The economy, rising inflation, and the stock market have been at the top of my mind just like many of you. My top concern is always negotiating the highest wages and securing our pensions.
We negotiate our collective bargaining agreements every three years, and in our last two inside wiremen contracts, we won our biggest wage increases in our union’s history. However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t feel the pinch when the cost of gas, groceries, and housing outpaces our wages.
Our next inside wiremen contract is up in 2024. Our sound and communication contract expires in November, and negotiations have begun. And material handlers had their allocation vote in August, choosing to allocate $2.00 dollars to wages, $.25 cents to health and welfare and $.25 cents to pension. There are three things that give us power at the bargaining table:
- Continue our cutting-edge work. Because of our apprenticeship program and the standards of our mentor journeymen in the field, I believe the value and quality of our craftsmanship is second to none.
- Increase market share. By organizing more nonunion shops and electricians into the union, there are fewer nonunion options to undercut union shop bids. This year, Blue Arc became the largest nonunion shop to go union in our Local’s history. Read our welcome to 39 new members in this newsletter.
- Strengthen our union. Our union is only as strong as our member involvement. I encourage you to attend meetings, social events, and political activities. By strengthening the bonds of the brother and sisterhood, we strengthen our position in negotiations.
Aside from the bargaining table, the biggest thing members can do to have a steady flow of high-paying work is to vote in the interest of labor. Having the right people in office has the greatest effect on our future work.
Our Jobs Depend on Our Votes
Politics often brings up feelings of division. However, at Local 322, our members know that we must unite locally to ensure our jobs are there in the future.
332’s growth and work picture depend on electing labor-friendly leaders who will pass PLAs and spending for city and state infrastructure. Our strength lies in our numbers. I invite you to reach out to Will: email@example.com or Alex: firstname.lastname@example.org to walk precincts, put up yard signs, and make calls to help turn out the working family vote in our area.
Most importantly, I urge YOU to vote by November 8! Our endorsements are here.