UWUA Local 369 Summer 2020 Edition of The Current

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UTILITY WORKERS UNION OF AMERICA LOCAL 369

THE CURRENT SUMMER 2020 NEWSLETTER


FRONT COVER Top row, left to right: Mike Chaney, Kevin Barry. Bottom row, left to right: Al Abromson, Quinton Meekins, Steve Milionis.

C ON T EN T S 03 FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK 04 WELCOMING LOCAL 273 0 5 W O R K I N G FA M I L I E S C O U N T 0 6 U T I L I T Y W O R K E R S AT T H E B A L L O T B O X 07 THE TREASURER’S REPORT 08 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT 0 9 G O L F I N G F O R C O L L EG E S C H O L A R S H I P S 1 0 O F F I C E R N O M I N AT I O N S & E L EC T I O N S 11 IN MEMORIAM & RE TIREES

ABOUT OUR MEMBERS UWUA Local 369 represents 2,900 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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FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK A MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT

CRAIG A. PINKHAM DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, In the face of a global pandemic, we are standing strong for our communities across the region. Through Tropical Storm Isaias, tornados, summer storms, and heat, we answered high volumes of customer calls and we kept the lights on and the gas flowing for critical infrastructure like hospitals, homes, and businesses. Thanks to the hardworking members of Local 369, we are keeping our communities safe and powering the front lines in the fight against COVID-19. Our highly skilled and highly trained workforce continues to deliver as essential workers and first responders during these unprecedented times! Your leadership team is building our Union’s strength for the long term. This fall, we will add more than 250 new members to our Eversource gas ranks, thanks to our recent merger with UWUA Local 273. We are excited to welcome all our new members who will operate under one contract when they are added to our existing collective bargaining agreement with Eversource. I would like to thank Local 273’s leadership and membership for the overwhelming vote of confidence by joining Local 369. We will proudly stand at roughly 2,900 members strong. It is rewarding to see our Union continue to grow. Together, we will continue to work hard, support our families, and answer our communities’ call when they need us most. We have the chance to further strengthen our Union at the ballot box this election season in the face of adversity. The current administration’s National Labor Relations Board is attacking unions again, recently issuing new rules to weaken worker bargaining power and expand management’s ability to make unilateral decisions without the union. We need to stand strong and elect union champions who will stand with us at the local, state, and federal level. As we head into the November 3 general election, it’s on all of us to make sure we are prepared to participate by registering to vote and by electing leaders who will defend our unions, strengthen collective bargaining rights, protect essential workers, and advocate for working families.

Local 369 will also be holding elections for officers at our Regular Membership Meeting this month. As we continue to build our Union through these consequential times, it is important for all of us to make sure our voices are heard. Nominations for President, Secretary-Treasurer, Executive Vice President, and Business Agents, along with Trustees, Executive Board/Vice Presidents, and Chief Stewards, will be made at our in-person, outdoor Regular Membership Meeting on Sunday, September 13. Email and text notifications were sent out with information on when ballots will be mailed to the membership. If you have not received an email or text, please refer to page 10 for more details on nominations and voting. Please contact the Union Hall to confirm your address, contact number, and email address to get up-to-date information and notifications sent to members. Communication is more important than ever with so many of our members working from home or at remote locations. Our return to a new normal brings many changes, but our commitment to protecting each other at Local 369 has never wavered. We will continue to grow our Union, negotiate the best utility contracts in the country, always have each other’s backs, and never stop fighting for you and your families each and every day. Remember, it is never about the money……because it is ALWAYS about the money! In Solidarity,

Craig A. Pinkham President UWUA Local 369

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Credit: Getty Images

WELCOMING OUR BROTHERS & SISTERS FROM LOCAL 273 Welcome to the team, Local 273! Every one of our members makes our Union strong and our work successful. Together, we’ve been able to negotiate great wages, benefits, and safe working conditions. Our solidarity has also helped us navigate our country’s public health and economic challenges over the last few months and emerge strong and united. That’s why we’re proud to welcome our Brothers and Sisters from Local 273 into our Union. We know they’ve faced some tough times after Columbia Gas of Massachusetts was shut down and liquidated following the 2018 gas explosion in northern Massachusetts. Local 273 members worked around the clock throughout that crisis to restore gas services to residents and prioritized safety above all else.

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To complete the merger, we voted at special meetings on Wednesday, August 12 and on Monday, August 31 to approve final updated amendments to our by-laws: ɦ Updated Appendix B regarding the structure of Local 369’s Business Agents and Executive Boards. ɦ Revised Articles XIV and XVII to allow for two Business Agents to represent the entire membership, subject to direction from the President. ɦ Voted to leave two Executive Board seats vacant until the effective date of the merger with Local 273. These hardworking men and women will bring their skill and dedication to our great Union. Standing at 2,900 members strong, we are better positioned than ever to continue securing great contracts, rich healthcare, post-employment benefits, and livelihoods for our families.


