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.