Saturday, September 25, 2010

The New Partnership IBEW 363 MCC NEWBURGH

There is a new partnership in Newburgh now. It is the members of the IBEW Local 363 and ABINBEV. We are going to be the new driving force in the can industry. We are going to set the bar. We are going to set the standards.

We want two things here - production and a contract.

After that we cannot be stopped. Now some in management might fear that second subject but have no fear - we are level headed people.

Let's talk about your health care experience. There is a lot of concern about the plan we have now - why? Which plan was the best? Which plan gave you the best coverage? Why is the plan you have now not cutting it? Are there enough doctors? What plan would you like better? Is this plan now good for you? What are your costs? How do you feel about the company announcing they want to increase your contribution to 35% of the premium? Is that too low? Do you want to pay more maybe?

What about a sick day or two? What about earning them throughout the year? Must be awful when you are on your back on a scheduled work day and you miss a days pay. I know they said that you should get sick on your off days but can you REALLY do that? Do you think that having a sick day or two to use wisely during the year is a good or bad idea?

What about breaks and lunch periods: How can the way it is set up be improved? What do we want to see changed? Is there a way to actually leave the property at lunch? Twelve hours at work everyday is a long time to be in "lockdown".
( Even prisoners get an hour a day out of their cells )

We are collecting the thoughts and ideas of the people to bring in to negotiations. These are a couple that have come up. What's your take on them?

What is it that you would change first? What is the most important issue to you?

Isn't it exciting that after all of these years you are ACTUALLY BEING ASKED WHAT YOU THINK?

Having a VOICE and being able to express your concerns at your place of work is an overwhelming and totally different experience isn't it?

Stay solid, stay strong and we will move forward and show the company that ALL of this will be WELL WORTH THE PAYOFF for them too.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What Do YOU Want In YOUR CONTRACT? Let It Rip!

Let's see what is on the minds of the people.

Management from here to St. Louis reads this blog everyday - let's let them in on what the peoples concerns are.

There are so many issues that are and can be covered under a contract. Vacation rules, times, length, sick days, health coverage, different carriers, better coverage, lower payments, retirement plans, pension plans, hours, work weeks, shifts, wages, breaks, promotions, promotion rule, leave of absence, swaps, discipline procedure, attendance policies, inclement weather, seniority, discharge for cause, holidays, holiday pay, overtime, disability coverage,severance pay, death in family, life insurance, jury duty, safety, time clocks, time keeping, lunch breaks, day of rest, emergencies, gain sharing, calculation of gain sharing, bonuses, cost of living raises, wage increases etc.

What are your ideas? How will your ideas help production? How will your idea make this a better place to work? What subject did I not list here that you think should be addressed?

Here is an open forum - How do we - together with the company - make this place the best there is and make the people at MCC Newburgh want to make cans at a pace never seen before?

The floor is yours.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Whose Gonna Work For The Workin Man? IBEW Local 363 That's Who!

IBEW Local 363 is! And so are the people in MCC Newburgh! The people who work in this plant are good people and they are focused on doing what is right. We have already taken major steps in this journey for a contract.

There has been - for the first time ever - discussions between multiple employees about what is good and not good at the plant - from THEIR perspective. There have been open "general" discussions and solutions rendered already.

There have been choices made and opportunities taken. There have been compromises and agreements between people in crews about how to proceed. There have been people chosen to step up for the crew. There is an agreement to maintain PRODUCTION as our NUMBER ONE ISSUE.

There has been an interest peak in other workers. There is trust being formed. There is legitimacy being born. There is a good attitude toward getting a contract and toward the company itself.

There is dignity coming back and pride in ourselves and our work. We are moving forward and picking up supporters along the way.

We are now concentrating MORE on making cans and production and LESS ON WORRY.

We will succeed because we are united and we are determined. We ARE THE "WORKING MAN". We are just people working to make a living who want to not worry all day about what we have and don't have or what will be taken away.........


Whose gonna work for the working man?

IBEW 363 is...................How about you?

Friday, September 17, 2010

The WORLD IS Watching! MCC Workers - Comment And Be Heard - Let The WORLD KNOW What Our Concerns Are!

