94 News

Union Elections

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Nominations for Local Union elections are completed. We have a few contested positions for our Executive Board. A Mail ballot election is in progress with a scheduled vote count on September 10th at 10am.Congratulations to the officers who ran unopposed, you have been re-elected to a new 3 year term. If you have any questions about the ballot or do not receive one, please contact the union hall 609-426-9702.

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How You Can Avoid Dangerous Heat-Related Illnesses on the Job

Thursday, June 21, 2018
It's that time of year again. The days get longer. The sun rides higher in the sky. And heat-related illnesses start claiming lives and sending working people to hospitals at alarming rates.  
 
"Summer is full of vacations and backyard barbecues and quality time spent with our families, but it's also a dangerous time for our members who work outdoors or in hot conditions," said International President Lonnie R. Stephenson. "That's why every year we take a moment to remind folks how to stay safe and take care of themselves and their IBEW brothers and sisters in the heat."
 
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a simple prescription for avoiding heat-related illnesses: Water. Rest. Shade.
 
2018 marks the seventh year of the campaign, which seeks to raise awareness among working people of their rights at work and the simple steps they can take to ensure they're not a part of next year's heat statistics.
By law, employers are responsible for protecting workers from extreme heat conditions, and OSHA encourages companies to have established heat illness prevention programs.
 
This can include making sure workers have access to water, rest and shade, allowing new or returning workers to gradually acclimatize to work in extreme conditions, planning for emergencies and training workers on prevention, and monitoring workers for signs of heat-related illnesses.
Heat-related illnesses can include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, fainting, heat rash and severe dehydration. And all of them are preventable.
"Part of the reason dozens of people die and thousands more end up sick or in the hospital every summer is that workers are often unable to realize they're suffering through a heat-related illness until it's too late," said IBEW Director of Safety and Health David Mullen. "Making sure you and your co-workers are taking the right steps to prevent these illnesses and keeping a close eye out for early-warning signs is extremely important, especially this time of year."
 
When working in hot conditions, OSHA recommends frequent water and shade breaks as well as the use of cooling fans, air-conditioned equipment cabs and break rooms or trailers, and the use of reflective shields to redirect radiant heat, among other more task-specific measures.
 
The use of hats and UV-rated sun protective clothing can be helpful when working in direct sun.
 
Conditions can be made even worse when high temperatures are accompanied by increased humidity, direct sunlight, a lack of air movement or when workers are required to wear protective clothing. In those conditions, OSHA encourages workers and employers to take additional, more aggressive preventative actions.
 
"It's important to remember that heat-related illnesses don't have to happen," Mullen said. "A little awareness to protect ourselves and those around us goes a long way to keeping everyone safe on the job."

More information about OSHA's "Water. Rest. Shade." campaign can be found on its website, www.osha.gov/heat.

 

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5th Annual NxtUp94 Food Drive a Success

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

On Friday, April 27th, , NxtUp94, the young workers’ committee of IBEW, Local 94, donated nearly $8,000 worth of food to Rise Food Pantry, located next door to Local 94 headquarters in Hightstown, NJ.  The young workers placed donation containers at every work location, in addition to collecting monetary donations from members, in lieu of food.  This was the fifth annual food drive organized by NxtUp94. 

Leslie Koppel, Executive Director of Rise Community Services, and Mercer County Freeholder, said that NxtUp94’s contribution will greatly benefit the area households that her organization serves, especially during this time when donations are at their lowest.  She noted that the food donated in the drive will help to feed 125 families per week, for two whole months. 

In attendance along with Freeholder Koppel were members of NxtUp94: Bob Sheppard, Nick Gerrity, Ed Cody, Joseph Checkley, Shawn Sawicki, Adam Neuman, Mike Langham, Joe Davis, Matt Nee, and Joe Itri, as well as IBEW Local 94 President and Business Manager Bud Thoman.  

NJ State Assemblyman, and President of IBEW, Local 269, Wayne DeAngelo, commended his Brothers and Sisters for putting together this much need food drive.  “This is a great way to get our young members involved, and to help our community at the same time.” 

