UNITED WE STAND
17 UNION WORLD Less
LOCAL UNION NO. 3 IBEW
Official Newspaper of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 3
158-11 Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Avenue, Flushing, New York, N.Y. 11365
The Electrical Union World is published monthly except February, and July Periodicals postage paid at Flushing, N.Y. and additional mailing
Vol. 65, No. 3 and distributed to the membership of Local 3, IBEW at no additional cost, APRIL offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Electrical
by Local 3, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO, Union World, 158-11 Harry Van Arsdale Jr., Ave., Flushing,
158-11 Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Ave., Flushing, New York, 11365. 2004 NY 11365.
IBEW Endorses John Kerry for President
O n behalf of the 750,000 members of the Inter-
national Brotherhood of Electrical Workers,
President Edwin D. Hill announced on March 26,
2004 the union’s endorsement of Senator John
Kerry (D-Mass) for President of the United States.
“America needs a leader who will address the
pressing needs of working families, especially jobs.
John Kerry’s long record as a military man and an
elected official shows that he has the courage and
vision to lead this nation in challenging times,”
President Hill said at a IBEW Construction Confer-
ence attended by approximately one thousand local
Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-MO), representing the
Kerry campaign, addressed the conference to accept
the IBEW’s endorsement on behalf of the Massa-
President Hill noted that for the past three years, Pictured with AFL-CIO President John Sweeney (right) is presidential candidate
working families have suffered while President John Kerry (D-Mass). IBEW President Edwin Hill announced the IBEW’s
Bush has cut taxes for the wealthy and rewarded endorsement of John Kerry for president on March 26, 2004.
corporations for taking American jobs overseas. unprecedented degree in preparation for the and promote balanced economic policies,”
“It’s time for those who built this country November elections. (See article on Edwin President Hill said. “John Kerry is the
to take it back,” President Hill said. “A Lopez on page 2). candidate who can lead our nation to a
nation that doesn’t work for all its citizens “Our union had chosen not to endorse a brighter future.”
On The Inside no longer deserves to be called the land of
opportunity. Working families need the sup-
candidate earlier in the process. We be-
lieved that our unity in November would
Founded in 1891, the International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers is a
port of a President who values their contri- be the most valuable support we could 750,000-member union representing work-
• Edwin Lopez to head butions to American society.” provide the eventual nominee. Now is the ers in utilities, construction, telecommunica-
President Hill said the IBEW is already time to stand together to fight for job tions, manufacturing, broadcasting, railroads
IBEW National Election mobilizing its members and resources to an creation, address the issue of health care and government.
• Mobilizing Local 3’s
Membership ........1, 2, 3 Local 3 Mobilizing Membership
• Local 3 files petition to
represent former Local
150 Electricians ...........3 For 2004 Elections
• Editorials .....................4 “Insuring the election of John Kerry
to the presidency of the United States
a) Electronic Voting is of the highest priority,” stated Local
b) Health Care Cost 3 President John E. Marchell. At each
meeting among the members of Local
c) Overtime Regulations 3, President Marchell has reiterated
• Undermining the commitment of Local 3 to oust
George W. Bush from the White House.
Worker’s Unions ..........5 “Under the direction of our Business
• Bush on Safety & Manager Thomas Van Arsdale and by
a resolution of the Executive Board,
Health ..........................5 this union is being mobilized to effect
• ‘Labor’s Champion’ this change in national leadership.
Business Manager Thomas Van
Book Review ...............9 Arsdale has put the education of Local
3’s membership on the issues of im-
• Financial Report .......10 portance to them as American workers
• Scholarship as the highest priority.”
Breakfast ...........12, 6, 7
(Continued on page 2 and 3)
Page 2 ELECTRICAL UNION WORLD April 2004
(Continued from page 1) 10 point plan of Local 3 to mobilize its
members. It also points out the dam-
James Robson, business representa- age that has been done by the present
tive representing the DBM Division Bush Administration pertaining to
has been assigned the coordination of worker issues including health and
voter registration and education of all safety, establishing the Department of
members. Previous to Representative Homeland Security as a non-union
Robson, Representative Edwin Lopez agency of the federal government, and
was handling the assignment. In early the Administration’s support of the
March International President Edwin outsourcing of American manufactur-
Hill requested the temporary assign- ing jobs. In addition the presentation
ment of Lopez to the International of- points out the false and misleading
fice in Washington, D.C. to lead and statements of the Administration on
coordinate the international’s national almost every subject of importance to
efforts to mobilize every member for the American people.
