant Business Manager Rick Fridell and let him know you are ready to assist in this fight for justice and market share strength. Our Committee will look to meet every five or six weeks, to inform, educate and arm our members with the tools to speak to the unrepresented.
Currently, Bill O'Leary is assisting Utility mark-out employees working on PSEG system, OCC, on joining our union and creating 100% market share for the mark-out work on Long Island. Please reach out to these employees when you see them, and call Bill or Rick if you have any questions.
Don't leave, what you need, for others to volunteer to accomplish alone. Have a great Labor Day weekend and mourn all the leaders of the workforces who have died valiantly fighting for every privilege that you and I enjoy today. Over 350 workers, fighting to win organizing drives and better working conditions, died while doing so in the United States, since the 1800's. Henry Miller, rest in peace brother, You or the others should not, nor will not, be forgotten.