Local 369 Winter/Spring 2021 Edition of The Current

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UTILITY WORKERS UNION OF AMERICA LOCAL 369

THE CURRENT WINTER/SPRING 2021 NEWSLETTER


C ON T EN T S 03 FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK 04 LOCAL 369 ON THE FRONT LINES

POWERING OUR REGION THROUGH THE WINTER

06 CHAMPION FOR WORKERS:

M A R T Y WA L S H A P P O I N T E D U . S . L A B O R S E C R E TA R Y

07 THE TREASURER’S REPORT 0 8 TA K I N G A C T I O N :

T O P L E G I S L AT I O N FO R U T I L I T Y W O R K E R S

10 GIVING BACK TO OUR COMMUNITIES 11 IN MEMORIAM & RE TIREES

ABOUT OUR MEMBERS UWUA Local 369 represents over 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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WINTER / SPRING 2021 NEWSLETTER | UWUA LOCAL 369


FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK A MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT

CRAIG A. PINKHAM BROTHERS AND SISTERS, I hope you and your families are staying safe and well. Although we cannot believe that we have reached the one-year mark into this pandemic, I am not surprised at how successful our entire membership has been under such challenging times. First, I want to salute all of our members for answering the call during this tough winter season. Severe holiday storms, record snowfalls, and Nor’easters caused emergencies and outages across our region.

best utility contracts in the country. We have adjusted very well to the “new normal” of Zoom and Teams meetings and will use our experience and expertise to deliver for the members of the five (5) remaining contracts that expire in 2021.

But every time, Local 369 members stepped up to restore the power

There’s also good news for workers at the national level. President

and assist our customers, on the ground and in our call centers.

Biden has appointed Boston’s own Mayor Marty Walsh to be U.S.

Together, we kept thousands of families safe and warm throughout

Secretary of Labor. Mayor Walsh has been a strong champion for

the winter. Thank you for your dedicated service to our customers

working families throughout his entire career, and he will be the first

and our communities.

union member to lead the Department of Labor in over 50 years. We

There are promising signs on the horizon regarding the COVID-19

are proud to see him continue standing up for workers in Washington.

pandemic. As part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ COVID-19

We are also continuing to hold politicians accountable at all levels

vaccine rollout plan, utility workers are now eligible for vaccinations.

of government. Together with workers across the country, we are

These vaccines are the best way for us to keep our families and

pushing Congress to pass a Workers First Agenda to protect our jobs,

communities safe from the virus. While it may take some time for

our benefits, and our rights to organize. At the same time, we are

vaccines to become available due to limited supply, we strongly

advocating for state legislatures to recognize utility workers as first

encourage all of our eligible members to get the vaccine as soon as

responders, so our members can get better access, resources, and

you can.

recognition during emergencies. To add your voice in support, please

It remains important for all of us to do our part to stop the spread of

see page 8 of this issue.

the virus. Most of our members, colleagues, friends, and family have

This winter, we showed that when we work together, nothing can stop

not yet received the vaccine — it is critical that we continue following

us. I look forward to standing alongside each one of you in the weeks

safety protocols, including wearing a mask, social distancing, and

and months ahead, to keep our union strong.

washing our hands frequently. To keep everyone safe, we postponed

Remember, it is never about the money…..because it is ALWAYS about

our Regular Membership Meetings during the winter, and we will be resuming outdoor meetings at the end of March once the weather

the money!

gets warmer. As we put 2020 behind us, the new year has also brought exciting challenges for Local 369. Since the start of 2021, Local 369 has successfully negotiated six (6) new collective bargaining agreements. While this pandemic has all but eliminated in-person bargaining sessions, your bargaining committees continue to negotiate the

Craig A. Pinkham President UWUA Local 369

UWUA LOCAL 369 | WINTER / SPRING 2021 NEWSLETTER

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LOCAL 369 ON THE FRONT LINES:

