Thursday, July 16, 2015
Message from Business Manager Paul L. Cameron
I would like to start with some exciting news for Local 459 - The making of the New-Member Video. The completed video was premiered during the annual 2015 Local 459 Steward Workshop. It was created to deliver a welcome message to new members and provide a brief overview of how our Local Union operates, as well as some helpful information for existing Members. I encourage all Members to check it on their smart phone or computer and be sure to pass it on. In addition to the approximately 7 minute long video, there is an all new “New Member Page” on the website. Please take a few minutes to look it over at www.ibew459.org. The video - in conjunction with the introduction by a Local Steward on the shop floor - is intended to inform new Members what it means to be a Union member, the time and place of the district meetings and to communicate we have a long standing tradition of being a strong and proud Local Union.
After many negotiating sessions with Management representing the General Trade Corporation, located in New Florence, Pa., our Brothers where locked out after an offer by the company was rejected by the bargaining unit. When talks resumed, a final offer was agreed to and it was overwhelmingly accepted by the Membership of the bargaining unit at GTC. With a strong showing of solidarity, our brothers where scheduled back to work the following day.
The annual Local 459 Steward Training for 2015 was held last April, and the positive feedback received from Stewards and Officers in attendance confirms this year’s preparation and subject matter was yet another productive and valuable training session. Stewards play a vital role in representing the Members of Local 459. Knowing the working agreements and taking action when a violation occurs to our Members is not an easy task. The hard work and dedication from Stewards of Local 459 is much appreciated. Thank you for all you do.
A watershed moment for Local 459 is upon us with the renovation to our Local Union Hall. The upgrades to the building are in the final stages of completion.
We must remember that if it were not for the foresight of Members and Local Leadership before us, who acted on the recognized need for a permanent location to keep the growing amount of files, agreements, records, meeting notes and a place to hold meetings for current and future Members (some of whom they would never even meet) we would not be where we are today. We owe those who made it happen much appreciation that we even have the Hall we have today to renovate.
Some past members who were instrumental in obtaining our Union Hall are Brothers- Charlie Meo, Deneen Brant, Joe Sanna, Jeff Kehl, Milt Nicholes and Billy Parsha, to name a few. They realized having boxes of files in the trunk of a car with the Local MOA’s and MOU’s was not going to work going forward and a permanent location was necessary. Past Business Manager Billy Parsha had the vision and knew what was needed and was instrumental to making a Union Hall a reality. In 1977, after the Johnstown Flood, Local 459 purchased the ‘Holtzman Building’ at 408 Broad Street in Johnstown, Pa. After the mud was shoveled up and the building cleaned out, it became a Local Union Hall for the IBEW and has remained substantially the same since.
After Brother Parsha’s passing in 1978, a ceremony was held in the mid 1980’s, and the “PARSHA HALL” placard was placed on the front of the Local 459 Union Hall as dedication to “Bill’s devoted service to Local 459.”
Fast forward nearly 40 years later and the current Membership and Leadership recognized the need for updates; and in the same spirit and forward thinking as those before us, we can be proud that our Union Hall is prepared for our Sisters and Brothers after us. Just as we have enjoyed the shade from a tree planted by those who came before us, we are providing shade to those who will come long after us.
Your Officers are looking forward to presenting the Local 459 members their newly renovated Union Hall. An open house is in the early planning stages and will be communicated once finalized. Work safe. Support your Union Sisters and Brothers. Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable summer for you and your family.