Pageviews by Countries

United States 55,449

Canada 423

Denmark 69

Japan 50

Brazil 36

Luxembourg 22

Latvia 20

Malaysia 20

Taiwan 20

Czech Republic 15

Absolutely amazing! When I told you all that the WORLD was watching - that was not just fancy words or hopes - IT IS A FACT!

Look at all of the different countries and locations on this earth who are following YOU AND OUR SITUATION very closely.

I WOULD BET that there are a lot of Budweiser drinkers IN THAT BIG WORLD OUT THERE who are and will be sympathetic to our cause. I WOULD BET MANY, MANY PEOPLE AROUND THE GLOBE WOULD SUPPORT US IF WE LET THEM KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING.

Let's let the thoughts and the concerns of the people be heard - RIGHT HERE - We want people to know the BACKGROUND OF THIS ISSUE.

We are just working people who want the PROTECTION of a WRITTEN CONTRACT.

We are not pigs. We do not want to hurt the company or even their PROFIT MARGIN.

We just want to stop worrying about OURS AND OUR WELL BEING.

PLEASE CONTINUE to follow us and support us - let us know you are there.

We may be just average people and seem small compared to the corporation but we are BIG when it comes to our knowledge and skill in RUNNING THIS PLANT.

We WILL take the high road and be diligent in our efforts WHILE WE CONTINUE TO BREAK RECORDS FOR MAKING CANS IN OUR PLANT.

WE NEED AND ASK EVERYONE OUT THERE FOR YOUR SUPPORT! We are just working people with families who just want a chance to work hard and be treated fairly - that is NOT too much for us to ask.

Is it?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Great Meetings This Week! The Very AMERICAN Process - Joining Together As One - Is Underway!

I thought some fireworks and the Star Spangled banner would be fitting for the two days and night that we really all came together as one. We are exercising our RIGHT as Americans to ORGANIZE for our own mutual aid and protection.

This has been a unique and special campaign from the start and it continues to be. We all agree that our employer and our managers are NOT our enemy.

In fact, we want to do the best job for them everyday we come to work. We want our company to make money and to be profitable. We are committing to working toward that goal for as long as we are employed there.

We just want to be involved in making the decisions can affect our ability to support and enjoy our families.

We don't want to WORRY ANYMORE. We want TO KNOW what is going to happen and when it is going to happen. That can ONLY HAPPEN with A CONTRACT.

....and we will not ask for an unreasonable contract. We just want to be treated with fairness and dignity. The same way we treat our company in our work ethic everyday.

Our journey has begun and so has the hard work. We are ALREADY HARD AT IT FOR EVERYONE IN THE PLANT! Any workers who have ideas or concerns that they want brought forward in contract talks - get them to your crew reps. If for some reason you did not make the meetings - You can find out who they are very easily - just ask around.

REMEMBER - Be proud to be American, be proud to be IBEW Local 363 and be proud that you had the courage to take advantage of being a worker in a free country and banding together to help each other by joining A UNION.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

First Meeting Complete: C-D- M Crews Next Up

Thank you to all of the people today who helped shape what will be our base for discussions, preparation and planning for how to best serve the needs of the workers at MCC Newburgh. We have already begun to move forward. We have the same ideas and mindset and that is to FIRST make our plant the most productive machine Abinbev has in the world.

Quite frankly, companies pay thousands of dollars for this same service that the IBEW Local 363 is providing - MOTIVATE PEOPLE AND INCREASE OUR PRODUCTION.

And it is not costing the company a dime!

To the management of ABINBEV, Why waste money and spend negative energy if we all really want the same thing anyway?

Think about that for a second. That is a fact - both management and workers want the same thing. The workers want to do everything they can to be profitable and productive - just like their managers want them to be.

What the workers don't want is WORRY.

WORRY about what is going to happen........and when....maybe without warning.

Can reasonable people see that the people involved here are not asking for anything unreasonable? I would have to say yes.

The people want what is good for the company and they want the company to feel the same about them. Isn't that a possibility?
See you other crews on Thursday.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

IBEW Plan Works! Spoilage Is Down - Production Above Budget!

There are only more great things coming FOR US and FROM US in MCC Newburgh.

