Business Managers Message

In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Eighty-seven years ago today, a great American, humanitarian, and civil rights activist was born; Martin Luther King, Jr.  In his far-too-short life, the Reverend Dr. King appealed to the conscience of our nation, held our great country to its highest ideals, and challenged all of us to see, and treat, each other as brothers and sisters.  This weekend, as we honor Dr. King and the movement he came to represent, let us also recommit ourselves to the ongoing pursuit of his dream: a world of equality and justice for all.

For Dr. King, racial justice, economic justice, and worker justice were all part of the same whole.  We in the Labor Movement will never forget that he was assassinated while standing with striking garbage workers in Memphis, Tennessee.  At the time of his death, he was organizing a multi-racial Poor People’s Campaign to spotlight, and fight, the injustice of poverty, utilizing the same tactics of nonviolence he had used in his fights for desegregation.  In 1961, he denounced so-called “right-to-work” laws as “false slogans” designed “to rob us of our civil rights and job rights.”  From the first days of the Montgomery Bus Boycott that brought him to national attention, to that awful night in Memphis nearly 13 years later, Dr. King worked hand-in-hand with local and national labor leaders. Indeed, it was a local leader of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, E.D. Nixon, who recruited a young Reverend Dr. King to lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

All Americans owe a debt of gratitude, not only to Dr. King, but to all those who struggled, marched, sacrificed, and even laid down their lives to tear down the walls of segregation, discrimination, and racism.  Although we have made great progress over the past five decades, there is still much work to be done, and many miles yet to cover in our collective journey towards freedom and justice.  Dr. King handed us a brilliant torch with which to dispel the darkness of inequality, bigotry, and hatred.  Let us carry that torch into the future, and honor his legacy by continuing his work in our own lives.

We not only wish you a happy and healthy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend, but we urge all to take inspiration from his legacy, communicate his legacy to your children and identify and pity intolerance when you see it disguised in many forms and rededicate ourselves to the never-ending battle for worker rights, civil rights, and human rights.

Celebrating a busy year and preparing for a big year to come

Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Greetings brothers and sisters. We hope everybody is enjoying their Holiday season no matter what you celebrate; this is a wonderful time of year. According to the National Center for Charitable Giving, Americans give $57 Million to charity during this time and I know that each and every single one of you is doing your part to be extra charitable this Holiday season.
 
We have been through so much as a local union over this last year. Our Youth Caucus went through a few training sessions this year, in Michigan and Chicago. This organization continues to grow and be more active and I'm extremely proud of them. They helped us out with a local food drive in which we had a Mayor and local member of the assembly attend and they were also key in putting together our 2nd Annual Dinner Dance, at Harrah's in Atlantic City.
 
We had two Shop Steward training classes this year. Having strong Shop Stewards is a key to having a strong union. In addition to cultivating our young membership, we participated in the women in labor WILD conference, where we sent five representatives. We recently had a fundraiser for kids with debilitating illness last weekend. We thank all of our members who helped out with that.
 
This summer we had our first annual Labor Day Picnic, which was co-hosted with our brothers and sisters from UWUA Local 601, a good time was had by all and this looks like something we are going to do every year.
 
IBEW Local 94, along with UA 855 officers and members teamed up, and we were successful in getting the Gas System Modernization program approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. Plans are underway to begin hiring of new members in both Unions and the work will commence in 2016, and last for the next 3-5 years. Last but certainly not least was our recent Arbitration hearing, which was a huge victory for our local union.
With all of this work, we must not become complacent. Next year we will be confronted with a whole new list of challenges. It is important that we all stop and smell the roses and celebrate everything that we accomplished in 2015 and dig in and get prepared for what faces us in 2016; including a Presidential election, in which bread and butter issues of working people and their unions will be discussed at every kitchen table across this great country of ours.
 
Once again Happy Holidays to you and yours and enjoy your time with your families. As always, I am proud to be your Business Manager and I wish you all Peace and Goodwill now and forever.

Happy Thanksgiving Local 94

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
During this time of Thanksgiving I have been reflecting on the things I am most grateful for. There are the most obvious things; my family, friends and my health, but there is another part of my life that I am thankful for, my co-workers. 
 
It is the members of Local 94 that make the union succeed. Without you there is NO union and NO strength. The past few years have been challenging for us, but we have been able to work together and in doing so we have accomplished great things together
 
On behalf of the Local 94  and our staff, officers and Executive Board I thank all of you for your dedication and hard work. I wish you and your families a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving.
 