WORKING FAMILIES COUNT Every 10 years, everyone living in the United States gets counted in the census. The 2020 Census will provide a snapshot of our nation and serve as a blueprint to help allocate $1.5 trillion dollars in local, state, and federal programs and services. In times of crisis, census data helps essential workers and first responders make critical decisions. The data also plays a key role in deciding political power and our representation in Congress. It’s vital that every household participates to ensure a complete and accurate count. Due to COVID-19, the U.S. Census Bureau has extended the response time until September 30. Join Local 369 in ensuring that every working person and family is counted in the 2020 Census! If you haven’t already done so, please take two minutes to respond either online or by phone. All census information submitted is confidential.

CALL 844-330-2020 OR VISIT MY2020CENSUS.GOV TO GET STARTED.

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UTILITY WORKERS AT THE BALLOT BOX We’re out on the front lines powering our communities every day — and we need elected leaders who’ll stand with us and chart a positive course for a better future. Our health and safety, benefits, and reopening plans all depend on leaders at the local, state, and federal level. That’s why the Utility Workers Union of America is proud to support Joe Biden in the November 3 presidential election.

Joe Biden for President of the United States

“Vice President Biden has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to organized labor and the issues our members care about most. We’re confident he’ll continue to be a powerful ally in the White House who will work with us to strengthen workplace safety protections, fight for organizing and collective bargaining rights, and grow the economy.” - UWUA President James Slevin

Joe Biden will defend unions and their ability to negotiate better wages, benefits, and working conditions. Instead of attacking labor rights, Joe Biden has shown us that he’ll fight for labor unions and working families.

Don’t forget to register to vote and apply for your mail-in ballot for the November 3 General Election. In a global pandemic, it’s more important than ever to plan ahead.

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REGISTER TO VOTE

APPLY FOR YOUR MAIL-IN BALLOT


TREASURER’S REPORT: PROTECTING FRONTLINE WORKERS

BROTHERS AND SISTERS, Every year on Labor Day, we celebrate the importance of workers and labor unions across the country. This year, we’ve also shown our country what we’ve known all along: that our work is essential. Throughout the global pandemic and an aggressive storm season, we’ve continued to serve our communities and support public safety alongside other essential workers in healthcare, food service, and construction. As we enter the fall and COVID-19 shows no signs of letting up, it’s critical for our state and federal governments to pass protections for essential workers and our families. It’s not enough for politicians to give thanks to essential workers — we need protections on the job and at home to stay safe. At the federal level, the UWUA is advocating for key measures to protect essential workers. First, we’ve called on lawmakers to pass legislation to provide adequate PPE through the use of the Defense Production Act. We are continuing to face shortages of PPE and medical equipment throughout the United States and need a steady, reliable supply to keep essential workers safe. Enacting the Defense Production Act would allow factories to produce PPE and critical medical equipment ahead of other materials, ensuring that essential workers get the protective equipment we need to stay safe and protect our families.

economy, our country, and the shattered lives of families everywhere that are facing COVID-19. Key provisions in the bill include hazard pay to provide premium pay for essential workers, COBRA subsidies, an extension of unemployment insurance, and additional OSHA funding. Although the HEROES Act has passed the House, it remains stuck in the Republican-controlled Senate and has not yet been brought for a vote. This is a critical piece of legislation, and without it, essential workers will continue to be put at risk, and millions of working families will be left behind during this crisis. We’ll continue to push for protections for working families and frontline workers. And to succeed, we need the right allies in Washington: elected officials who will keep our essential workers safe and stand with our Union during these tough times. I encourage you all to stay informed and involved in the coming months, and most of all, stay safe. In Solidarity, Dan Leary Secretary-Treasurer

The other critical piece of legislation to protect working families across our country is the HEROES Act, which is currently languishing in the Senate. The HEROES Act would provide emergency resources to rebuild our

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Steve Milionis (left) and Brian Hannon (right) .