“The success of this endeavor is a shining example of what our Local Union is all about,” said Bud Thoman.  “We power our state and empower our communities.”

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Booker: Honor Dr. King By Preserving Union Rights

Thursday, March 1, 2018
In the early days of April 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to Memphis, Tennessee, to join in a protest with 1,300 city sanitation workers who had gone on strike after two of their colleagues were killed on the job.
 
Their demands were, by any reasonable standards, modest: a safe workplace, fair wages, and to be treated with dignity and respect.

Dr. King would not have much time to participate in the demonstrations. On April 4, 1968, he was killed by an assassin's bullet at his Memphis motel. But Coretta Scott King recognized how important the sanitation workers' cause was to her late husband and led a march for the workers only four days after his death. And just two weeks later, the sanitation workers' union, AFSCME Local 1733, reached an agreement with the city for safer working conditions and higher wages.
 
Now, almost 50 years later, the Supreme Court will hear a case that could fundamentally turn back the clock on the movement for civil rights, labor rights and economic justice in America.
 
This case Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31 has the potential to undo the gains that generations of Americans have fought for. The justices will hear oral arguments on Monday, February 26th.
 

 

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Fill out the AFL-CIO survey

Monday, January 22, 2018
This past year was filled with ups and downs for working people. No matter where you live or what type of work you do for a living, one thing is clear: Working people need to stick together and build power like never before in 2018.
 
Do you think it's important for working people to support leaders who will protect our rights on the job? Tell us more about it.
 
We cannot do this without input from working people.
 
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The Importance of New Member Orientations

Monday, January 29, 2018
There's an old adage that you only have one chance to make a good first impression. It's also critical to orienting - and organizing - new members into the union.
 
"You have to get them right away," said Adrian Sauceda, an international representative in the IBEW Membership Development department. "The first person who goes to them, that's the face of the union."
 
Orienting new hires as early as possible is one of eight best practices from a new report by Jobs with Justice, a workers' rights organization, and Pennsylvania State University. The guide, "Making the Case for Union Membership: The Strategic Value of New Hire Orientations," found that orientations can increase new member sign-ups and bolster commitment to the union - commitment that translates to more members fighting for their union.
"There's a different feeling when you have a sense of allegiance," said IBEW Director of Professional and Industrial Organizing Jammi Juarez. "The bond is stronger."
 
No one is a blank slate when it comes to unions, cautioned the report, which was drawn in part from a survey of 49 unions and interviews with labor officials involved with new member orientations. People have heard about unions and they may harbor negative opinions. Orientations provide an opportunity to change that narrative. And the first thing they hear should be positive, Sauceda and Juarez said.
 
"It's your chance to say, 'Welcome to the IBEW, here's my number if you need anything,'" Sauceda said.
 
Juarez said she made the orientations she did as an organizer with Vacaville, Calif., Local 1245 interactive, another best practice: Make sure the training is high quality, engaging and useful. One tactic involved creating a scavenger hunt with the contract so members had to open it up and look through it.
When he was an organizer with Houston Local 716, Sauceda said he made sure to tell people about the cyclical nature of construction and that, when business was slow, they still had opportunities to work, whether by traveling or working for the union in some capacity.

Click here to read more on UCOMM Blog.

 

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"You Have Given My Kids a Christmas"

Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Union movement comes together to adopt a IBEW Local 3 striking Spectrum family
 
For the last 10 months, 1,800 families have been on strike at Spectrum. As the company refuses to budge on its demand for regressive givebacks, these families are facing an uncertain future this holiday season. As they fight to protect the Middle Class in New York City, their union brothers and sisters are stepping up to provide a Merry Christmas for all of the families.
 
