Monday, September 12, 2011

The Vote Is In - 82% Vote To Approve The Contract!

After three days of meetings and voting, the results are in. At 5pm today, all ballot envelopes were opened and the results were 96 for the contract and 20 against.

As was explained at the meetings, according to the company - even after this contract MCC Newburgh will be the highest paid can plant in their system. The company made it clear during every bargaining session that they had a hard time increasing that margin much further or higher.

We give the people much credit for realizing that no matter what - having that written contract was the most important subject.

We were glad that everyone recognized that it was the company that thought you were overpaid, not the union. We honestly felt that some of that opinion by the company was only to not appear to be rewarding you for joining a union with improvements. You guys picked it right out too.

Thank you to all of the people who came up afterwords and thanked your reps for the hard work they put in. Those guys and gals gave up a lot of their free time for the benefit of everyone at the plant. IBEW Local 363 thanks them too for being at the table and showing the true feelings of the people.

The message finally has been personally delivered by everyone at MCC Newburgh - working under a contract really is the best option.

Now we move forward into the future with a new company, some new management and a new contract. We have a new foundation on which to build and a voice that we can now call our own - IBEW Local Union 363.

The fact is that YOU - the people who work at MCC Newburgh - are IBEW Local 363 in that plant. YOU are the union - all of you.

Sometime soon, your reps will come to you with the paperwork you will need to complete for your union life insurance policy and IBEW and Local 363 membership. Please work along closely with your reps in regard to completing and returning them to him or her.

Welcome to the IBEW and to Local 363 and congratulations on having a written contract at MCC Newburgh.

Stay Strong, Stay Solid

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Additional Meeting Date Added

To accommodate the people who are working their off days and to create another opportunity, we are adding an additional day to the meetings. This additional day is an option for anyone who would like to participate but mainly for those working outside their normal off days on overtime.

The third meeting will begin at 10 am on Monday September 12, 2011. This should give everyone time to attend.

The company wants an answer on the contract ratification by Sepember 15. Part of the contract depends on it being ratified by that date. That was part of the company proposal with a probable contract date of October 1 or before.

We will be mailing a flyer to each persons home tomorrow so that everyone has been notified.

The contract will be very easy to understand for everyone and we will go over it as for long as you would like. I am no hurry at these meetings. I want you to understand it so you know how it covers you.

I will be sending out the mailing tomorrow with all three meeting dates and times. Here are the updated dates and times for our meetings:

September 9, 2011 1:30 pm

September 10, 2011 3:30 pm

September 12, 2011 10:00 am
( additional meeting date )

These dates will allow all to attend based on the crew schedules and make allowances for those working overtime or who may also have a conflict by having the option of an additional meeting.

The meetings will be held at the IBEW Local 363 Building located at 67 Commerce Drive South, Harriman, NY 10926.

See you all there. You can come to whichever meeting is best for you.

Talking Is Done - Contract Meeting Vote Scheduled

The talking is done and we have a draft contract to present and review. Here are the dates and times for our meetings:

September 9, 2011 1:30 pm

September 10, 2011 3:30 pm

September 12, 2011 10:00 am ( additional meeting date )

These dates allow all to attend based on the crew schedules.

The meetings will be held at the IBEW Local 363 Building located at 67 Commerce Drive South, Harriman, NY 10926.

Please pass the word to all of your co-workers. I am posting this in the cafeteria, on the blog, emailing everyone and I am planning to send out a flyer.

See you all there.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Almost Everybody Is Right

Believe it or not, almost everyone on here or involved in the conversation is right about a portion of what they say. I say almost because there are a couple who are plain wrong and just try to fan the flames.

The fact is that there is nothing to argue about with each other at this time. Nobody should be against anyone or what they want. They are the same things that we told the company you wanted anyway. ALL of YOUR ideas hit the table. Every one. Now we are waiting for a confirmation of a compensation package from the corporate higher ups.

Our language is set and the Articles of the contract are in place and ready for review. Although some may never get it - the written contract is an extremely valuable document. Like I said many times before - I wouldn't sell mine for any amount of a yearly raise. Why? Selling that would give me nothing in return for the long run, my future. Mull that one over good - multiple times.

I know people are frustrated and that many are upset over the direction you think the company will be pointing you in.

Wait until you have concrete information before you react to it. I spoke the truth. They did tell us numerous times while we presented different compensation packages that you were already extremely well compensated and the highest paid MCC plant they have.

I believe that you should know that and factor that in to your expectations of what they are comfortable with in regard to your pay. Once we know all of the information, we will bring it to you for your approval.

One more thing, please keep the comments clean.

