Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Strong Union

There is much talk today about people protesting and what they want. Or what they don't want. Or they don't know what they want. There is a common thread though that sticks out - people are nervous about their future.

College grads are staring at $1000 dollar a month student loans and most of the companies to work for have left the country - there are no jobs.

At the same time, benefits esablished by past generations of Americans who fought for things such as Social Security, Health Coverage and Retirement plans are now beginning to be referred to as "entitlements".

There is a cry by most of the 99% that things should be better and we agree. The part the 99% misses is that they will never get it "handed to them".

The only way to make any progress is to negotiate as a group and to unionize.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Clambake Location And Weather Work Out For A Great Day!

This years Clambake had an early threat of rain but the sun poked through and there wasn't an umbrella in site. A good time was really, held by all. We had our first bake at Kruckers in Stony Point and it turned out to be a great place. The set up between the pavilion and the food couldn't have been better and there was enough food to feed an army. The people that served us were pleasant and very accommodating.

The clams were plentiful and spread out for anybody who wanted them, along with some horseradish that really lived up to its name. It could choke a horse.

The card games went on from noon till after the buses left - didn't see any big bills but did see a lot of poker faces. The best part of the day is talking with the retired Journeyman that we all worked with and learned from. It is always good to see all of those guys together. If we are all lucky, someday we will be able to join them.

It looks like a new clambake tradition developed this year - the Young Studs vs the Old Bloods Softball game. In other words, the current Local 363 team against those that are way past their prime and can't make the team anymore. That was the most fun I have seen that many people have in a long time - both players and spectators.

There were some people on the Old Bloods who had no business trying to dive that were making world series catches - only to be complaining the day after that they couldn't walk.

We are starting to plan next years bake already and are looking into a few new additions.

See you at next years bake!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day To All IBEW 363 Members And Their Families

Labor Day Greeting from International President Edwin D. Hill

September 2, 2011

On behalf of our officers and staff, I want to express our thanks his Labor Day to all members who keep the IBEW’s record of accomplishment alive through your diligent work on the job and activism in the community and union.

Even as we celebrate this Labor Day, cold statistics on the number of North American workers who are unemployed silhouette the difficult mountain that the IBEW and our labor movement must climb for economic security and social justice.

The past year has seen unprecedented moves by our adversaries to block the powerful legacy of our trade unions— collective bargaining rights, secure pensions and health insurance—for millions of our members.

But the most perilous threat to working families, brothers and sisters, comes not from our adversaries. It comes from within. The greatest danger to our movement is our own despair. Let me make a case for hope.

Hope is tens of thousands of men and women in Wisconsin standing up, fighting back in 2011.

Hope is the courageous IBEW and CWA members at Verizon who dared shut down operations when presented with ultimatums designed to break their legacy and their spirit.

Hope is a growing number of young men and women who, everyday, are picking up the banner of organized labor and applying their creativity to refreshing a movement that simply cannot afford to grow tired or lose its relevance to millions outside of our ranks.

Hope is our retirees in many cities and towns who have openly challenged politicians who dishonor hard-working men and women by suggesting that they, not the thieves and manipulators of Wall Street, must sacrifice their Social Security and Medicare for the sake of “austerity.”

I am hopeful brothers and sisters. But I also know that the hopes of working families will die if they are not stoked with our willingness to speak uncomfortable truths, not just to our adversaries, but to those who say they are our friends.

We are patiently waiting for a jobs bill to be submitted to Congress from the Obama administration. If it is solid, we must pour our hopes and our grassroots efforts into its passage. If it is inadequate, we must demand a better solution.

This week, in an editorial in The Hill newspaper, I called upon the Obama administration to hold its economic advisors from corporate America accountable for their actions.

There is no better time than this Labor Day for President Obama to restore the hope that millions invested in him to help take a step up that mountain leading to jobs and justice for working families.

Enjoy your Labor Day.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

IBEW Local 363 - Lead The Way

It is time for us - IBEW Local 363 - to organize ourselves and put our local in a greatest position of strength that we have ever seen.

We can help ourselves and the entire Labor Movement in the Hudson Valley by strengthening our own local to reach our fullest potential.
We need to do this now.

