IBEW 304 TOPEKA, KANSAS


Business Manager Report

 

"Support your Union by getting involved"

Since Kansas passed the right to work legislation in 1958, we in labor have accepted the fact that even though we talk about the need to change the law and have tried to get the proposal in front of the representatives unsuccessfully, we just ignore and keep doing what we do in administering our agreements. While we don’t really pay attention to it, even though we know we make less money per hour and have less benefits than our labor brothers and sisters in the few states that are left not having to live under the anti-labor law of right to work, we find ways to offer benefits above what we negotiate into our agreements.

It has been a frustrating couple of weeks where member’s, even a former officer, have dropped their dues, yes, I said drooped dues since we still have the administration costs of those now non-dues paying member’s. It is hard for me to understand why anyone can not recognize that the need to have a voice in your wages and working conditions has never been as important in recent history as it is today, in a world that is hell bent on taking away the rights of labor organizations, when we are in a time of the least union density since 1935, yes we are seeing more hard bargaining at the table, more grievances and the least respect of labor from the front line supervisor than I have seen in my 30 years of being a labor advocate.     

Those of you that have the opportunity to hear my presentations ether in steward training or in new hire orientation, the difference we see in dealing with those issues in the contracts and areas that have the largest Union density, is dramatic. When companies realize that not just the office is the Union, but instead every member is the “Union”.  Somehow that message gets lost when the “I” means more than the “we”.    

The message in this report is to be thought provoking on how we can strengthen your union not just by sheer numbers but by increasing the knowledge and involvement of our members, I remember a story of a member who had paid dues for years without being involved, one day he became very angry about conditions that he saw needed to be addressed, he thought if it needs addressed I will do it, he became very active and made a change in his work place and in fact did make a difference in not only that issue but proactively even today addresses both labor and management in upholding the agreement.

Support your union by getting involved, contact the office or your steward about volunteer opportunities, conferences, committees and communicate with that same leadership about what is happening in your area including any organizing opportunities. 

 

John Garretson II

Business Manager Financial Secretary

IBEW Local Union 304

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Sep 28, 2017: Executive Board
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IBEW LOCAL #304

3906 N.W. 16th St.

Topeka, Kansas 66618

785-235-2301  FAX: 785-235-3342

lu304@ibew304.org