Stay Strong, Stay Solid, Stay together

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Talking Heads Have Spoken

Your union, IBEW Local 363 and your reps have bargained all of the language pertaining to hours and working conditions. Even though it was a long process, we believe that we have examined each Article of the contract with an eye toward your best interest in every one.

Make no mistake, this was no picnic for your co-workers at that table and it took a lot of dedication and drive to do what those guys and ladies did. we fought for every inch. It got heated a few times but on a whole, everyone respected the other side. We wanted to come out of those negotiations with a mutual respect and understanding for each others concerns. That was our plan and we feel that we have followed it through.

We are waiting on the company reps to caucus with their corporate people about your financial compensation. They have their own opinion about what is fair and right for you. That will take place in the next week or so. What I can tell you is that they believe that you are extremely well compensated already and are struggling with adding to that. I believe you guys need that contract more now than ever. Soon we will review it all and you will vote and decide that question.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Next Negotiation August 15th

The next session of negotiations will be held on August 15th at the Homewood Suites Hotel at Stewart Airport - just down the road from the Newburgh plant.

We will get a late afternoon start on Monday and start at 10am on the days after that. If you would like to visit - please come by. If we are in between breaks we will invite you into the board room where we hold our meetings. We have done that in the past and have had some good discussions and even enlightened a few people on some issues.

We hope to move ahead, clean up the attendance policy language and some other minor wording issues and then get to some financial issues.

Our goal is to complete the negotiations during this session. I believe we have a decent chance at accomplishing that. I must stress though - and I am telling you this for your benefit. I am not rushing it.

That would be a mistake. We will negotiate until we have the contract we will bring back - we know what you guys want and we are going to let the company know what that is.

Stay Strong, Stay Solid

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Please Follow This Mans Lead - Perfect!

Joe D. said...

Ive been away awhile and just got back in town. Im trying to catch up with everything. Im dissappointed to see some negative blogs. No matter what people believe in, if anyone has a problem or disagreement with the consensus of the people who voted in this union,please bring your thoughts and concerns to light without tearing down eachother.

We are a union. We have a consensus and we will achieve the goals of the consensus. We are not perfect, but we are willing to try to make things better for the members of this union. That is better than whinning about problems and not trying to make things better. There is always going to be disagreements between people, different points of view,different priorities. We can and have reduced those differences just by talking to each other.

We can and have been talking with the company about things that are important to us all. The company and every individual that works at our plant has a mutual need. We all need to produce a quality product that someone wants to buy.If we dont do that all of us are out of business. Period. Including our union. Sam knows that. The company knows that. Your reps know that.You know that. There. We are all on the same page.

Lets finish this negotiation and take a look together at what the company and the reps that the consensus has asked to represent them have worked on. We have voiced our concerns and they have been heard. The company will sitdown with us very soon and discuss the final aspects that are so important to everyone.

Whatever the final offer is,I truly hope that the company keeps in mind that our consensus, our people,our membership, us individuals have worked hard during all this time to keep our quality product coming out.We deserve the respect of the company. The only way to respect us is to complete our contract with good and respectable compensation that the consensus has definitely has earned.

Thank you Joe D., you are an example of what IBEW Local 363 wishes for and wants at this plant. Thank you for coming back from your vacation and going right back to the grindstone.

Thank you again Joe and all of the other Joes out there, for helping us help the good people of MCC Newburgh.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Open Forum - What Say You?

This is an open forum for all employees of MCC.

What would you like the company to know before we go into what could be our last round of negotiations?

What would you like the union to know before we go into what could be our last round of negotiations?

What would you like your co-workers to know before we go into what could be our last round of negotiations?

What are your thoughts about the plant in general?

Stay Solid, Stay Strong we are almost there!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Negotiations For July Moved

This will be a short post.

Our negotiations for July will be moved to the beginning of August.

A personal issue on the management negotiation team will prevent attendance and cannot be avoided. I have had the situation explained to me and I agreed to give the time that is needed for them to respond.

I will book the negotiation room for the second week in August in the meantime.

If you guys want to have a general meeting, let's have one.

Give me some dates and times for each of the shifts to attend two seperate 2 hour meetings. I would like them to start at 1pm each time and have them at the IBEW Local 363 Building. Any day but Tuesday will probably work for me.

We can have some good general discussions.

I hope some of the detractors come to heckle

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Next Negotiations Begin The Week of July 25

The next negotiations will begin the week of July 25 at the Homewood Suites in Newburgh.

With the change of People Manager, there are a few things that may need to be cleared up - such as the elusive attendance policy. That may add some time to the process but no matter what, it still needs to be clarified.

If there has been any issue that we have requested that the company has not brought to the table in any form that you can take in and digest, it is that one.

That is just one stone that still needs to be turned.

Should we let it go because we are afraid of taking any longer?


