UWUA Local 369 Spring 2020 Edition of The Current

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UTILITY WORKERS UNION OF AMERICA LOCAL 369

THE CURRENT SPRING 2020 NEWSLETTER


C ON T EN T S 03 FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK 04 POW ERING THE COVID-19 FRONTLINES 05 WORK SAFET Y GUIDANCE 0 6 W I N N I N G AT E X E L O N 0 8 P R O T EC T F R O N T L I N E W O R K E R S 0 9 S TA N D I N G U P F O R Q U A L I T Y H E A LT H C A R E 10 OPPOSING THE CAMBRIDGE & BROOKLINE FOSSIL FUEL BAN 1 1 C O N G R AT U L AT I O N S T O O U R R E T I R E E S & SCHOL ARSHIP WINNERS

Cover photo is Alexander Potter, Underground Lineworker

A BOU T OUR ME MBE R S UWUA Local 369 represents nearly 3,000 workers across the utility industry in Massachusetts. Our members are proud to bring power, heat and telecommunications to homes and businesses across the Commonwealth. We’re dedicated to fighting for our members and all working families in Massachusetts.

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SPRING 2019 NEWSLETTER | UWUA LOCAL 369


FROM THE

PRESIDENT’S DESK

A MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT

CRAIG A. PINKHAM

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Local 369 is in unprecedented times right now, and we are stepping up with unprecedented action. Our families, our friends, and our neighbors rely on the essential services that we deliver, including reliable electricity and natural gas, power station generation and steam, wastewater services, and clean water. In a global pandemic, these basic services are the backbone of public safety. We are grateful to all our members who are powering communities across the region with more vigilance and commitment than ever before. We are also grateful to your families and loved ones who are supporting you while you answer your communities’ demand for the essential services that we all provide! Even as some us are able to work remotely from home while others are required to perform work on-site, we are still one Union and we will always protect your rights and safety. You and your family’s health and safety remain our top priority. We are doing everything we can to protect you on the job, and to provide you with the resources you need, when you need them. Please refer to page 5 of this issue for safety tips and, as always, please reach out to the Union Hall for anything you need. Although this pandemic has changed our normal daily routines, COVID-19 has not been able to detract or distract from our commitment to serve our members. We are enforcing contractual language while protecting benefits, securing negotiated wage increases, enforcing premiums, and protecting bargaining unit work for our 24 collective bargaining agreements with our 12 different employers. During a time when 1 in 5 American workers has filed for unemployment benefits, we have negotiated contract extensions with Liberty Utilities Gas and Exelon Generation’s Everett LNG,

resulting in secure contract durations that reflect fair wage increases for all of our members. When we stand together in solidarity, we can overcome anything. We saw that firsthand with the Exelon Mystic Generating Station strike. In early March, dozens of courageous Local 369 members walked off the job to secure contractual language that protects negotiated benefits and key safety provisions for themselves and thousands of residents in the neighboring cities of Everett and Charlestown. Striking is never an easy decision to make, but Exelon made a tough decision very easy. With the future of Mystic Station units 8 & 9 uncertain, this contract secured protections of our current health benefits, 401k contributions, pensions, performance bonuses, retiree medical savings accounts, and a very rich severance package that includes medical coverage. We prevailed and won! After just three days, Exelon executives heard our concerns, and we secured the contract language we demanded that protects our benefits and our grievance and arbitration rights, all while improving the safety and working conditions we were fighting for. We showed our employers a valuable lesson: our solidarity is the greatest asset we have. Our members came together as one Union and brought our collective power to the bargaining table – with great success. A big thank you to all those who drove this endeavor and its outcome: our 3,000 members and retirees, UWUA National President Jim Slevin, Massachusetts AFLCIO President Steve Tolman, Greater Boston Labor Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Darlene Lombos, IBEW International VP 2nd District Michael Monahan, IBEW Local 103 Business Manager Lou Antonellis, IAFF’s General Secretary-Treasurer Ed Kelly and 3rd District VP Jay Colbert,

PFFM President Rich MacKinnon and Everett Firefighters President Craig Hardy, Teamsters Local 25 President Sean O’Brien, International Longshoreman’s Business Agent George McEvoy and Line Handler Anthony Farmusa, and all of the elected officials who supported us, including U.S. Congressman Joe Kennedy III, Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria, and Everett City Councilors Stephanie Martins and Mike McLaughlin. Whether it’s standing up to a $34 billion corporation or going the distance to keep the lights and gas on during a crisis, we’ll always fight for public safety. And we will always fight for you. Remember, it’s never about the money... because it is always about the money! Stay safe and stay healthy. In Solidarity,

Craig A. Pinkham President

UWUA LOCAL 369 | SPRING 2020 NEWSLETTER

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POWERING THE

COVID-19 FRONTLINES

As essential workers, we’re committed to keeping the lights on and gas flowing during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve been working hard in our communities to continue providing safe, reliable service.