the upcoming national elections. With “President Bush fails to tell the truth
Lopez reassigned, Business Manger every time he opens his mouth. The
Van Arsdale looked to Representative members of his administration from
Robson to fill the gap created with the the vice-president down through his
shifting of Lopez’s responsibilities. cabinet to the very roots of his govern-
Rank and file DBM member Michael ment fail to speak openly and honestly
Yee, along with Assistant Business to the American people. He has lost all
Manager of the Maintenance Divisions credibility, not only with the Ameri-
Christopher Erikson, developed a can people but within the international
power point presentation outlining the community as well.” stated Robson.
Edwin Lopez to Head
IBEW 2004 Election Drive
Effective state has assigned an IBEW coordinator as
March 1, 2004, well.
Local 3 Busi- “This is of great importance for the
ness Represen- over-all effort to mobilize every member
tative Edwin of the IBEW in this year’s national elec-
Lopez was tion cycle,” states Lopez. “Every state is
appointed by unique. As former Speaker of the House
International Tip O’Neil once said, ‘All politics is lo-
President cal.’ We cannot be successful in our effort
Edwin Hill to without the input, cooperation and coordi-
oversee the co- nation of national goals within in each
ordination of state. Every state has unique circumstances
the IBEW’s na- and issues and our members have to be
tional cam- informed how the re-election of George
paign to elect W. Bush will effect them and their fami-
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass) president of the lies and how John Kerry is committed to
United States. governing in their interests.”
Lopez has been active in politics on Local 3 Business Manager Thomas Van
behalf of Local 3 and the New York City Arsdale reported to the general member-
Central Labor Council throughout his ca- ship at the March meeting that Lopez, who
reer as a union member. He comes from a ordinarily represents construction electri-
tradition of trade unionists. His father, cians in The Bronx, will be temporarily
Jose, was a former organizer and staff
representative of the AFL-CIO who was
beaten severely during the campaign to
assigned to Washington D.C. and that an
arrangement has been made with the inter-
national office for reimbursement of the
“A” Contract Negotiations
At the time of press, the “A” Construction Contract Negotiation Committee has
organize farm workers in California. cost of the temporary assignment. “We are
met with the employers thirteen times. Each session has been prolonged as
His assignment from the IBEW is to extremely proud of Edwin Lopez and are both sides attempt to hammer out an equitable agreement. Topics discussed
develop strategies and assist in their imple- confident he will perform an outstanding include the continued delivery of benefits presently enjoyed under the existing
mentation in every one of the 50 states. job on behalf of the Brotherhood and his agreement. In addition lengthy discussions pertaining to the work sharing plan,
Each of the 11 district vice presidents actions will reflect well upon the caliber pension plan, and welfare plan have taken place. The present agreement is set
of the IBEW assigned a staff member to of men and women that make up the rank to expire on May 13, 2004.
assist in the effort and in addition each and file of Local 3, IBEW.”
April 2004 ELECTRICAL UNION WORLD Page 3
Local 3 has begun to hold meetings
among its members who are presently
not registered to vote. Although it is
estimated that 75% of the membership
is registered it is the goal of Robson to 10-Point Plan
expand that number and include the
1. Recruit key contacts within each Local
family members as well in the regis- 3 Division, Club, and at specific
tration process. worksites.
Robson and Erikson have presented 2. Distribute leaflets at all union work-
the PowerPoint to thousands of mem- sites.
bers as the program expands. Edwin 3. Maximize communication from Local
Lopez has utilized it in his efforts in 3 Officers and Business Representa-
Washington and has sent copies of it to tives.
all the state IBEW coordinators and 4. Maximize contact through the “Elec-
vice-presidential districts within the trical Union World” and the Local 3
IBEW. web site www.local3.com.
Every member is asked to partici- 5. Update the Local 3 membership lists
pate in educating themselves and their and increase voluntary contributions
families on the issues confronting them to COPE.
as middle class working Americans. 6. Increase the number of Local 3 mem-
An educated electorate is the best pro- bers and their families registered to
tection from the extreme policies of vote.
the Bush Administration and Local 3 7. Build coalitions throughout our local
believes an educated electorate will communities with voter registration and
oust the present Administration in No- voter education drives.
vember. “But this can only happen if 8. Maximize impact of union phone calls
you educate yourself and your fam- and phone banks.
ily,” states Robson, “Like charity, the
education must begin at home.”
