Business Manager Report


"Find a way to light that fire"

Spring in Kansas, I know a strange way of starting the Business Manager report but today I was driving across Kansas heading to Garden City from Topeka. Looking forward to seeing the Sunflower Electric and Wheatland Electric members tonight for their Unit meeting.   On that scenic journey, I saw some farm fields being burnt in preparation of spring, it made me reminisce to a training exercise years ago, where we were asked to define the traits of a good Union leader or Organizer, reigning from Kansas and seeing the new growth after a spring fire, I offered that a good representative had a trait of an arsonist. I was admonished for making that comment, but I defended it by saying that in order to move the labor movement forward sometimes you have to light a fire in their ass. 

All of us have that primal respect and wonder for fire, nothing is more mesmerizing than seeing that fire line racing thru the field, the large fireball when that dry evergreen is engulfed or romantic glow of a fireplace with your significant other. And the aftermath of that grass fire is one that while it first appears to have left behind a charred mess, it only takes a few days and you see all the new growth coming in even better than it started and a stark comparison to the surrounding terrain.

 My challenge to all of you is to find a way to light that fire in your fellow members, coworkers both union and non-union, light that fire that will be followed with that new growth that will move this Union and this labor movement forward. In days of low paying jobs coupled with the uncertainty of maintaining employment, we need to remind and or educate on the importance and value of having a voice in wages and working conditions, while we may not always get what we propose, we always have the voice to make those proposals.

As stated in the IBEW constitution, “our cause is the cause of human justice, human rights, human security”. Our objectives include elevating the moral, intellectual and social conditions of our members, their families and dependents, in the interest of a higher standard of citizenship.   


John Garretson II

Business Manager Financial Secretary

IBEW Local Union 304

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Jul 27, 2017: Executive Board
Aug 10, 2017: Local Meeting
Aug 11, 2017: Construction Unit
Aug 24, 2017: Executive Board
Sep 8, 2017: Construction Unit


3906 N.W. 16th St.

Topeka, Kansas 66618

785-235-2301  FAX: 785-235-3342