Put on a great feast all while supporting good jobs. Click here for a list of union made goods.
 

Happy Labor Day to Local 94!

Thursday, September 3, 2015
A Labor Day Message from Business Manager Bud Thoman
Summer's winding down. School's are opening back up and the last holiday of the season is right around the corner.
 
Labor Day isn't just a three-day weekend brought to you by the labor movement - it's a celebration of the people who make up that movement: us! From the very beginning, Labor Day was created to honor working people, our contributions to this country, and our political rights and achievements. Labor Day is a celebration of organized labor. 
 
The Central Labor Union in New York City held the first Labor Day parade on September 5, 1882, giving birth to a tradition that quickly spread across the nation. Unions, labor councils, cities, and eventually all 50 states adopted the holiday and continue to celebrate every year on the first Monday of September.
 
We're doing our part to keep the tradition alive, too and there's no better way to do that than to enjoy the day off with our brothers and sisters and look forward to another year of building union power. Always remember: we're stronger together.
 
Enjoy yourselves, be safe, and a Happy Labor Day from Local 94 to you and your families.
_________________________________________________________________________________________
 
Labor Day is a celebration of working people and the progressive achievements of the labor movement. It is an occasion for us to come together as a community to appreciate the many ways in which workers keep our state running. Labor Day is a reminder of how much we all depend on each other and that by working together we can improve the world in which we live. Click here to find some local events you can participate in to celebrate and enjoy this important day.

Happy 4th / Gas System Modernization Hearings

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Gas System Modernization hearings came to a conclusion on the evening of June 15th. Like the 5 prior hearings, in attendance were over 70 IBEW Local 94 members showing their support for this filing. Local 94 went on record at the first June 8th hearing when I gave a lengthy testimony on the importance of this filing. Part of my testimony included the benefits to the public in reliability and safety, by replacing gas mains and services that have been prone to leaks. By replacing some of the oldest parts of the natural gas distribution system and greatly reducing leaks, the GSMP will have an environmental benefit. So, we have reliability, safety and environmental benefits....and we have good jobs! The GSMP will create over 500 new, good quality, skilled jobs. I would like to thank every member that took the time out of their schedule to come support this program. Your efforts did NOT go unnoticed. In a recent article of the Bergen Record, the paper outlined the strength and unity of IBEW Local 94 during these hearings. It is you, each and every one of you, that helps make US what we are. 

The great 4th of July holiday is approaching is here. I want to wish each member and their family a happy and safe holiday. Remember, on August 22nd we will be co-hosting a Union Family Picnic. Flyers are out and it is posted on our website. This will be a terrific event for any member with young children, and still a lot of fun for us older members as well.  

Happy 4th Local 94 and God Bless this great country and our union. 

Happy Memorial Day

Monday, May 25, 2015
Above and beyond all the barbecues and baseball games taking place this Memorial Day weekend, we take this time to honor those who sacrificed their lives in service of others. 
 
Memorial Day began immediately after the Civil War ended as a way to commemorate the hundreds of thousands who died on both sides of the North-South divide. Veterans, ministers, and other community members — white and black alike — founded the holiday to heal and unify a divided nation. The traditions of parades, picnics, and military ceremonies started back then, over 150 years ago, and continue to this day.
 
Monday, May 25th, marks the unofficial start of summer, a day for patriotic celebration and, most importantly, solemn remembrance of our brave military men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. They are the reason we are here in the land of the free so let us never forget that. 
 
Together as a union let's honor the millions of Americans who work hard everyday and devote their lives to keep this country great. We hope all our members take pride in that and remember why we celebrate the true meaning of Memorial Day.
 
Have yourselves a fun and safe holiday weekend.

Thank You from the NJ AFL-CIO

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Dear Buddy,

We are extremely grateful for your support of the April 1, 2015, Common Sense Economics (CSE) workshop hosted by the Passaic County Central Labor Council and Passaic County YES. Your generous contribution not only made this event a success, but will also go a long way to supporting the growth of the young workers program in Passaic County.

Young workers groups are essential to the future of the labor movement. These groups are working to develop the solidarity and creativity of young workers. Through these efforts, we will grow our collective voice as well as bolster our effectiveness in the areas of organizing, politics, and legislative advocacy. It will also be a priority of young workers groups to educate our brothers and sisters on the history of the labor movement so that unions continue to stand for progressive middle class values for generations to come.