The contract will be made and Local 363 is going to work hard to have it finished this session. We know what the people want and we will bring that to the table.

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 union can to celebrate!

Stay Solid, Stay Strong

Sunday, June 26, 2011

New Jersey Attorneys Join the IBEW

Thought it would be interesting to show everyone at MCC who else feels the right to organize is a very valuable right.

It is also very interesting to note that more and more workers in ALL fields are choosing the IBEW - the right choice.

All workers who work for a paycheck to support a family need to be organized to have a voice. The alternative is too open ended.

You guys saw the value of being organized and you are now close to getting your first contract in place. A contract you can build on for years to come.

Stay Strong, Stay solid.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Next Negotiation Meetings Begin July 25: Support Your Reps

The next negotiations for the contract will begin on Monday July 25 at the Homewood Suites down the road from the plant. We normally start late on Mondays - sometime in the afternoon - to give the company reps a chance to get in from the airport. Every other morning we get there around 9:30am to get set up for the day and we meet with the company soon after that.

During this next week of negotiations, we will cover all monetary issues like wages, health, pension and establishing the 401(k) into the contract.

Between now and then is a great time to work hard, make cans and to openly display your support for your reps and Local 363.

Remember, we are there for you. We represent you sitting there.

We are going to ask for fair compensation for you in all of the above. After we ask for that fair compensation, the company will respond. We will bring that response back to you. We believe that the company will be fair and does see the value in an organized workforce in Newburgh.

We have all surely put our best foot forward up to this point, so we hope to get a nice first contract on which we can build a future for all and a solid relationship with the company.

It's all about money. They need to make money. Big money. We need to work hard to make sure they make that money.

We just need to get our cut out of the pie too - not be cut out of the pie.

Stay strong, Stay solid

Support your reps and IBEW Local 363!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

We Have Turned The Page: MCC Newburgh Is IBEW 363!

It has finally happened. The union at MCC Newburgh is finally aware of who it is.



Wow! Thanks for the support you guys showed the committee today. We couldn't believe the amount of chairs we had to get - lucky I ordered four pies. It was great to have the discussions we had about some of the recent subjects to hit the table. I think it is very clear to most that there surely is a lot to cover and think about when you are putting together a contract.

Today was great to be part of and watch.
Things progressed in a forward motion today and we cleaned up a few items. We still have a few things to hash out before we can say our "language" articles are complete.
We will most likely complete those language issues by the end of this week.

If we get to that point, we will begin to discuss some of the economic issues in general.

I want to acknowledge that people are coming to visit on their days off or even after a long shift sometimes - it is inspiring. Thanks for coming and stop by any day. Between 11:30am and 1pm seems to be the best time if you want a window. Text your reps if you can to let us know you are there.

Stay Strong, Stay Solid, Support each other

Monday, May 30, 2011

Remember On Memorial Day To Thank A Veteran For Serving!

We owe all of the rights we cherish to the men and women who have served our country in our armed forces. This post is for them. All of them. Thank you!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Meetings Accomplished!

Thank you to all who participated in the meetings we held this week. I believe there were some great conversations and many ideas were exchanged. I don't know if you guys see it during the meetings but watching the conversation go across the room is amazing to observe. Maybe it's me but it's the raw part of the process in my mind - the ability of the people to openly discuss the issues with each other.

We made a little change and had todays meeting in the lecture room which made the seating closer than it is in the general meeting room. From my view it could have been mistaken as a version of the Hollywood Squares.

Congratulations to everyone in Newburgh for earning your award from ABINBEV for being the most improved plant in the country . I would have to say that I am also proud that you would get that distinction and honor AFTER you voted to become a part of IBEW Local 363.

It says tons about the character of the good people employed there. I saw a lot of light bulbs going off in peoples heads today and I am happy to be working with you guys.

Enjoy the picnic the company is putting on. It is a nice gesture on their part.

IBEW Local 363 is very proud that you all won that award.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Visits Are Complete - Meetings Next Week

This past Thursday and Friday nights we completed our crew meetings during the breaks. I met with each crew - everybody was covered. It was good to see everybody and I believe that we have solidified and jelled this thing together even stronger now.

I have said it numerous times but I will say it again - You guys are really a great group of people. I hope that you can all understand a little bit better just where we stand in our negotiations. If this was a ball game, I would say that we are in the fourth quarter right now.

This was also a great opportunity for me to observe the bargaining unit as a whole in regard to interest in the process. I am happy to report back that the overwhelming majority of you ARE interested in the process and support the efforts of the union and your reps.

I can tell you this good news from every crew: YOU WILL HAVE IBEW Local 363 in the Newburgh plant for many years to come. My visits proved to me that MORE people support the union NOW than when we had the vote. So many people came up to me and said they didn't vote for the union but they see that having the union was the right choice all along.