Thank you to the countless members who have gone above and beyond to answer the call in this time of crisis and do everything possible to keep our neighbors safe and healthy. We couldn’t be prouder.

Jason Samuel, Overhead Trouble Shooter

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SPRING 2019 NEWSLETTER | UWUA LOCAL 369


AS THIS PANDEMIC EVOLVES, WE URGE YOU TO REMAIN VIGILANT AND TAKE STEPS TO STAY SAFE. FOLLOW THESE WORK SAFETY TIPS OUT ON THE JOB: Wipe down any surfaces or equipment with sterilizing wipes before and after you come in contact with them.

Remember to carefully dispose of all sterilizing wipes and rags that you use.

Don’t forget to clean your safety glasses and hard hat before you put them on.

Inform your supervisor immediately if you encounter a hazardous situation on your job.

Stay home if you are feeling sick.

UWUA LOCAL 369 | SPRING 2020 NEWSLETTER

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WINNING AT

EXELON MYSTIC

WE’RE BACK ON THE JOB! After striking for just three days, we reached an agreement that secured our benefits along with stronger safety measures and working conditions at the Exelon Mystic Generating Station in Charlestown, Massachusetts. This incredible victory showed how critical our members are for the safety of our communities and the future of the plant.

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SPRING 2019 NEWSLETTER | UWUA LOCAL 369

This victory is an important step toward securing our region’s energy future. Developers are chomping at the bit to shut this plant down, but now Mystic Station is stronger than ever with the industry’s most highly-skilled workers back on the job. And we’ll keep fighting to make sure millions of people, homes, and businesses in Greater Boston continue to receive safe, reliable power for years to come.


Boston Power Plant Strike Ends With Tentative Deal MARCH 12, 2020

Boston Power Plant Strike Ends With Tentative Deal MARCH 12, 2020

Mystic power plant workers strike, raise safety concerns MARCH 7, 2020

Workers at Mass. Power Plant Go on Strike MARCH 9, 2020

Charlestown Power Plant Workers Strike Over Public Safety Concerns

Boston power plant strike ends with tentative pact MARCH 12, 2020

MARCH 8, 2020

Empleados de planta de energía de Massachusetts se van a huelga MARCH 9, 2020

UWUA LOCAL 369 | SPRING 2020 NEWSLETTER

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PROTECT FRONTLINE WORKERS

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to endanger workers on the frontlines. Our lawmakers need to step up to protect the health and safety of our Brothers and Sisters, our loved ones, and all working people. As we perform essential work, risking our own health and that of our families, we’re calling for improved protections, including: Adequate PPE via expanded use of the Defense Production Act. F

A temporary OSHA emergency standard to protect workers from COVID-19 and future infectious diseases. F

Scan the below QR code with your smartphone camera to tell your lawmakers to protect frontline workers now:

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SPRING 2019 NEWSLETTER | UWUA LOCAL 369


FROM THE TREASURER

STANDING UP FOR GREAT HEALTHCARE REPEALING THE “ C A D I L L A C TA X ”

The COVID-19 pandemic has strained the healthcare system like we’ve never seen before. Thanks to swift legislative action, we’ve been able to cushion the pandemic’s biggest blows, including by repealing the so-called “Cadillac” health insurance tax. The tax was set to kick in this year, and it would’ve imposed a 40% excise tax on employer-sponsored health insurance plans that exceeded $10,000 annual premiums for a single person or $27,500 for a family. Some companies would’ve been forced to reduce benefits or increase individual out-of-pocket contributions. The Cadillac tax also would’ve been devastating for industry-leading health plans like ours at Local 369. We know that you work hard and believe that you and your family deserve the benefits to match.

We fought hard to oppose the tax, and we were heard, loud and clear. Congress delayed its implementation twice and finally killed it. Thank you to our strong leaders for standing up for working families.

long-term. And millions of workers subjected to COVID-19-related job losses are getting hit with sky-high COBRA payments to maintain their coverage. Working people need immediate relief. Given the ever-changing dynamics of this current crisis, Medicare For All is one possible solution. Enacting Medicare For All would create a universal health insurance program with unified financing and governance. It would allow you to go to any doctor regardless of network, eliminate copays, and most importantly, not tie a worker’s on-the-job hours to their healthcare plan.

SUPPORTING MEDICARE FOR ALL

Crises are moments of opportunity for policy change, and COVID-19 is no different. Support for Medicare For All is surging to all-time highs. A new poll from Hill-HarrisX shows 69% of registered voters now support a single-payer healthcare system. There’s lots of reasons why there’s new support for Medicare For All. We’ve underfunded our public health agencies and community health centers. None of the federal stimulus bills have included plans on how to finance our healthcare system in the

Medicare For All can’t prevent another COVID-19, but it could help us plan, coordinate, and save lives.