The IBEW Local 363 plan at MCC Newburgh is to FIRST increase production. We have a goal to PROVE that unionizing with the IBEW is a POSITIVE MOVE for both the workers and the company!

....and we are doing just that! We had a GREAT week hitting 5.8 MILLION CANS PRODUCED PER SHIFT and even tickled the 6 MILLION CAN MARK MULTIPLE TIMES THIS WEEK!


Production has been consistently above the budget of 5.7 million cans per shift! The people have become empowered and believe that they are now working for their benefit as well as the company. We know that when we hit the production numbers that the corporate office wants - they will deal with us fairly at the bargaining table.

Things look good and even spoilage is down! Another issue very important to the company! Are you listening St. Louis?? Are you watching what is happening??

This coming week we are meeting to develop our negotiating team and who will be the shop stewards on each crew.

Our people and our union have a very good attitude toward what the goal is here - to make the company profitable and to help the workers keep and improve on what they have.

No one is hoping to "break the bank" here by any stretch of the imagination.

IBEW Local 363 wants to reach out to the corporate office and offer to meet and discuss just what our plan is. I am sure that if that happened - we would ALL - both employees and management - find that we have a common goal and much common ground and that we have the chance to truly make Newburgh an example of cooperation to the ENTIRE COUNTRY.

This past week at the 2010 IBEW Membership Development Conference, I was asked to speak briefly on camera about YOU and the MCC Newburgh plant in a portion of a national IBEW video concerning organizing. People nationwide know who you are! This is and will continue to be even more of a positive story. A shining example of how to form a great partnership between management and IBEW labor.


You can see the clip at: click on the video titles, "2010 Membership Development Conference" (It takes a minute to load so be patient)

There will be more national publicity about the Newburgh workers and their organizing victory coming in the NEAR future.

Come be a part of an important step in our journey this coming week...........
I and your fellow workers are waiting for you!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Next Meetings Are Scheduled For 9/14 and 9/16 In Harriman

The next meetings for the IBEW Local 363 MCC Newburgh members will be held on two separate days - Tuesday September 14 and Thursday September 16 in Harriman.

The purpose of these meetings will be to select who each crew believes should be the Shop Steward/Alternate and the Negotiator/Alternate. It is possible that a person can be both the negotator and the Shop Steward or they can be different people. That is up to each Crew.

Here are the times for the meetings and which Crew each meeting is for:

A/B Crew come to Harriman on Tuesday September 14 at 1PM.
C/D Crew come to Harriman on Thursday September 16 at 1PM.
Maintenance Crew come on Thursday September 16 at 5:30PM.
Machinists will cast a vote in each Crew they work under and should come on the same night that their two crews come.

Here are some things that everyone should know BEFORE putting their name in for any of these jobs:

Shop Steward/Alternate - need to be available any day and any time for phone calls from Local 363 and your co-workers, this includes nights, weekends, days off and holidays. You need to be available on short notice for meetings that will most likely be in Harriman. You need to treat everyone fairly - even management. You will need to follow the lead of Local 363 at all times. YOU need to know that you can be removed by the Business Manager at any time. Basically, when you become Shop Steward you are agreeing to devote any and all time it takes - without question - to move the people business forward. Shop Steward/Alternates will also devote whatever time neccessary to read, study, learn and digest whatever contract materials, laws or proposals that are brought to your attention for as long as you hold that position. You need a level head and understanding manner about you. YOU ALSO NEED TO BE A ROLE MODEL TO ALL OTHER MEMBERS AT AND AWAY FROM WORK.

Negotiator/Alternate- need to be available any day and any time for phone calls from Local 363 and your co-workers, this includes nights, weekends, days off and holidays. You need to be available on short notice for MANY meetings that will most likely be in Harriman. You need to treat everyone fairly - even management. You will need to follow the lead of Local 363 at all times. YOU need to know that you can be removed by the Business Manager at any time. Basically, when you become a negotiating committee member you are agreeing to devote any and all time it takes - without question - to move the people business forward. Negotiator/Alternates will also devote whatever time neccessary to read, study, learn and digest whatever contract materials or proposals that are brought to the table for as long as the process takes. You need a level head and understanding manner about you. YOU ALSO NEED TO BE A ROLE MODEL TO ALL OTHER MEMBERS AT AND AWAY FROM WORK.