POWERING OUR REGION THROUGH THE WINTER When a damaging storm threatened the region on Christmas Eve, Local 369 members stepped up to keep families safe and warm during the holiday. Utility workers managed the front lines, preparing for power outages and emergencies. At the call centers, our Customer Service representatives worked around the clock fielding urgent customer needs. WHDH7 News Boston featured the critical efforts of Local 369 members ahead of the storm. They interviewed Local 369 lead line worker Scott Kelley, who missed the holiday vacation for the first time in 31 years to prepare for the storm. “We’re ready to go,” Kelley told WHDH7 News. “We’re out here to make sure everyone else has a good holiday, and that we can maintain power.” In the face of a tough winter storm season, Local 369 members continued to rise to the occasion, keeping the lights on and the gas flowing for our communities. We’re proud of all our members for your outstanding service this year, and for a job well done.

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WINTER / SPRING 2021 NEWSLETTER | UWUA LOCAL 369


We’re out here to make sure everyone else has a good holiday, and that we can maintain power.” Scott Kelley

Lead Line Worker

Eversource calls in workers in anticipation of heavy storm hitting eastern Massachusetts on Christmas

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CHAMPION FOR WORKERS:

MARTY WALSH APPOINTED U.S. LABOR SECRETARY We’re proud to congratulate Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on his nomination for U.S. Secretary of Labor. Mayor Walsh has been a steadfast champion for working families throughout his entire career, from his roots as a union Laborer to the Massachusetts State House and the Mayor’s office. This moment is historic. Walsh is the first former union member to become Labor Secretary in nearly 50 years. We’re proud to be a part of this great new chapter for our city, for our union, and for workers all across the country. We look forward to partnering with Walsh in his new role to overturn and correct the damage the Trump administration caused to safe working conditions, fair wages and benefits, and representation at work.

We applaud the Biden administration’s nomination for Labor Secretary, Marty Walsh. We are confident he will be a tireless advocate for working families.” – James Slevin Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO

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WINTER / SPRING 2021 NEWSLETTER | UWUA LOCAL 369


TREASURER’S REPORT: DEFENDING FRONTLINE WORKERS

BROTHERS AND SISTERS, I hope that you’re all finding prosperity and positivity in the

individuals who are at high risk of contracting the virus.

New Year. The last year has been a difficult one, and the

As essential workers, utility workers are now eligible to

health and safety of our members is our Union’s number

receive vaccinations. For more information on eligibility

one priority. I’d like to extend my sincerest gratitude to all

and preregistering for an appointment, visit

of our members who have worked tirelessly throughout

Mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine.

the winter to keep the lights on and the power running.

It may take some time to schedule an appointment

As we mark a full year since the COVID-19 pandemic

due to high demand. Many vaccines are being diverted

first hit our region, we’ve continued to advocate for

to mass vaccination sites like Fenway Park and Gillette

protections for essential workers, our families, and

Stadium, so it’s a good idea to check those locations

our communities.

for appointments first. To review vaccine locations

At the federal level, UWUA worked closely with President Biden and our allies in Congress to pass a $1.9 trillion

and schedule an appointment, please call 2-1-1 or visit VaxFinder.mass.gov.

COVID-19 relief package. The bill represents

Even as access to the COVID-19 vaccine widens, it’s still

a major win for working families across our country.

important to continue following CDC guidelines, before

The legislation provides direct stimulus checks of up to $1,400 for individuals and families, depending on income level, and it gives needed support to parents by expanding the child tax credit by $1,000 per child. The package also includes key funding for states and local governments to keep fighting the pandemic, and additional protections for union pension plans like ours. Here in Massachusetts, we’re also continuing to monitor

and after you get vaccinated, to keep everyone safe. If you’ve only received your first vaccine shot, there’s also still a chance you can contract COVID-19 before your second dose. Please continue to maintain social distancing practices and wear a mask on worksites and in public spaces. I encourage you all to stay informed and involved in the coming months, and most of all, stay safe.

the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan. The vaccines

Dan Leary

are being distributed to priority groups first, including

Secretary-Treasurer

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TAKING ACTION:

TOP LEGISLATION FOR UTILITY WORKERS

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Standing for Workers in Washington Last year, we worked hard to elect strong union champions to public office all across the country. Now it’s time for politicians to do their part and stand with workers. That’s why we’re working with the Biden administration and Congress to pass a Workers First Agenda this year.