I was really happy to hear that over and over. It means that we have done the most important part of our job - to educate the people to the fact that TOGETHER they are STRONGER than if they act separately. Case closed on that one.

Over the FOUR VISITS - I was greeted cordially, spoken to in confidence and I could see that everyone was very interested in where we were going and how we were going to get there. All combined, I got a total of three cold shoulders out of all crews - so that was pretty good.

To the few cold shoulder people: I'm Sorry for whatever makes you react like that. I would love to have it explained to me someday why trying to help you and your co-workers to be treated fairly (and giving up my own personal time to do it) is something repulsive to you and something that I should not be offering to do. Love to hear that sometime. Maybe I am doing something wrong and don't realize it and it could be a very educational conversation to me. Really, let me have it.

Next week we have our meetings on Tuesday May 17 and Friday May 20 at 1pm in Harriman at the IBEW Local 363 Building - 67 Commerce Drive South, Harriman, NY 10946. Hope to see you all there to discuss your thoughts on bargaining going forward.

We are getting there. Come be part of it and come give your input.

Stay solid, stay strong

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Another Negotiation Week Finished - Moving Forward

Thanks to the people who came by to visit us this week. It was great having you guys hang around with us for a while. As you guys saw, it is an absorbing task that triggers multiple discussions. We were happy to include you in that with us for the time you were there.

I had more than one person tell me how enlightening it was to be there. It is really just like anything else, it sometimes looks less complicated until you get in there and do it yourself. It is just like everything else in another way, you can get pretty good at it too. You begin to think differently. You are also obligated to see it from the other sides viewpoint too. That is what makes for a good, fair and healthy negotiation.

We have some meetings set up within the next couple of weeks. I am planning on visiting A & C Crew at night at the end of next week. We are meeting after that on the 17th and the 20th. Ask your rep for details if you didn't get an email. Attendance is voluntary and purely to gather your thoughts and information.

Thank you to the negotiators and reps and stewards that came in this week - good job - through some tough times too. Good job.

Friday, April 29, 2011

B & D Plant Visits Complete: A & C Are Next - Negotiations Next Week

This has been a good week. I went to the plant this Wednesday and Friday to visit B&D Crews and the guys in Maintenance. First of all let me talk about the plant. It is one of the cleanest places I have seen. Considering that there are paint and chemicals around, the place is spotless. Another thing that caught my eye was that the people almost become one with the process. You guy are in it. When you walk around if you see someone they are involved in what is going on someplace on that line. That is IF you see someone. Everyone I did see was busy at what they are charged with doing. I am proud to represent you guys.

Let me talk about my reception from Management, Dan and Dave. I couldn't have been treated any better and with any more respect than how they treated me. I promise that I will keep that relationship going. I want to respect both the workers and the management team. After our negotiations are complete we will demonstrate that feeling openly as a GROUP and we will ALL strive to make this the best plant in the whole ABINBEV company.

IBEW Local 363 will be happy to lead us in THAT DIRECTION.

My plan is to meet with the A & C crew after next weeks negotiation meetings. That could possibly change if I can do it the same week but for now it will be after next weeks bargaining session.

We had some GREAT DISCUSSIONS at the meetings this week. I felt really good when I left the plant at the end of the day. I am sure many people did.

I am going to shift gears a little on the blog. I am not going to allow negative comments to flow through unchecked any more. I want to move forward in a positive manner. Questions or concerns are fine. Catcalling is out.

It's time.

All of the prices have been paid. Problems or beefs need to be brought to your STEWARDS and then to me. This is how we do it right.

If you are going to visit during bargaining - Monday we will be at the hotel at 12 noon. We will probably bargain into the night a little. If you come, text your rep and we will see you on our next break or make a break if we can at that time.

Thank you for your support and for a good week.

Stay solid, stay strong

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Class Trip: See You This Week At MCC

I will be visiting the plant on Wednesday and Friday this week at 2pm. Hope to see everyone on those shifts at that time. I will schedule the next visit to hit the other shifts.

I would also like to get together with the shop stewards to start mapping out a plan on how we will coordinate between the stewards themselves and the individual shifts.

Each shift needs to know what is happening on the other shifts.

I will be reaching out to the stewards and making arrangements for that asap.

There has been some real good discussion about having a meeting of all of the people prior to the June bargaining session. I think it is a really good idea as we will be getting to wages, health and retirement by that session. We will actually set that up as two meetings, so each shift can attend.

AS ALWAYS, still looking for concerns and ideas - meeting or no meeting.

We need to go to the table with a concrete proposal from the people on all money issues.

That way everyone in the plant will know where we start that conversation and we will all be on the same page right from the beginning. It will also bring everyone closer to the action and involve the entire group in this part of the process.