Hudson Valley Labor NEEDS a "leader union" and that happens to be us - IBEW Local 363.

That is easily done with one ingredient -YOU.

There are plenty of locals out there and plenty of people in them, but no one has captured and corraled their full potential in the Hudson Valley. Not to the potential there is out there.

No one needs to be told that the situation in America for the American worker is one of struggle. Struggle to survive. Struggle to keep what we have.

Corporations are ORGANIZED and all doing the same thing - coming after the middleclass and the cost or "entitlements" that come with them.

There is a war on decent wages and benefits out there that needs to be addressed. Quite, frankly, we need more bodies and more action.

Most of our employers are excellent employers in each of the sectors we serve. However, the pressure is on us to keep them excellent and address the ones that aren't.

IBEW Local 363 will be asking for your support and participation in many, many situations from now on. Come help to preserve and strengthen the Labor Movement.

Not only will we improve our own lot. Due to our efforts now, others will have a better life in the future.

That is the American way, the middleclass way, the union way and the IBEW way.

Sam Fratto
Business Manager

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States.

Independence Day is the national day of the United States.

It's just good to read those words sometimes.

God Bless America!

Hope that everybody who could drank from a IBEW 363 union can to celebrate!

Stay Solid, Stay Strong

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fight For Workers Rights Continue With Some Backlash

The fight for workers rights continues on with various Governors throughout the country feeling empowered enough to attack middleclass workers under the guise of "cutting the budget".

Local School Boards are in turmoil trying to save their own budget bottomline. The problem is as plain as the nose on everyones face. Somehow, there is not enough money in the pot.

How did we get to this point? What happened? Is it really the "fault of the unions"? The answer to this is "No", it is none of those things.

The simple answer is that corporations pay just HALF OF THE FEDERAL TAXES that they paid in 1980 and now they want it to go lower. They helped to elect people in office who would cut THEIR taxes and leave the working middleclass holding the bag.
The blame game is on and the workers health plans and pensions are the cause of this evil. Baloney.

This is also at a time - from 1980 to now - where average CEO pay has risen over 300%!

It looks as though enough middleclass noses got pushed hard enough that there is finally going to be a backlash on these anti-worker politicians.

Recall elections have been petitioned for in numerous states and are expected to send some of those politicians packing back to the private sector.

Pay attention to politics this year - it will be very important for labor to send a loud message...............protect middleclass America or see you later.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Unions Gather In Defense Of Workers' Rights Newburgh Rally Draws 1,000

Music and signs were part of a pro-union rally at the intersection of Routes 17K and 300 in the Town of Newburgh on Monday. Union members and backers protested efforts in other states to limit union rights.

The strains of "Power to the People" and "I Won't Back Down" blared from loudspeakers on a hill above the intersection of Routes 17K and 300 Monday afternoon.

In between tunes, IBEW union members, unions and their supporters put those sentiments into practice as they rallied in support of their brothers and sisters whose very right to bargain is being challenged elsewhere in the United States.

Organizers estimated there were 1,000 or more union members and their supporters lining all four corners of the busy intersection — teachers, iron workers, civil service employees, sheet metal workers, electricians and more. Horns honked almost continuously throughout the rally. This rally was bigger and more informal than one held about a month ago a few miles to the west, but its message was just as clear.

"We're here because the American worker is under attack," said Sam Fratto, senior assistant business manager for Local 363 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. "The middle class is under attack. Somebody needs to stand up for the workers. The unions are going to stand up for the workers."

The rally came on a symbolic day — April 4, the day in 1968 when civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated while in Memphis to support a sanitation workers' strike. Those workers, too, were fighting for collective bargaining rights.

"The (same) issues are still here, unfortunately," said Paul Ellis-Graham, president of the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation.

The recent labor rallies have come in response to efforts by Republicans to strip union workers of their right to collective bargaining in states such as Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana. Adrian Huff, president of Teamsters Local 445, believes New York workers are safe for now, but need to stand up for those elsewhere whose benefits are in danger.

"That's what politicians want to go after — the contract and the protection it gives you," said Huff.