Workers First Agenda ɦ Protect unions, wages, and benefits like ours by passing legislation like the PRO Act ɦ Prioritize COVID-19 safety with rapid testing and vaccinations for all workers, improved PPE distribution, and effective safety standards ɦ Invest in union jobs across the country ɦ Ensure racial and economic justice throughout our economy Scan the QR code with your phone’s camera to tell Congress to support the Workers First Agenda today:

First Responder Status in Massachusetts Communities across the country depend on utility workers to keep vital services running, now more than ever. Whenever there’s a gas or electric emergency, we’re always on the scene, alongside firefighters, law enforcement, and paramedics. But utility workers still aren’t recognized as first responders — making it harder to access the site of an emergency and get critical supplies. We’re standing up to urge state legislators to recognize utility workers as first responders, and make sure we have the tools we need to do our jobs in times of crisis.

Scan the QR code with your phone’s camera to sign UWUA’s petition urging state legislatures to recognize utility workers as first responders:

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GIVING BACK

TO OUR COMMUNITIES Local 369 members came together to support families in need this holiday season. After an especially challenging year for working families, our members came out strong to donate toys and time to the 2020 Toys for Kids Christmas Drive, hosted by the Norfolk County and Plymouth-Bristol Central Labor Councils. Together, we were able to make the holidays brighter for children across our region. Thank you for giving the gift of holiday joy and peace of mind to those in need!

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WINTER / SPRING 2021 NEWSLETTER | UWUA LOCAL 369


IN MEMORIAM & RETIREES In Memoriam Ronnie Baskin Joseph Bryant Donna Casper (Active) Edward Chisholm Jr. Colin Clarke (Active)

Joseph C. Faherty, Former President of UWUA Local 387 Sheila Kinch (Active) Gerald “Jerry” Moretti Paul Pelletier, Jr.

Patrick Young, Former Executive Board Member and Chair of Veteran’s Committee

Retirees Alfredo E. Abramson Gary Ackerman Christine Almon Leducto T. Andre Walter Antoine Patricia Bileau Roger Brestek Donna M. Casper Donald H. Cook Jr. Michael Cordima Heidi Danforth Philip D. Dumas William E. Eklund Mark Falter Cheryl Flis Bruce A. Gadbois Julie A. Giacchino James W. Gibbons Patrick T. Gillespie Donna L. Haworth Paul J. Kane Robert Lavoie

Paul Leite Mike Lewis Lillian A. Lopez Michael F. Ludiciani John E. MacDonald James F. McLaughlin Stephanie M. Ogara Richard L. Pardo Peter J. Parente Karen A. Rae Chester Rich Donna L. Rosa Kevin Sinclair Maryanne Smith Paul Smith Christopher Stanton Irene T. Stauber Christine Greer-Sullivan Claire B. Teed Michael Welch Kenneth Wilson

Brother Phil Dumas retiring on January 22, 2021 after 47 years of service.

Brother Richard Pardo retiring on January 29, 2021

STAY CONNECTED WITH LOCAL 369 Through storms, blizzards, and even a pandemic — our strength comes from our connections with each other. That's why we're asking all Local 369 members to ensure that your contact information is updated with the Union Hall. Stay up to date on all the latest news through emails, texts, and our quarterly newsletter. Just scan the QR code with your phone’s camera to update your contact information:

UWUA LOCAL 369 | WINTER / SPRING 2021 NEWSLETTER

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UWUA Local 369 120 Bay State Drive Braintree, MA 02184

APPLY FOR LOCAL 369 SCHOLARSHIPS We’re accepting scholarship applications from qualifying family members of Local 369 members until April 15, 2021.

Scan the QR code with your phone’s camera to download the application