Our Local was chartered in a period of rough times. The country was bring it self out of the greatest depress ion it had ever known. As with attitudes, now we know who was suffer ing the most the working man. When times are bad, the workers of the land are the ones that have to give in. Working conditions were bad, wages extremely low, not exactly what many of us know today. Something was needed to help the worker out of his deplorable condition, and the courageous men around them knew our affiliation with the I.B.EW . was the answer.
One must bear in mind that the workers at that time had no rights under the law, no laws protected him while he organized. The National Labor Relations Act was not in existence yet. These men were "radicals" and troublemakers. It was going to disrupt a way of work life that many were used to. There were many enemies to the labor movement. To our benefit, these courageous founders of our local stood fast and firm and they prevailed.
Many good things came about, and they helped ease the conditions of employment in existence then. A grievance procedure was negotiated, discrepancies in wages and classifications were resolved. Changes for our good came about, and each negotiation since has been to aid all of us. We didn't win every issue, but our Union gave us a voice to be heard. The path was cleared so we could seek betterment in our economic status, a safe workplace, and a way to retire when our time came.
Since 1934 we have come a long way. Our families, our communities, and our companies have all benefited. We still must guard the idea ls of our founders and protect the rights of the workers. We should not take for granted all we have gained. We all have a responsibility to those before us, and those yet to come. We must keep the movement alive and viable for it benefits us all. The good we have had passed on to us must be guarded. Let us continue to grow and seek higher standards of living.
Let us thank those early radicals and troublemakers of their times. They proved to be more compassionate and more will ing to give than take. Help keep the betterment of the worker a prime goal. Hopefully, in another fifty years our children and grand children will reflect back in a grateful and favorable view. The members of 1934 made history for us, and gave us a better view of the workplace than they had. We commend them. We learned from them , and must teach those to come.
On behalf of the officers and members of Local 459, I would like to welcome you into the membership of our union.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Worker s was organized in 1890 in St. Louis, Missouri, to further the cause of working men and women. In 1934 our Local was organized by a small group of courageous men and women, in Johnstown, PA, who worked for the Pennsylvania Electric Company. These people had the stamina to persevere to improve their lives and the lives of their families, through the collective bargaining process, to gain the benefits and security we enjoy today.
Through the years, Local 459 has expanded and now has Labor Agreements with forty-one(41) companies in Pennsylvania and New York.
Now that you are a member, I invite you to support our union, attend its monthly meetings, and work together to provide better lives for all of us.
History of Local 459
- February 1975 purchased property, RD 3 Highland Park Road for office of Local 459.
- Sold the property May 1978.
- Bought Holtzman Building on Broad Street March 1978.
- Changed the office name of Local 459 to Parsha Hall- time? 1986 or 87.
- Purchased a strip of land beside Local 459 office for additional parking space.
- Purchased from Helen Lech . Apr il, 2011.
- Local 1138 merged into Local 459 - Feb. 1975.
- Local 30 and 1124 merged into Local 459 - Apr il 1994.
- Local 385 merged into Local 459 - August 2012.