9. Massive Get Out The Vote campaign.
10. Link politics to organizing. Local 3 Seeks Representation
of Garment District Electricians
“J” Street Light Division Picks On April 5, 2004 Local 3 filed for an
election among the employees of the Indus-
expand outside the agreed-to area. The em-
ployers took advantage of the new locals
trial Electrical Contractors Association. The lack of knowledge pertaining to Local 150’s
2004 Negotiation Committee IECA consists of 11 electrical contractors
who traditionally did work in the garment
relationship to Local 3 and began to bid on
general electrical construction contracts.
district of Manhattan. In recent years they Local 174 fell into difficulty and was put
have expanded into public work and private into trusteeship by the UFCW and eventu-
work outside the garment industry. ally its contracts were transferred into Local
The employees of the IECA members are 342-50.
presently represented by Local 342-50 During the period of trusteeship, Local 3
United Food and Commercial Workers, Business Manager Thomas Van Arsdale,
AFL-CIO. They originated out of the former along with Assistant Business Manager of
Local 150 Furriers Union. Since the late Construction Raymond Melville met with
1950’s there was an understanding between the vice president of UFCW in an attempt to
Local 3 and the Furriers that once these educate the UFCW as to the undermining of
employers sought work outside the garment Local 3’s standards by these contractors.
industry that they would use Local 3 electri- After much discussion, Local 342-50 en-
cians for such work. tered into a service agreement with Local 3.
Local 150 had a proud history of repre- The agreement authorized Local 3 to act as
senting workers of contractors who prima- Local 342’s agent in the administration of
rily constructed sewing machine shops. Most the agreement between IECA and Local
of their work was mechanical and it was not 342-50. It was hoped such an arrangement
until the contractors obtained electrical would result in the development of a cordial
licenses to perform that part of the sewing relationship between the employers and
Pictured above are the members of the 2004 “J” Division Negotiation Committee. machine installation that required such a Local 3. This failed.
The Committee was selected at the Division’s April 2004 meeting. The “J” Division license, that these workers began to perform The unit consists of approximately 150
consists of members who are responsible for the installation and maintenance of limited electrical work. electricians and helpers who are performing
all New York City street lights and traffic signals. The commitee is pictured with With the merge of Local 150 into Local general construction, maintenance and re-
Division Business Representative Brian M. McLaughlin (center standing) and 174 UFCW upon the retirement of Local habilitation work on electrical systems
Division Chairman Pete Manno (to McLaughlin’s right) and Vice Chairman Carl 150’s leadership, the employers began to
Belgornio (to McLaughlin’s left). (Continued on page 4)
Page 4 ELECTRICAL UNION WORLD April 2004
Raising Cost of Health Care
The delivery of health care to Americans is in jeopardy.
Presently over 43 million Americans are without health insurance. Cost are
skyrocketing. Over the last three years the cost to the electrical industry in
New York City has increased at a rate of 15 percent per year.
With present costs at approximately $230M per year, it is estimated that
over the next four and one half years the cost will increase to $430.6M. An
astronomical amount. This is the effect in just one industry. It can be American workers should not be fooled. Every worker should contact the
multiplied throughout the economy and the result is mind boggling. Department of Labor and the White House and express their continued
One of the factors effecting cost is the requirement to pay a surcharge by outrage and demand every working American be guaranteed their right to
insurers to cover the cost of the uninsured. This translates into increased cost receive overtime for work performed in excess of 40 hours in any week.
of goods and services. It also creates a system where employers who provide
health insurance are subsidizing those who do not. Electronic Voting
We believe the time has come for some form of national health care. Since the voting debacle of 2000, there has been a surge to implement
Implementation of a mandated national health care delivery system would electronic voting as a replacement of paper ballots and the traditional voting
resolve two problems facing America. First, it would provide a basic level of methods that have been utilized throughout the 50 states. Voting systems are
coverage for every American. Second it would level the economic playing state controlled. There are no national standards for the purpose of voting.
field for American corporations on a global scale. One state many have a “chad” system, another the use of traditional voting
Most industrialized nations in the world presently have some form of machines, another paper ballots while another has electronic voting.
national health care. By not having a national health care system, American In the wake of the 2000 election fiasco Congress passed legislation in an
businesses are at a disadvantage and are forced to compete against foreign attempt to address the concerns raised in the last presidential election. This
corporations that do not have the additional cost of providing health care to hastily constructed legislation has only created a potentially much bigger
their employees. The cost is shared across the broad economic landscape of problem. Election technology has not advanced to the point where it can
the individual nation, rather than upon individual employers. provide electronic systems that are reliable enough for us to trust.