Hope to see many of you this week. I will arrange to visit on the other crews days in the next few weeks.

Stay Strong, Stay solid

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Negotiations Will Start Back Up On Monday May 2nd

We are now getting to the tail end of the negotiations. It has been many months and many meetings - with management and without - that has brought us to this point.

It is understandable that some look at the process and marvel at or even question the amount of time it takes to negotiate a contract. Unfortunately, to really appreciate the reasons why it takes that time you would have to be directly involved in the process. At times it is very frustrating. That goes equally for the workers side and the management side.

This time frame is typical of a FIRST CONTRACT. In a first contract, there are so many angles that need to be considered in regard to every subject. Each side is trying to make sure that their concerns are being met. That is always done in a balance with the other side.

For the most part, I would say that we have been looking at each issue fairly and with the idea that we need to be productive and make as many cans as we can. We just want to ensure that the people get their fair compensation out of it.

There are many good things that will come out of all of this. Especially exciting will be the long term benefit of having the ability to participate in all things MCC Newburgh. Something that didn't exist before.

Stay stronger now than ever before. Come to the hotel. Text your reps. We would love to see you and talk with you.

Stay strong, stay solid. Stay positive. Don't fall for the negative vibes some cast out. Being against yourself and your co-workers is NO LONGER AN OPTION.

You are all IBEW 363 workers now with a collective voice. YOU can be heard. YOU have a say - because you are in THE UNION.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

110,000 Hits! Thank You To All Who Support The MCC Newburgh IBEW Local 363 Members

Thank you so much to all of the people who are following our story from near and far. We appreciate your interest and support. As many people know, contract negotiations are a fragile meeting of the minds from both the management and workers sides of the aisle.

The many issues that are brought to the table to discuss, coupled with the many past experiences in regard to those issues - all add up to the contract.

We have made some really great progress, fought over a few things, changed a few things around for both sides benefit and are getting very close to the end of this process. We think we have the makings of a good first contract so far.

There is a possibility that we may get to the financial discussions toward the end of this next bargaining session - which will be in May. We expect that June will definitely be in play for everything financial to be discussed or in line to be discussed.

Talk to your reps about your ideas or to give them your input - they want to hear from you. When we solidify the date for negotiations we will post it here on this site. As was stated previously, if you would like to visit us during negotiations - we would love to see you - just text your rep that you are in the lobby and we will see you on our next break out.

Glad to hear that there are some plans to get together as a unit among some of the people there outside of and after work. Good move. Let's start building. Leaders need to emerge and those who want to be part need to have that opportunity to be involved in the discussion. Keep your ears open and go see what's happening.

Stay strong, stay solid

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Negotiations Move Ahead - Thank You For Your Support

Another week at the table. We made some more progress toward our goal - having a written contract at MCC Newburgh. Don't let this message be misunderstood though, things are NOT easy. I can promise you that they probably won't get be getting any easier from this point forward.

There is exhausting discussion about how things are done, why they are done, what has to change to make it better or fairer, why it can't change etc. All good and enlightening conversation to both sides of the table.

That conversation is creating your contract.

We are presenting proposals from your prospective and the company evaluates that same subject from theirs. Sometimes we match and sometimes we don't. Sometimes we get mad, sometimes they get mad. We WILL have a contract at the end of these negotiations that will be fair and balanced based on all of these talks.

Thank you to those who came to visit us during the day. It was nice to sit and talk a little and explain some negotiation information and other things. You guys really are a great group of people and a great group of workers. I am really impressed with the fantastic attitude toward your trade and jobs. It is openly displayed all of the time. I hope the company really notices that about you guys. What a great group.

If anyone else wants to stop by go to the hotel when we are in session and text your rep.

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party. A famous quote that applies right here. Your party in this case is your union. Your union in this case, is you.

Support yourself, support your reps, support your union.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Union Members Gather To Stand Up For The Shrinking American Middle Class

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.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Negotiations Will Start Back Up On Tuesday APRIL 5

Our negotiations will resume on Tuesday April 5. We have been in contact with the company each week we have been off and have been working on getting a room to meet in at the hotel. We have a room now so we will start back up at 9:30am that day.

We hope to make some real good progress so that we can work toward the session after this one to take on some of the more complicated subjects - like health care coverage, pensions, wages etc.

We are starting to see the beginning of what the contract will look like when we are done. So far we have covered every subject that has been brought to the table in depth, we have agreed on quite a few and we still have work to do on a handful of issues.

Your reps are working hard for you and I give them so much credit for their dedication and committment to this process. Their work has been commendable.

Stay solid, stay strong

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Good Day, Good Week: Great Job By Your Reps!