You probably noticed that both descriptions are very similiar. They both pertain to representing the interests of EVERYONE in our union. It is a HUGE responsibility. It is not a job to take for the "title". It is a lot of hard work and time away from your family.

We have many good people in our group who may not have the time to devote to put their name in for these positions but who will still be available to help. We need to know who you are too! Everyone can help and be part of this and everyone is welcome to be part of it.

See you all on 9/14 aand 9/16 in Harriman.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day To All Of Our New Union Brothers And Sisters At MCC Newburgh From IBEW Local 363!

Happy Labor Day EVERYONE! This is a very special Labor Day for all of us. For some of the workers in the MCC Newburgh plant this is their first Labor Day working as a union worker.

There is a NEW PRIDE in MCC Newburgh, in our work and in ourselves. You can see it on the faces of the people when they come together to meet.

Many people that have come before you also found themselves in the same situation - they either could stand together or lose what they had. They had to have the courage to stand up for themselves just like you did. YOU are part of that HISTORY now!


Suprisingly to some, the union has made the production of cans the first and most important issue. That needs to be the backbone and base of our plan. High Production.

We have a mission to improve our already high status within the company and really become the number one plant in North America and to get our contract. Two issues that go good together. Two issues that belong together......and two issues that will become a reality!

Some workers have been in a union before but have already told us that they feel the IBEW and Local 363 are something different. Our plan is to include the people in the process of forming their union and negotiating their contract. THEY will be at the table to bargain directly with the company along with Local 363.

We are moving forward and are getting ready to form the basic structure of our bargaining unit and our negotiating committee.

Let's enjoy our election victory and enjoy our First Labor Day as one.

Tuesday we will explain what our stewards and our negotiating committee can expect to be doing and what those positions will require of the people in them. Everyone who is interested in any of these positions shoud pay attention to the article here Tuesday explaining the details.

Enjoy your Labor Day and BE PROUD THAT YOU ARE ALL UNION MEMBERS of the

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Great Meeting Tonight! Your Turn Now "C" And "D" Crew!

Wow! It was better than I thought! Thanks for the great turnout and I hope everyone got the message. We are going to make this plant the #1 plant ABINBEV has. The people are ready to make management shine and even Carlos Brito smile.

We covered a lot of ground tonight and we are ALL on the same page! We have a JOB TO DO! Our first mission is THE PRODUCTION OF CANS - we need to establish ourselves as a hot commodity. It is YOU - the people - who will do that. You will prove that being in the IBEW was and is a POSITIVE MOVE for all involved.

WE WILL MAKE THE NEWBURGH PLANT MORE PROFITABLE THAN IT HAS EVER BEEN! We are happy now and as happy workers we will definitely make more cans! WE HAVE A FUTURE TO BE HAPPY ABOUT!


We value our jobs, our employer and ourselves. We will not come into this new relationship with the company as union members and allow bad attitudes to prevail.

We are taking the high road. We do have something to prove. We know we can get along with management and the company and they will work with us if we prove we are sincere in our work and our desire to come up with a fair contract.

We are taking the first steps at making this the great relationship we all know it can be.

We want to change the perception that some in management have in regard to us and our new union status. We are the same dedicated people. We want to be an example of how things can work for everyone.

Your turn C & D Crew! See you tomorrow night 6:30 PM at the union building in Harriman.

Tonights Gonna Be A Good Night - First Union Meeting For IBEW Local 363 MCC Newburgh

Tonight is the first meeting of the IBEW Local 363 MCC Newburgh workers! Look at how far we have come in the last 6 months! Tonight we eat, celebrate, talk, laugh, plan, discuss, learn, teach, share, bond, prepare, breathe, reflect and look forward.

Spread the word. Come and be part of the union and the process of getting ready to negotiate and feel how good it feels to have your input count. Everyone is welcome to come but no one is forced to come! THESE ARE NOT CAPTIVE AUDIENCE MEETINGS! The union is for everyone and will run like that no matter who is there or not there. If you cannot come - don't worry - we have your back!

I'll see everybody who can come in Harriman tonight! Let's get it started!