November Business Manager Update

by John Napolitano, Local 716 Business Manager

Dear Brothers and Sisters, I hope all is well with you and your families. As we come into the winter months I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. We have been busy the past few months working on moving our local union forward. In June the election of Tony Sirois as Business Agent, in August the appointment of Beau Libby as organizer and business development representative has been a plus as we work together on strategies to grow our organization. We have also hired an office professional Joy Caswell who along with Tammy Dudley have been working to help our members with their questions about benefits and dues. The Training Department with training director Jenifer McKenna and instructors April Bourgoine, Michael Winchenbach and Greg Pinkham have working with our class of 26 apprentices in Augusta and at Beals College in Bangor.

Organizing

Brothers and Sisters it is essential that we grow our membership and increase our number of signatory contractors. In order to do this we must be cognizant of the make up our present contractors, their manpower needs, and projection of upcoming work in the area. We must also be mindful of the number, skills and demographics of our existing crafts persons. Since June we have brought in 63 new members and signed a new contractor to our Collective Bargaining Agreement, Navmatic Mechanical.  We are reaching out to mechanical service companies in the commercial and residential markets, an area where we have continuously lost market share over the years. We are working with our signatory contractors to grow this market and we continue to meet with interested open shop contractors explaining the benefits of working with our organization. A number of our members have shown an interest in starting their own companies and becoming signatory to the local. If you know anyone performing our craft that isn’t a member of the local or a contractor that is not signatory, reach out to them and explain the benefits of being in the union. Get in contact with Beau and we will follow through with any leads you send us.

The political and legislative front

We have and will continue to be active in the process at the State House and throughout the cities in towns in Maine. The size and geography of the state have been a challenges we need to overcome and it is important that all members participate in the process. We need to implement our plan to engage membership so that we have boots on the ground in Augusta and the cities and town governments. We will continue to introduce and push for mechanical licensing, press for fair and responsible contracting legislation. We support state and local candidates who support labor as well as encouraging our members to run for office, work with the AFL-CIO and Central Labor Councils in the education of members, as well Integrate political action into apprentice program. We must all contribute to our Political Action Committee (PAC) which gives us the ability to support to our state and local candidates and lobby for legislation that will protect our trade. It helps us meet our financial obligation to the United Association Political Education Committee (UAPEC) which supports our request for financial contributions to federal candidates and issues that protect our craft.

 

Our website www.ualocal716.org  will give you up to date information, officers reports, employment opportunities, training curriculum and schedules, excess your benefits, updates on legislation concerning our trade and working families and the opportunity to sign up for daily updates. If you have not registered please go to the site and sign on.

I look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on Wednesday December 13th, please plan to come early as we will be celebrating the holidays with our annual Christmas buffet. Wishing all of you and your families a safe and joyous holiday season, Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.