Business Manager Jack Ahern
Business Manager Jack Ahern
As I recently reported in my state of the union, the assaults on organized labor continue at a feverish pace.
The upcoming elections — both primaries at the local level and national elections in November — are going to be more important than ever for organized labor. We must support candidates who support labor and work hard to stop those who work against labor.
My staff and I are working diligently to prepare for the upcoming elections to make sure Local 30’s voice is heard loud and clear by candidates on both sides of the aisle. Regardless of what plan we develop, the fact is that the only way we can be successful is with your continued support, your personal involvement, and your pac contributions.
As we were preparing this issue of the Recorder, two very important things occurred that will impact Local 30 members and their families: the Supreme Court decision regarding the Affordable Health Care Act, “Obamacare” and the lockout of the Con Edison workers of UWUA Local 1-2.
On Thursday, June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that “Obamacare” is legal and fully complies with the United States constitution. This basically means about 30 million Americans who do not currently have health insurance will be covered. This also means that all dependents will be covered until the age of 26, a difficult time in young adults’ lives as they transition from being a minor in high school to getting their first job, many times without health insurance provided. This extended coverage for dependents is what mostly impacts Local 30 members and their families.
I believe this is a major step toward helping our members. As you know, your Trustees approved this coverage for 26 year old dependents in June 2010 — six months before the legislation even went into effect.
Generally I believe that “Obamacare” is good for working men and women in organized labor. However, I am going to set up meetings with our consultants, advisors and attorneys to report on all the details of this bill and the Supreme Court’s decision. As a Union representing more than 4,000 workers, we want to be sure that there are no negative side effects from “Obamacare.”
I will keep you informed on how this bill impacts us and answer all of your questions and concerns at our regularly scheduled meetings, on our member forum, as well as on Local 30’s hotline.
The other important labor issue that recently surfaced is that on July 1, 2012 negotiations broke down between Con Edison and Local 1-2. As a result, Local 1-2 members are presently on strike.
At the heart of the disagreement is Con Edison’s insistence that members’ pensions be dismantled and lowered and that members’ contributions toward their medical coverage double. These outrageous demands basically mirror Wisconsin’s recent negotiations.
I have contacted the leadership of Local 1-2 and let them know that they have Local 30’s full support and that we will help in any way we can. All Local 30 members fully understand any attack on organized labor union is an attack on us all. We must take this very seriously, as in today’s somewhat hostile labor market, this could happen to any of us. In the near future I may call on members of Local 30 to support our brothers and sisters of Local 1-2, and hope that you will all heed the call if the need arises.