MEMBER SPOTLIGH

T:

A NATIONAL SAFETY CHA Local 369 member Brian Hannon has been a utility worker for 40 years, and he’s been championing safety on the job and at home for the past two decades. Now in the COVID-19 pandemic, he’s using that experience to keep utility workers safe across the country. Brian Hannon’s wife calls him the “OSHA Marshall” at home, referring to his love and knowledge of everything safety. Hannon, a longtime Local 369 member and Construction Inspector for the Underground, represents Local 369 on the national UWUA Safety Committee, and has helped lead the Eversource Safety Committee for almost two decades. It’s no surprise that he’s dedicated much of his career and his life to keeping others safe. It’s who he is. “When we first got married, my wife wanted to mow the lawn one day, and I told her we had to go to the store first,” Hannon said. “‘Why would we need to go to the store?’ she asked. I said, ‘Well, the first thing you gotta do is get you a pair of steel-toed boots and some safety goggles.’ She still laughs about it today.” Hannon’s safety work began with a vision to expand safety training across Massachusetts. He began taking road trips around New England, running workshops, sharing safety documents, and giving training presentations to help Locals prevent emergencies.

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MPION

“Even before COVID, there was a vision for portable safety training, for bringing what we’ve learned to others and connecting on safety issues,” Hannon said. Thanks to Hannon’s work, the UWUA had a powerful national safety program in place well before COVID-19 hit. And in light of the pandemic, Hannon’s knowledge and expertise has become increasingly indispensable. Leveraging a strong national network, Hannon has coordinated up-to-date safety information on a widespread scale, making him a vital resource on COVID-19. Hannon recently collaborated on a COVID-19 safety training video for the UWUA, sharing his knowledge and experience at Local 369 with utility workers across the country. As his phone rings off the hook with people looking for safety advice, Hannon is proud to be able to get his members the latest, most accurate information. “There’s a lot of fear of the unknown,” Hannon said. “There’s a lot of anxiety around this disease. If I can relieve somebody of even the tiniest bit of fear and anxiety, I’ve done my job.”


GOLFING FOR COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP GOLF TOURNAMENT Monday, October 5 Furnace Brook Golf Club 20 Reservoir Road, Quincy, MA 02170

We know that everyone wants their children to have access to a great education, and we’re committed to helping them pursue their goals. That’s why we’re proud to host our Local 369 Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament this year on Monday, October 5. Each year, we come together to step up and support each other’s family members as they pursue a college education. During COVID-19, this year’s Golf Tournament will be a little different. We will only have foursomes and not the traditional fivesomes, limiting our capacity to half the number of players.

We strongly encourage every member to donate, regardless of whether you participate in person. During this crisis, these scholarships can help make a real difference for so many of our members and their families. Sponsorships for an individual tee or green are available at levels of $150, $250, $500, $1,000, and $2,000. We are also seeking contributions for the after-golf 50/50 cash raffle. For more information or to sponsor a hole, contact Tom Roche at 617-835-0849.

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OFFICER NOMINATIONS & ELECTIONS At Local 369, our members aren’t just in the union. We are the Union. Our officers are democratically elected to represent all of us and our collective interests. This month, we’ll be accepting nominations for the positions of President, Secretary-Treasurer, Executive Vice President, Business Agents, five Trustees At-Large, and all Executive Board Member Vice Presidents and Chief Stewards. Any member can be nominated, as long as they have been continuously in good standing for at least six months and not barred from holding office in accordance with Section 504 of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959. Nominations will be made at our socially-distanced Regular Union Meeting on Sunday, September 13 at the Union Hall. Following the nominations, the first round of ballots will be mailed out on September 28 and counted on October 16. Please ensure your address is up to date with the Union Hall in order to receive your ballot.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS, PLEASE REVIEW OUR NOMINATION AND ELECTION GUIDE:

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IN MEMORIAM & RETIREES In Memoriam Carol Caldeira

John Prior

Robert “Buddy” Knox

Susan Shruhan

Richard Lanczycki

James Sullivan

Eric Neismith

Retirees Vincent R. Baldwin

Keith Manchester

Renee B. Banks-Clark

James McLaughlin

Mark Blouin

Francis “Mike” Moge

Debra Carreiro

Michael J. Murphy

Michael Cordima

Daniel Needham

Daniel S. Decourcy

John Roman

Michael J. DiPrizio

Susan M. Roman

William Eklund

Mitchell A. Santos

Robert E. Fallon

Susan Santos

Cliff Firth

Shernik Shah

Howard Forgue

Chris Sharrigan

Doug Grady

Chris Stanton

John Hart

Mark Tanner

Michael Hespelt

John F. Trocki

Roland Maetins

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UWUA Local 369 120 Bay State Drive Braintree, MA 02184

IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY TO START PLANNING FOR RETIREMENT! JOIN ONE OF OUR UPCOMING SEMINARS. We’ll be hosting virtual and in-person retirement planning seminars with Boston Retirement Group this fall. For more information, please reach out to BRG Financial Advisor Patrick Nee at 617-733-6127 or info@bostonretirementgroup.com.