State of the Union
I want to thank the dedicated membership along with the Union staff for all of your hard work and sacrifices. I also want to extend my best wishes to everyone for a happy and prosperous New Year.
The last two years have been a struggle to say the least. Current State budget problems combined with poor market conditions and delayed job start ups have adversely affect our attempt at securing a decent respectable life for all. The employment situation has created more difficulties in our search for solutions. Fortunately, through dedication and hard work we have been very successful in signing new contractors. This has resulted in a large increase in our Market Share, with results in increased fund contributions, extended insurance and unemployment benefits and more money in our member’s pockets.
I had the privilege to attend an International sponsored conference that was convened to take a good look at how everyone is adjusting through these hard times. As Business Manager after Business Manager explained their Market Share, the struggles of their funds, and lack of employment, I realized that we were doing better than most. This country is in a recession that hasn’t been seen since the 1920’s. We have still been able to find enough work for our members to remain busy.
While the Unemployment rate in New York State has reached double digits, our membership has not experienced that rate. We have been fortunate enough to be able to maintain a good solid work regimen, and we will continue to strive to improve upon it. While doing this we have to remember that we are an important part of our community. We help ourselves. Justice, Honor, and strength are words often used to describe our Union. We stand behind these words, in the good times and in bad. We have not forgotten who it is that we represent, the job that we are entrusted to do and the seriousness of this commitment.
Although we have not suffered to the extent that other members of the Laborers’ International have it is not because we have just been lucky. The reason that we have been fortunate is because of all the hard work that everyone has done, and the qualified workforce that we have. Not all of our members have completed the 10 hour OSHA class, most have and this has been a great asset for our local to have. Many members have stepped up to the plate and manned the jobs that they have been offered. Our ability to provide a qualified workforce on little notice is a very good asset to have when recruiting new contractors.
In closing I have just a few more things to say. The importance of training can not be underestimated. The benefits are twofold. The trained member is qualified for more chances of employment and contractors are impressed and thankful with our ability to provide the qualified workers that we have the ability to refer. Please take the time to inquire at our training facility and attend the classes that you have yet to attend.
Remember that once again we will be having our Clambake at Hinerwadel’s on August 8 and we hope that all will attend. Also our Website is almost up and running. Check it out at www.laborers633.org. Finally we have been directed by the International to comply with Article xvii, section 8c of the Constitution requiring us to raise our dues $1.00 per month, bringing us to a $27.00 per month fee for active members and $8.00 per month for Retirees.
Once again thanks for all the hard work and dedication, and on behalf of myself and the entire Executive Board, we hope you have a Happy New Year.
LIUNA has been a major force in the history of this country and the Union Movement, In the roaring twenties the Union backed calls by African Americans to be allowed full and equal status and denied permission for segregated unions to be founded, The Fifties brought Pension and Health Funds to the minds of the American people, and LIUNA responded by becoming one of the first to create these plans for its membership, During the late Seventies and all through the Eighties LIUNA worked hard to establish training centers to improve education and training for all of its workers