You are being represented very well in the negotiations by your reps. They are helping IBEW Local 363 to cover every issue - looking through your eyes. You should feel proud to have these people there for you. IBEW Local 363 is also proud of them and the way they handle themselves during discussions and bargaining back and forth. We have had some enlightening and great discussions and ALL are with your benefit and welfare in mind.

Thank you to EVERYONE for your support and for your interest in bargaining. There is an understandable question by some about the time it takes to come to an agreement. Through collective bargaining, we are going over EACH SIDES concerns on every subject. It is a thorough and technical process but it pays off later to cover and discuss issues now.

We are there to voice YOUR side of the coin. Let me provide the following information in regard to our bargaining in an attempt to answer some of your concerns and questions.

WE HAVEN'T covered wages, pension or health coverage at all.

WE HAVE discussed holidays, shutdowns, vacation pay, scheduling, shifts and shift pay, hours of work, seniority, call ins, call backs, injuries on job and off, show up pay, time off between shifts, overtime, tools, breaks, lunch, team leaders, temporary assignments, overtime pay, overtime procedure, disciplinary procedures, company doctors, Supervisors doing your work, safety, emergencies, employee doctors, return to work, grievance procedure, arbitration rules, transfers, pay issues, personal issues, leaves of absence, length of contract, renewing the contract, modifying the contract, who is covered, what is covered, workers rights, management rights, time clocks.

There is so much to cover with each and every subject.

Most of those subjects listed above still have unanswered parts but we have made some progress. We try to understand each others point of view and it works pretty good in most cases.

We don't agree on everything yet and we probably will never both agree on every single separate thing. But when we are done we will agree that as a whole it is a fair contract. That is when we will be done. IBEW Local 363 won't stop negotiating for you until that happens either.

When we are done you will have the fairest contract we can negotiate. We will bring it back to you with every detail when we reach that point.

My best guess of when that will be is May or June. We want it closer to May. The fact is that only time and discussion will tell.

Stay Strong Stay Solid

Friday, March 4, 2011

Next Bargaining Sessions Start Monday

First of all, thanks to all of the MCC IBEW members who came to the rally this past Thursday. There were almost 1000 people there. Nurses, truckers, iron workers, teachers, electricians, can makers, highway department workers, firefighters and many others were there to stand up for the rights of all Americans to bargain with their employer.

Thank you to THE WORLD FAMOUS PETE SEEGER for coming and singing "Which Side Are You On?" with us. Mr. Seeger is now 91 years old and truly an inspiration to everyone near him.

If you missed it you will get another chance in the beginning of April at another rally that should be much larger. Look here for details.

Bargaining for your contract continues next week. Like many of the posters already stated under the previous story - we want to make sure that we make our progress in the most prudent way - we are not rushing or holding back.

Negotiating is a marathon, not a sprint.

We believe that we will be making some decent progress this week. If you have any suggestions - please let your reps know.

Stay Strong, Stay Solid

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Newsflash For All MCC IBEW Workers: Come To A Rally For Workers Rights THIS Thursday At 4:30 PM

Hudson Valley working men and women will stand in solidarity THIS THURSDAY with Teachers, Firefighters, Nurses, Construction Workers, Public Employees and many other under attack by governors and state legislators who are attempting to take away the RIGHTS OF THE AMERICAN WORKERS.

Please join with IBEW Local 363 and come out to support all American workers and their rights to bargain collectively over their working conditions.

The rally will be held at the Teamsters Local 445 Facility at 15 Stone Castle Road, Rock Tavern, NY. Stone Castle Road is located just off of Rt. 17k on one end and just off of Rt. 52 on the other.

The rally begins at 4:30PM. You should try to arrive a little earlier than that if possible.

As an active Local Union, IBEW Local 363 is always there to support working people and labor in the Hudson Valley and beyond and we ask our members to come out, speak out and stand together with other working people for the benefit of us all. Come be part of the UNINTENDED rebirth of the labor movement.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Contract Negotiations Start Back Up March 7th

Negotiations start back up during the week of March 7th and we expect to be making some pretty good progress. Those that are at the table have seen that each subject has many sides and layers to it. Indepth discussion on everything from grievance procedure to holidays and vacations have proven that.

Please continue to inform your shop stewards if you an issue at work or if you are about to be disciplined.

Just to clear something up. YOU are represented by IBEW Local 363 right now. Anyone who says you have no rights to anything until you have a signed contract is wrong. That is not a correct statement.

You are represented right now. There are those who have had issues resolved already by the union.

If you have any ideas for bargaining continue to inform your reps.

Stay Strong, Stay Solid

Monday, February 21, 2011

100,000 Hits!! Along With Overwhelming Support From All Over The Country! Just Amazing!

100,000 hits! That is really amazing! This much attention for a group of people that numbers around 165! Your story is an amazing one!