Dan Leary

UWUA Local 369 Secretary-Treasurer

UWUA LOCAL 369 | SPRING 2020 NEWSLETTER

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OPPOSING BANS ON NATURAL GAS There’s been a push recently in Brookline, Cambridge, and other localities to ban natural gas heating in construction projects to reduce fossil fuel emissions.

The truth is, natural gas is still far and away one of the best natural resources we have. That’s why at Local 369, we’re going to keep fighting to make sure it continues to power our communities.

But we know these bans aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. They’re bad for the environment and people’s wallets.

THE ADVANTAGES OF NATURAL GAS AFFORDABILITY

Natural gas costs much less than other energy sources to heat up your home and water. Natural gas appliances can save a household up to $25,000 over the course of its life cycle (Washington Gas). Bans that force families to convert to electric or propane drive up utility costs, and are pricier to maintain.

BETTER FOR ENVIRONMENT

Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel available. It produces 33% less carbon dioxide than oil and almost 50% less than coal when burned (International Gas Union).

VERSATILITY

In our work, natural gas heats up everything from our region’s biggest hospitals to our stoves, dryers, and generators. The same can’t be said about wind or solar energy, which has limited uses.

RELIABILITY

Natural gas is always there when you need it. It provides instant, precise temperature control and heat - even in bad weather. Many natural gas generators automatically start when the power goes out. Other energy sources aren’t as dependable for our homes and businesses when there’s a storm or outage. 10

SPRING 2019 NEWSLETTER | UWUA LOCAL 369


IN MEMORIAM Arthur Carey Alan Farrington

Michael Hoey Karen Murphy

RETIREE LIST Barbara Adams - Eversource Maureen Bailey - Eversource William Barden - Eversource Garry Barney - NAES (Canal) James Baugh - NAES (Canal) Gordon Bentley - Eversource Paul Boyd - Eversource Norman Bruso - Eversource Richard Ciardi - Eversource John F. Coutinho - Eversource Debra Cullinane - Eversource Glenn Dickson - Eversource Steve Gonzales - Eversource Kevin Gregor - Exelon Mystic 7 David Grindrod - Eversource

Moment of silence for the deceased.

Rose Marie O’Brien Charles Ross

UWUA Local 369 is a family for life. We congratulate the following members on your years of service and friendship and wish you all a long and happy retirement.

Robert J. Kelley - Eversource Alberta Labadie - Eversource Todd Larochelle - Eversource Gerard A. Loranger, Jr. - Eversource William Marchant - Eversource Bob McCabe - Eversource Scott McDaniel - NGRID Donna Meredith - Eversource Stephen Mills - Eversource Charles Miner - Eversource Carl Morello - Eversource Efrain Negron - Eversource Kenneth Nelson - Eversource Michael O’Driscoll - Eversource Mary O’Hearn - Eversource

Mark O’Keefe - Eversource George Owusu - Eversource Anthony Patz - Eversource Paula Poole - Eversource Bo Sullivan - Liberty Utilities John “Jack” W. Teal - Eversource Colleen Thomas - Eversource William J. Thompson - Eversource Tim Wall - Eversource William Washburn - NAES (Canal) Mary Whiting - Eversource Kenneth Wilson - Eversource

SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS We’re proud to create opportunities for all students to get an education and achieve their goals. That’s why we’ve awarded $10,000 in scholarships to 16 hardworking students from Local 369 families who are pursuing a college education. Congratulations to all of our scholarship recipients!

STUDENT Emily Wilson Samantha Nicoloro Nicole Benjamin Quinn Allaire Kathryn O’Brien Katherine Borkowski Joseph Kentley Mairead Morahan Connor Tieran Shannon Carvalho Kylie Hernon Philip J. (P.J.) Devane Dylan Hanifin Kristen Rodden Kayla Yee Madeline Johnson

369 MEMBER/RETIREE George Wilson Robert Nicoloro Edward Benjamin Edward Allaire Berenice Marshall Charles Borkowski Dorothy Madden-Kentley Brian Morahan Brian Tiernan Heidi Carvalho Douglas Hernon Phil Devane Thomas Hanifin Patrick Rodden Kevin Sadberry Joanne Rudnisky

Congratulations to Local 369’s Scholarship Winners

SCHOLARSHIP AMOUNT Larry Eppolito $1000 Donald Wightman $1000 John “Jack” Holland $1000 Valentine P. Murphy $750 Robert Ambler $750 Francis A. Kennedy $500 Francis A. Toland $500 Braintree Union Vision $500 Braintree Union Vision $500 John DeSantis $500 Paul Melody $500 Peter Bennan $500 Kevin Fidalgo $500 Paul Germano $500 Local 369, UWUA $500 Local 369, UWUA $500

UWUA LOCAL 369 | SPRING 2020 NEWSLETTER

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UWUA Local 369 120 Bay State Drive Braintree, MA 02184