The idea was started by Freddie McCourt, a member of Elevator Constructors Local 1, and was simple: adopt a Spectrum family that is in your neighborhood and help them out this holiday. In just the 48 hours since hundreds of building trades members have begun mobilizing to link up with local families. Members from all over the tri-state area began messaging Freddie, posting in a building trades group that they were willing to help and reaching out directly to Local 3 members. Some offered to buy gifts for the children or provide groceries for a Christmas feast, one member even offered to help pay some bills. The outpouring of support in just a few days has been amazing.
 
With so much support being provided, the building trades group is working hard to track down all 1,800 families. While some of the families may be proud and not asking for support, many in the union movement know that this is the least they can do to help them continue their fight and their struggle. If you are one of the families on strike, click here to get involved.
 
Click here to read more on UCOMM Blog
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IBEW Media Center: New Jersey Co-Gen Workers Say Yes to IBEW, No to Efforts to Divide Them

Wednesday, December 20, 2017
 
Nine months after a nail-biting, one-vote organizing victory, workers at New Jersey's Linden co-generation plant beat the odds, voting 32-5 in November to approve their first contract.
 
For Cranbury, N.J., Local 94 Business Manager Buddy Thoman, the outcome was a far cry from what he expected after the close win last January. Such a narrow margin, he said, often signals difficult days ahead when it comes to negotiating the first contract. Many organizers and local leaders think the longer the negotiations go, the more likely workers unfamiliar with the process will jump ship.
 
"At that point, you're privately thinking, 'I almost wish it would have lost," said Thoman. "A one-vote win is not encouraging."
 
He's proud to admit he was wrong.
 
The 800-megawatt Linden, N.J., plant is operated and maintained by NAES Corporation and runs six natural gas-fired turbines, with their exhaust used to provide steam for three additional steam turbines and the adjacent Phillips 66 refinery.
 
Dave Bishop, a control room operator for 14 years and a member of the negotiating committee, said the new contract includes a clause requiring management to purchase coffee for employees.
 
"When I see a management guy getting some, I tell him, 'You better like that coffee," Bishop said with a laugh. "We guaranteed it."
 
Bishop was a Teamsters member at a previous job, even serving as a steward, so he'd long-known the value of union representation. He and several co-workers contacted Thoman in 2016.
 
Their primary concern was workers performing nearly the same job getting vastly different levels of pay. Bishop also was upset the company had changed its sick leave policy, cutting into time he could take off to care for his ailing wife, he said.
 
Thoman was eager to help, but he knew that it wouldn't be easy. In 2004, he was a member of Local 94's executive committee when it won a representation vote at another New Jersey co-gen facility operated and maintained by AES. Following that vote, a dispute landed Local 94 and management before the National Labor Relations Board. No contract agreement was reached.
 
"It didn't end well," he said. "The company went ahead and implemented less than half what it had proposed."
 
Thoman and his staff were determined not to let that happen again. With the help of UCOMM Media Group, a communications company for local unions, it set up a website for plant employees that was updated regularly. Thoman said he invited two employees who would be covered by the contract to each bargaining session, no matter if they were an active part of the negotiations.
 
But the most important development came when they showed employees the company's salary structure, revealing vast differences in pay for similar jobs. It was worse than anticipated and it solidified the workers' support.
 
"When I shared that information with them, they were livid," Thoman said. "They were so angry."
 
Bishop agreed that was a turning point. He reminded co-workers that management often mentioned during bargaining that representation was decided by just a single vote. That was meant to undermine the negotiating committee's strength.
 
Instead, it fired the co-gen workers up. Stickers and banners reminding them to vote union popped up around the plant.
 
"The company was really lazy," Bishop said. "They weren't counteroffering anything. They dug in their heels. But our attorney and the other staff were crisp and on point on everything ... Our support got stronger. When our guys saw their co-workers putting themselves out there on the website, they got stronger."
 
In the end, the vote wasn't close. The two sides agreed to a contract that lessened the wage discrepancy and allowed employees to earn a raise by earning a professional license. For instance, a member who earns a boiler license will receive a 1.5 percent raise.
 
The 2-year contract also includes negotiated severance - believed to be a first for the facility - along with a seniority clause in case of layoffs and a grievance and arbitration process. The new Local 94 members even got a $200 allowance to put toward safety boots.
 