Here is another one and worth giving some time here even during our own issue of bargaining. These people are now fighting for only that - the right to bargain. This is about much more than paying more for health insurance or pensions - they already agreed on that.......this is an all out assault on American Workers rights - period.....and it IS poliical and it is CORPORATE DRIVEN. With a goal to "trickle down" the attack to the rest of the American Workforce. Don't be fooled, the only way to protect yourself is to band together.

More now than ever:
The workers at MCC Newburgh are truly an inspiration to all workers across the country. We are grateful for all of the support that we have been given from all around the country and suprised from the support we have from a few countries OUTSIDE of the United States!

With so much going on now with the economy, the world and in the political arena there was no better time for the workers here in Newburgh to make a decision to come together and have a voice. The workers of MCC Newburgh took the brave steps they needed to take to ORGANIZE!

We have a much better chance at making improvements and having the peoples opinions become part of the decision making process when we BAND TOGETHER.

....and look what has happened - we have come to the table and presented the opinions of the people to representatives of the company. We are working on a contract - together - labor and management - to hopefully start a great relationship and to work together to reach the goal of making Newburgh the best can making facility in ABINBEV.

IBEW Local 363 is PROUD to be working with the workers at MCC Newburgh and proud to be helping them put together their new contract.

We would like to thank everyone out there again for all of your support and kind words! Please stay with us, stay on our side and keep up that support.

Negotiations start up again the week of March 7th.
As always, if any workers at MCC Newburgh have any ideas or thoughts about any subject related to bargaining - please contact your reps.

Stay Solid, Stay Strong!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Let's Reflect On How And Why We Have The Right To Organize, Unionize and Bargain For A Contract In America

At this time, I would like to reflect on the reason that we, as American Workers, can have the ability to sit across the table from our employer and bargain for a meaningful and fair contract. We can do that because we are free.

We have that right because generations before us stood up and fought for that right and the very existence of this country. They did it for us - the future generations.

We honor those past generations, who fought for us, every time we excercise the rights that we have as Americans. One of those rights is the right to ORGANIZE and bargain for a contract.

We need to really look at our own negotiations - where we are at the table trying to make improvements for all of the workers in the MCC Newburgh plant - and we need to thank those who came before us and protected that right and our freedom.

Our negotiations will start back up again during the week of March 7

Thank you to everyone who has given us their support and encouragement.

Also, if you have a subject on your mind, please pass it to your reps or steward.

Stay solid, Stay strong.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's Not How You Start - It's How You Finish.

Negotiations are still going as well as you could expect at this point in the process. With that said, there may be some people who might be wondering about the amount of time it takes or is taking to negotiate the contract.

I am sure that everyone can understand the sensitivity of publicly and specifically discussing subjects that are or will be on the bargaining table. It would be like telling the car salesman's brotherinlaw that you are willing to spend $34 Thousand on a new car - it doesn't make any sense.

I can tell you that we are covering everything from attendance policies and hours of work to call-in procedures and every other subject that pertains to your life at work. Every issue is being disected and analyzed by both sides of the table. Most of the subjects, particular ideas and concerns came from the people we represent - YOU.

We are exchanging those proposals back and forth and each exchange creates another and another. That is what happens in bargaining. It takes a great amount of time to develop THE LANGUAGE for each and every subject in any FIRST CONTRACT.

We negotiate for only one week each month. The company attorneys fly in for the week from St. Louis. All of the time that we meet is used wisely. We are going over everything that pertains to your job and work. There is almost unlimited subject matter. There are hours spent on each subject during each session. Most are revisited and rewritten many times.

Keep in mind, none of your reps are being paid to represent you and they are all there on their own time.

IBEW Local 363 will spend as MUCH time as it takes to get this contract RIGHT. We are not stingy with time.

So far, we are making progress this week - just as we have in the previous weeks.

In regard to something as important as your own contract I offer you this advice someone once told me: is not how you start it's how you finish.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Negotiations Start Up Again This Monday

Negotiations start up again this Monday at 10 am. Talk to your reps if you have ideas to bring to the table. Looking to make some good progress this week - most is just getting down on paper what we do.

Sometimes explaining the procedure has not exactly been so clear. We are trying to clear some of those things up so everyone can understand what the rules are. That is good for the company and the employees.

We want to get to the point of making this plant run at top speed and efficiency.

Thank you all for your support!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

People Working Together Can Make Positive Things Happen!

Working together will help the company and the workers to remain strong. We are working on a contract that will spell out what the rules and expectations are for both sides. We are putting our best intentions on the table on behalf of our co-workers.

Negotiations will start back up within the next couple of weeks. A subject that will be discussed during that time will be the grievance procedure and how that will work.