A healthy workforce is to America’s advantage as a society, economically Presently over 37 states use electronic voting machines produced by
and competitively. The time has come for the establishment of a mandated Diebold Inc. Unfortunately, the president of Diebold, Walden W. O’Dell, is
national health care delivery system in these United States. on record as stating, “I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral
votes to the president [George W. Bush] next year.”
Every American has the right to back any candidate. Under ordinary
Overtime Smoke and Mirrors circumstances such a public stance is every American’s right. However, when
the president of the company that produces the very voting machines that will
Over the last year the Bush Administration has used the federal regulatory
determine the outcome of our elections makes the statement, every American
process to alter the regulations defining workers rights to overtime pay.
should become concerned…especially after the manner in which this American
Indeed, it has gone so far as to publish on the website of the Department of
president attained the Oval Office.
Labor “Tips on how to Avoid Paying Overtime” to employers.
President George W. Bush lost the popular vote and only through the
The White House claims the new regulations will increase the number of
intercession of the United States Supreme Court became president.
workers eligible for overtime pay. It does on the low wage side, but eliminates
The American people should choose the occupant of the Oval Office….not
an estimated 644,000 on the higher income side. The original changes created
the Supreme Court.
an uproar from working Americans. 75,000 emails were received against
Critics of electronic voting point out that the Diebold voting machines
implementation. On April 21st the Administration announced that the new
provide zero security against election fraud. In July 2003, professors at Johns
regulations would exempt “first responders”…police officers, firefighters,
Hopkins University and Rice University analyzed the software code for the
emergency medical technicians, some blue-collar workers and licensed
company’s touch-screen voting machines and concluded that there was “no
practical nurses. This is nothing more than an attempt to pit one worker
evidence of rigorous software engineering discipline” and that “cryptography,
against another in order to suppress the outrage that the American worker has
when used at all, is used incorrectly.”
Present day electronic voting machines are not reliable. Defective hardware
and bugs in software could decide who wins an election. Manual recounts will
be impossible in districts that don’t allow voters to inspect a paper record of
In other words there is no protection against “rigging” a ballot.
UNION WORLD We encourage every American to support legislation that was introduced
to the Congress by Representative Rush D. Holt (D-NY) that would require
that computerized voting systems produce a voter-verified paper ballot and
Founded in 1940 by HARRY VAN ARSDALE JR. that the software code be publicly available.
Published by International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 3
158-11 Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Avenue, Flushing, NY 11365
Bus. Mgr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . THOMAS VAN ARSDALE
Tel.: (718) 591-4000
Financial Secretary . . . . . . . . . . . . . VINCENT McELROEN
President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JOHN E. MARCHELL Treasurer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JAMES JONES
(Continued on page 3)
Vice President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LUIS G. RESTREPO Recording Secretary . . . . . . . . . . . JOSEPH R. BECHTOLD
throughout Manhattan. All of the electrical the exception of one which is based in
Executive Board employers are based in Manhattan with Brooklyn.
JOHN DITUSA ELLIOT HECHT MICHAEL O’NEILL
On April 12, 2004 Local 3 filed for elec-
ROBERT SIMONIELLO GORDON YOUNG
tions among the individual employer mem-
EDWARD F. NOVEY, JR.
GEORGE K. SCHUCK FRANK TORRES Correction bers of IECA.
The employees of the employer members
have indicated they want Local 3 as their
THOMAS VAN ARSDALE VINCENT McELROEN In the March edition of the Electrical
representative. They indicated this 18 months
Editor Managing Editor Union World, on page 2 Defending the
Nation, Kenneth Gratto Jr., was listed ago when Local 342-50 held a general mem-
that he serves in the US Marine Corps, he bership meeting and asked them who they
Labor Press wanted to have represent them and they
Council is serving in the US Army.
unanimously stated Local 3, IBEW.
April 2004 ELECTRICAL UNION WORLD Page 5
Bush Assault On Worker Rights
The IBEW has taken a leadership role in
all phases of this fight including the devel-
opment of strategy and coalition building
among other unions and the public. The
At Department of Defense by Presdent Edwin D. Hill, IBEW
IBEW Government Employees and Politi-
cal/Legislative Departments are working
very closely to coordinate efforts on this
battle in Congress.