"It was a great win," Bishop said. "A better start to tomorrow."
 
Bishop and co-worker Tom Turon were part of the negotiating team, as were Thoman, assistant business manager Scott Campbell and fossil and business agent Bob Weber. Bishop and Thoman both praised the work of Paul Montalbano, Local 94's attorney since 1980.
 
"Everyone on the staff did their research," Bishop said. "They looked at the company and when we went into the room, they were able to show them stuff that we, [the IBEW], had negotiated with the company at other places. It was pretty brilliant."
 
Click here to read how the IBEW highlighted UCOMM's work on UCOMM Blog
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Bud Thoman Testifies at the NJ State Assembly Utility Committee and the Senate Energy Committee Meeting

Friday, December 8, 2017
Pictured Above: Wayne DeAngelo, Chairman of the Utility Committee, President of IBEW Local 269, Joe Egan, a member of the Utility Committee, Chairman of the Labor Committee, Business Manager of IBEW Local 456, Bud Thoman, President/ Business Manager of IBEW Local 94, Eric Hotouling, a member of the Utility Committee and a member of IBEW Local 400
 
On Monday, December 4th, the NJ State Assembly Utility committee and the Senate Energy Committee held a rare joint meeting, to discuss the need for a nuclear subsidy. The CEO of PSEG, Ralph Izzo, opened the hearing by explaining the need for a nuclear subsidy, and the effect without it, the closing of 3 nuclear units.
Following the company testimony, Bud Thoman, President/Business Manager of IBEW, Local 94, the Union representing the 750 employee’s that operate maintain Salem units 1 and 2, and Hope Creek, gave his own testimony, included below. 
 
 
Testimony of Kenneth Thoman
On behalf of Local 94 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
 
 
Good Morning. My name is Bud Thoman. I am the president and business manager of Local 94 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. 
 
Local 94 represents more than 3,600 brothers and sisters who are employed by Public Service Enterprise Group in electric generation, electric distribution and transmission, gas distribution and appliance service, and other work in support of those operations.
 
750 of the members of Local 94 work at PSEG Power’s three nuclear plants at Artificial Island – Salem I & II and Hope Creek.
 
I am here today to talk about the importance of those plants to New Jersey.
 
The demand for electricity continues to increase – everything is plugged-in these days. 
 
That’s why the members of Local 94 who work in nuclear, work in four shifts. Those plants run 24/7/365 generating safe, reliable, clean electricity. 
 
Those plants provide baseload power – nearly 50% of New Jersey’s electricity. They run day and night, whether the sun shines or it’s pouring rain. 
 
We need our electric power to be reliable. That’s nuclear.
 
We also need our electric power to be clean. That’s nuclear.
 
By law, New Jersey must reduce CO2 emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and must meet a much tougher target of 80% reduction below 2006 levels by 2050. 
 
I was a member of the DEP’s Clean Air Council for 14 years. I believe we’re still on track to meet that 2020 target. 
 
Salem I and II, and Hope Creek produce no greenhouse gas emissions. They also produce no NOx, no SOx and no particulates.
 
But we must keep those plants running if New Jersey is going to meet future clean air targets.
 
Solar and other sources of renewable energy are great for New Jersey. Members of my local build some of PSEG’s solar power plants. 
But solar and other renewables are use it or lose it. We do not have the technology to store electricity in any significant amount. 
 
Renewables today are not a substitute for round-the-clock power. 
 
If the market puts nuclear at risk, it also puts clean air and reliability at risk.
 
And it puts jobs at risk.
 
We are talking about 750 full-time, good quality jobs running those plants. And that’s just within the IBEW.
 
There are many hundreds more working full-time at Hope Creek and Salem I and II, and hundreds more on top of that who provide vital work when the plants are refueled.
 
For all those reasons – to meet the demand for reliable electric power, to help clear the air, and to provide good, high-quality jobs – I support nuclear power in New Jersey. 

 

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