We applaud the support of leaders like yourself who recognize the importance and benefits of investing in the growth of our young union brothers and sisters. As we continue to invest in labor’s future, we look forward to your ongoing support.

In Solidarity,

Charles Wowkanech, President

Laurel Brennan, Secretary-Treasurer

Local 164's Sullivan sworn in as Bergen freeholder

Friday, January 30, 2015

We’d like to extend a hearty congratulations to union brother Tom Sullivan, president of IBEW Local 164, who has been selected to fill an open seat on the Bergen County Freeholder Board.

The Bergen County Democratic Committee chose Brother Sullivan to fill the seat at its convention this week. He succeeds Jim Tedesco, who was elected Bergen County Executive in November.

We’re certain Brother Sullivan has the leadership skills and experience necessary to be an outstanding freeholder, and that he possesses the commitment and understanding to uphold and advance the values of fellow middle-class families. As Brother Sullivan himself told The Record newspaper, “I bring a common-sense approach, a down-to-earth approach. I'm a regular person.”

He is no stranger to politics either. He’s a former councilman in Bergenfield and Montvale and an active member of the Bergen County Central Labor Council.

Brother Sullivan is among the earliest graduates of our Labor Candidates School and a compelling example of the adage, “Elections Have Consequences.” First, we worked hard to support the election of County Exec Tedesco. And now, after electing the right man for the job of leading the state’s most populated county, we have labor representation on the freeholder board. Good things happen when we all work together!

Brother Sullivan’s election is the 816th union member victory through the New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s Labor Candidates Program. He has our strong support now and he’ll have it when he runs to complete the final year of the term in November.

A Good Year for our Local Union

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Message from Business Manager Bud Thoman 
 
I hope everyone had the opportunity to enjoy the holidays with their families and friends. Looking back at 2014, it was a fairly successful year. The IBEW had their first member from the 3rd District, elected to Congress. Donald Norcross, Assistant Business Manager of IBEW Local 351 in Folsom NJ. Donald was recently elected in the 1st District of New Jersey. 
 
"Thanks to the many members 
who helped make this happen"
 
Some of the positives for Local 94, we finished the year with 4 successfully negotiated contracts. One was a first agreement with Florence Landscaping Company. This is a Company that bids on work at the Utility and based on the success of their bids, would employ 4 to 20 members for our Local Union. Thank you to Business Agent Carl Romao for the referral of this employer. The other three CBA's were renegotiated agreements. Sussex REA, with Asplundh Tree was ratified and provides a 4 year agreement with a 2% wage increase and a .5% increase of their safety bonus, for each year of the agreement. The other 2 successful agreements were with Bartlett and DZ Atlantic for the traveling Health Physics that work the outages at our Nuclear plants. The agreement is for 3 years and provides for a 3.5% wage increase for each year of the agreement. The Energy Strong work is ongoing. It  has created many jobs, both internal and external. The electric work is on schedule and the gas work is ahead of schedule. Hopefully, the Company will be filing to do additional work. Congratulations to Nuclear and Fossil Generation who finished the year in the top decile for safety. This means we had less members being injured on the job. Many thanks to the members of the Safety Councils, LOB's, and the members themselves for creating an environment where everyone is looking out for each other.
 
We also had some unfortunate situations. In the last month of the year we had 7 discharges at PSEG alone. We also had a member that was seriously injured in Electric Distribution, our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. Good luck to all as we start a new year. 

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year Local 94

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Message from Business Manager Bud Thoman 

On behalf of all of the leadership here at the International Brotherhood of Electical Workers Local 94, we would like to wish you and your loved ones a very happy Holiday Season and a healthy and prosperous New Year.  We are confident that any challenges that 2015 may bring, together as a Local we will persevere and we will achieve our goals in this upcoming year. I want to thank each and every one of you for your hard work, dedication and brotherhood. We all have much to be thankful for. Please enjoy the much deserved time with your friends and family and always remember to make safety a daily habit. God bless you, our local union, this great country and the troops serving overseas. 

Click the image to visit Labor411.org to check out a list of Union Made in the USA last minute gift ideas.
 
 
 
 
Below: IBEW International President Ed Hill wish the men and women of the IBEW a Merry Christmas in this special edition of President's Message on IBEW Hour Power.  

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