We are in trouble, reports IBEW Presi- and its own labor-management board out- asked DOD to identify any elements of
dent Edwin R. Hill via a recent letter to This is a life and death situation for all
side of the requirements of current federal collective bargaining that have ever caused
unions in the United States. We are com-
every IBEW local union. “We,” meaning employee collective bargaining law. problems with national security. DOD re-
all union members in the United States. municating with all members of Congress
On February 6, 2004, DOD presented fused to answer, stating that they would
to convince them to rein in DOD, compel
The Bush Administration has begun an the unions with its specific proposals for discuss their proposals only and not the
it to withdraw its illegal proposals and
all-out assault on employee unions and this new labor-management system. Their reasons for them.
their collective bargaining rights. Its goal work with the unions to develop a system
proposals go far outside the boundaries DOD’s claim that the creation of this
that complies with the current law and
is to end collective bargaining and “due authorized by the Congress in the Defense system is for national security reasons is a
process” for the working people of this provides true collective bargaining pro-
Authorization Act. If implemented by lie. This “Rumsfeld Proposal” is aimed
country. The first tier of the DOD on October 1, 2004, as planned, it solely at destroying employees’ rights.
To do this, we need you to contact your
administration’s attack on union rights is will end collective bargaining for DOD There is no other reason for its existence!
the over 700,000 civilian employees that U.S. Representative and Senators now!
employees, as we know it today. There We must all be concerned with this
Tell them that DOD’s proposed collective
work for the Department of Defense (DOD) will be no collective bargaining agree- attack on collective bargaining because
agencies. Unfortunately, it has made con- bargaining system for its employees is far
ments and no negotiated grievance proce- this is only the beginning. When they
outside what the law allows. Urge them to
siderable progress toward this goal. dures. Negotiation will be replaced by finish destroying DOD employee unions,
take the action necessary to make it clear
On November 24, 2003, President Bush “consultation.” After 60 days of consulta- the next step will be to bring down unions
signed into law a provision that gives the to DOD that it must adhere to the law in
tion with the respective unions, if DOD and collective bargaining rights in the pri-
establishing the NSPS.
(DOD) the authority to design a new per- does not like the union proposals it will vate sector — all in the name of “national
sonnel scheme called the National Secu- In addition to the above, it is vital that
implement its own. security.” It seems that when President
all local union members and their fami-
rity Personnel System (NSPS). The NSPS, Representatives at DOD stated that the Bush tells Congress that certain legisla-
lies, friends, religious leaders and com-
also known as the “Rumsfeld Proposal,” personnel system changes were needed tion is necessary for national security rea-
gives the DOD the authority to create its munity leaders contact their congressional
for “national security” purposes. The sons, many members of Congress are re-
delegations with the same message.
own labor-management relations system IBEW and other union representatives luctant to disagree regardless of the outra-
Administration Puts Worker SAMPLE LETTER
April 14, 2004
Safety and Health in Deep Freeze (Please hand write and address individually to your U.S. Representative and Senators)
Since taking office in January 2001, the OSHA’s entire history, with no plans to Address for U.S. Representatives: Address for U.S. Senators:
Bush administration has turned its back on issue any new rules during its 4-year term.
workers and workplace safety. Siding with • Favored Employer Voluntary Pro- The Honorable (insert Rep.’s name) The Honorable (insert Senator’s name)
its corporate friends, the administration has grams over Enforcement and Excluded U.S. House of Representatives U.S. Senate
overturned or blocked dozens of important Workers and Unions — The administra- Washington, DC 20515 Washington, DC 20510
workplace protections and weakened job tion has made expanding voluntary pro-
safety programs, leaving workers in danger. grams and outreach to employers a top pri- Dear Representative/Senator______________:
Here are some of the highlights of the Bush ority. Bush’s OSHA has set up partnerships
Administration’s long record of failure on and alliances with dozens of employers, I am writing concerning the new personnel rules proposed by the Department of
workplace safety: largely excluding unions. Union representa- Defense (DOD). These new rules, authorized but not required by the National Defense
• Killed Workplace Ergonomic Pro- tives critical of the administration have been Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2004, go well beyond what Congress
tections — The Bush administration started removed from all agency advisory commit- intended, and I urge you to reject them.