We believe we can clean up the process a bit and have a fair system in place that is an improvement for both parties.

Thank you to those who emailed their questions and those who just called in support.

Stay solid, stay strong.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wow! 93,000 Hits And Climbing!

Wow! 93,000 hits! There is truly a lot of interest, participation and support going on here! ALL for the benefit of the MCC Newburgh workers!

THERE IS A UNION MOVEMENT THAT HAS BEEN BUILT BY THE PEOPLE AT THE NEWBURGH CAN PLANT. That movement is for the BENEFIT OF ALL OF THE WORKING PEOPLE AT MCC. We have made it to the bargaining table and we are bringing the peoples concerns to the table.


THE PEOPLE CALLED IN IBEW LOCAL 363 AND DECIDED TO FORM A UNION TO PROTECT THEMSELVES. The people banded together to speak as one voice. THE PEOPLE WANTED to sit at the table - with management - and work out a FAIR and WRITTEN contract.

That is exactly what we are doing.


Be on YOUR SIDE. Stay on YOUR SIDE - the side of the workers.

The IBEW 363 side.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Power To The People - The Written Contract

Things are moving along in our quest to negotiate a written contract. It is amazing that every subject has so many parts to it. This is an eye opening experience for those who are in the room as reps. WE WANT TO THANK EVERYONE FOR THEIR SUPPORT.

Thank you to all of those people across the country from other unions, other International Unions and their officials, Labor Publications, the AFL-CIO, Labor radio stations, other can plants and breweries for your support.

A special thanks to the IBEW Local 363 members at Ball Metal and Tony Russo Chief Steward for meeting with our guys at MCC. It is very much appreciated Tony and crew.

The mix of people that we have on the bargaining committee makes this a great group to work with. They are all really concerned with representing each and every one of you to the fullest extent that they can.

None of this would be possible if the PEOPLE in the plant did not take action to better their situation and contact the IBEW.

IBEW 363 and the MCC workers - We are really a perfect mix.

Get ready to digest a few subjects here on the blog as we go further into negotiations. We may have an open discussion or two coming up at some point.

Power To The People.

Stay solid, stay strong

Friday, January 7, 2011

Negotiations Start Back Up On Monday

Negotiations start back up on Monday January 10 at 10 am in Newburgh. We will be meeting for the third week and we expect to begin to make some progress. We will be discussing the attendance policy, state of emergency issues, grievance procedures, vacations, safety and possibly an additional subject or two depending on how things progress.

All reps please meet at 9:30 am in the conference room. The room should be open just before then so if you come early, just walk in.

We still encourage the membership to bring any issue they are concerned with to our attention - we want to hear your thoughts. Thank you to those who have given in their input - it all counts.

We don't want the fastest contract we can get - we want the best one we can get.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

IBEW Local 363 / MCC Newburgh Go Nation Wide!

Just to let everybody know our story has gone nationwide. We are on the AFL-CIO site, DailyKoz, and the story came as a google alert to my phone today. It has also been on the IBEW National website.

The story of MCC Newburgh bringing in IBEW Local 363 and how we used the blog was carried on over 150 radio stations across the country on January 5th through

It will be carried on another 300 affiliates across the country from a Pittsburgh radio station that wants to speak with IBEW Local 363 sometime this week.

The SEIU in California, Teamsters in St. Louis, Florida, Newark and IBEW in Michigan have contacted us for info and to lend support.

We have plenty of support now and it's growing everyday. YOU MAY NOT REALIZE IT YET BUT........

.....You the workers at MCC Newburgh are an inspiration to many, many other American workers - and it's only going to get bigger.

Stay solid, stay strong and lets work hard on getting a fair first contract and begin to help management make this plant the best there is.

Welcome to all workers across the country who have discovered us, support us and who will hopefully, some day be us!

This is the time - with the world economy turned upside down - for the American workers to stand together because the fact is no one will do it for US and no one else cares.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It's A New Year! Turn The Page......

Happy 2011 everybody! We accomplished a lot together in the last 6 months of 2010!

We did what many thought could never happen - we brought the people of MCC Newburgh together. That was no easy task with four different shifts in addition to a maintenance shift.

We found out that a great majority of the people at MCC Newburgh had the same concerns - they feared an unstable future. They wanted a voice.

We created a way for everyone to help organize the plant and still put no one at risk or out in front of the campaign. The result was the IBEW Local 363 was voted in and we are now at the negotiating table. The people got their voice.

We are picking up our negotiations in the second week of January. Negotiations are polite and cordial. There are many, many discussions among the reps themselves and also at the table with the company reps.

Now we need to concentrate on our contract negotiations. It is time to turn the page on yesterday and to devote all of our positive energy to the future.

Together we can do great things for ourselves and our employer.

Let's do it!