its assault on worker safety soon after taking tees in an attempt to silence opposition.
office joining with anti-worker business • Tried to Dismantle Worker Safety Based on a request from the Bush administration, and in the interest of national
groups to repeal OSHA’s ergonomics stan- and Health Training Programs — While security, Congress sought to grant DOD some additional flexibility in managing its
dard. The standard, 10 years in the making, expanding outreach to employers, the Bush workforce. Instead, DOD has usurped congressional authority and proposed that DOD
would have required employers to protect administration has tried to gut training and be allowed to:
workers from the nation’s biggest job safety education programs for workers, proposing Replace good-faith bargaining with unions over personnel changes to mere
problem — injuries caused by heavy lifting to slash the worker training budget by 75% “consultation;” Allow DOD to unilaterally determine which changes are
and repetitive work. The administration’s and eliminate funding for union-run pro- sufficiently significant to merit “consultation;”
promised “comprehensive plan” to address grams. Thus far, unions have successfully
ergonomic hazards has turned out to be a fought these cuts, but the administration’s Allow DOD to unilaterally implement personnel changes where it cannot
sham. In 3 years, only one voluntary non- efforts to eliminate these important worker reach agreement with the unions. In such a case, DOD would be permitted to
enforceable guideline — for nursing programs continue. cease all post-implementation negotiations;
homes— has been issued. • Appointed an Industry Anti-ergo
• Repealed Record keeping for Ergo- Create an unlevel playing field at the new Defense Labor Relations Board
Leader as DOL’s Chief Lawyer — A few
nomic Injuries — Adding insult to injury, (DLRB) because its members would be selected solely by the Secretary of
weeks after killing the OSHA ergonomics
the Bush administration repealed the OSHA Defense; and
standard, the President nominated Eugene
rule requiring musculoskeletal disorders to Scalia, one of the leaders of the industry Discriminate against DOD employees because, as a result, up to 200,000
be identified on the workplace injury log. campaign to kill the ergonomics standard, as DOD employees could lose their right to join unions.
Instead of requiring hazards to be elimi- the chief lawyer at the Department of Labor.
nated, they are hoping reports of injuries Scalia called ergonomics “quackery” and These changes are unnecessary and have nothing to do with national security or the
will simply disappear. “war on terror.” Ironically, many of the current personnel rules were developed during
“junk science” and claimed workers injuries
• Shut Down All New Workplace Safety America’s Cold War with the Soviet Union. Is there any argument as to who won that
and Health Rules — The Bush administra- conflict?
• Moved to Slash the Job Safety Bud-
tion killed dozens of worker protection mea- get - For 3 years straight President Bush It is time for Congress to assert its authority and tell DOD to follow the law. To that
sures under development at OSHA and proposed to cut the OSHA, MSHA and end, I respectfully request that you sign-on to the letters being circulated by Represen-
MSHA, including rules on cancer causing NIOSH budgets, reducing money for tative Chris Van Hollen and Senator Ernest Hollings. It strongly urges DOD Secretary
substances, reactive chemicals, and infec- enforcement and standards programs in favor Donald Rumsfeld to withdraw his proposal and submit one that is consistent with the
tious diseases such as TB. They have even of voluntary assistance programs for intent of Congress — something the current proposal is clearly not.
refused to issue a rule requiring employers employers. Due to the unions’ efforts, the
to pay for personal protective equipment, Congress has rejected these proposed cuts Sincerely,
particularly important for immigrant and and maintained the budgets for the job safety (Your name)
low wage workers. This Bush administra- agencies. (Your address)
tion has the worst record on safety rules in
Page 6 ELECTRICAL UNION WORLD Page 7
Richard Paul Ascatigno Liza Marie Vall0 Michael Trapani Inga Shalmiyeva Kyell David Schwartz Ryan Hughes Jamie Hope Rosenberg Lillian Mary Reilly Courtney-Marie Prezioso Paul Pikman Alison Marie Perry Dimitri Papadatos Juliana Josephine Pace Nicole Elizabeth Noon Sarah Gan-Ming Ma
Efrem A. Kahn Felix Hirsch Sigurd B. Oslen Gus Smith George W. Kleinknecht Father William J. Kelley O.M.I. James L. O’Hara Memorial Paul V. Dooley Memorial Samuel Collins Memorial Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Robert A. Goller Sr. William Nawrocky Louis Stein George T. McSpedon Dion Larry Haring
Memorial Scholarship Scholarship Foundation Scholarship Scholarship Schol. (Father Accepted) Memorial Scholarship Scholarship Scholarship Scholarship Memorial Scholarship Memorial Scholarship Memorial Scholarship Scholarship Memorial Scholarship Memorial Scholarship
On the first anniversary of Sep-
15th Annual Essay Contest - First Place Essay tember 11th, I felt completely dazed:
could it have been a year already? It 46 Scholarships Awarded
“How Does Increased Security & the Threat was as if I was living my life from
September to September, from the (Continued on from page 12)
of Terrorism Impact Your Life? marking of the tragedy to its tearful
remembrance. I thought of every-
Kasey Joy Basch by Cassianne Giammarino thing that had happened in my life The director of the Educational and many fine applicants who although Association followed. Albert J. Olsen’s daughter, Christina, for the Marisa Lauren Miller
A. Lincoln Bush Cultural Fund, Dr. Finkel, outlined not chosen, had demonstrated high Samilenko, president of the Associa- presentation of the five Sigurd B. Olsen Walter D. Whitelaw
between the two 11ths — yes, events
Awards. Christina noted that her fa- Scholarship
had gone on as they always do, holi- the history of the Scholarship Pro- levels of academic ability. tion of Electrical Contractors, pre-
days, birthdays, school and summer gram while highlighting the extended Following a breakfast of sausage, sented the A. Lincoln Bush Memo- ther, Greg, who normally presents the
— but it seemed too pale to have menu of the Educational and Cultural eggs, and potatoes, the six annual rial Scholarship; David Pinter, presi- awards, was in training for a trip as a
really existed. Then I thought yes, Programs offered to members during Memorial Awards were presented. dent of the New York City Chapter cosmonaut with the Russian Space pro-
but life did go on. It may have con- 2003. He then congratulated the re- Cornell University presented the Fa- of the New York Electrical Contrac- gram. The awards are a tribute to Greg’s
tinued in an altered mood, but there cipients and their families noting that ther Kelley, O.M.I. award. The Dr. tors Association presented the Will- father’s emphasis on education.
was something different about that the average S.A.T. score for this group Martin Luther King Jr. award pre- iam A. Hogan Memorial Scholar- Raymond Melville, Assistant Busi-
first year that was not filled with was 1307 and the average G.P.A. was sented by Trevor Green, president of ship; Assistant Business Manager ness Manager of Construction, Local
despair and anxiety. There was a 95. Dr. Finkel also commended the the Lewis H. Latimer Progressive Christopher Erikson presented the 3, IBEW then presented the William
revived sense of solidarity among Armand D’Angelo Memorial Schol- Nawrocky Memorial Award. Mr.
Robert Francis Beagen, Jr
the human race. The New Yorker’s arship; and Vincent McElroen, Melville cited the concern of Mr. William Edward McCrea, II
Sigurd B. Olsen customary reputation for rudeness financial secretary of Local 3 pre- Nawrocky, a Local 3 A-journeyman Jerome J. Rosenberg
Foundation Scholarship had all but disintegrated. People from for the education of working people Scholarship
sented the Harry Van Arsdale Jr.
everywhere spread a newfound com- Memorial Scholarship. and how he demonstrated this with
Dr. Finkel next reintroduced Chair- his endowment of a scholarship.
man Jacobson for the introduction of Thomas Van Arsdale, Business Man-
But the resilience that I had the Keynote Speaker, the Honorable ager of Local 3, IBEW and the Vice
hoped and prayed for has Alan G. Hevesi, New York State Chairman of the Educational and Cul-
shined through in this Comptroller who noted that the tural Fund presented the closing ad-
nation’s darkest hours, and American Constitution provides us dress. Mr. Van Arsdale congratulated
instead of shutting ourselves with many more freedoms that can the recipients and their families and
off in hostility forever, we be found in any other nation. Yet hoped that the day’s program would
are slowly emerging from within those freedoms, he noted we inspire others to participate in future
Jamie Boccia have the right to make a national competitions. Mr. Van Arsdale noted Christine Marie Mauro
Christopher Plunkett Robert Weber, vice-president of the Educational & Cultural Fund’s Alumni Association of Scholarship winners the desolation of devastation William A. Hogan
Memorial Scholarship presented the 1st and second place winners of The Association’s Essay Contest with checks amounting to every day. political change every four years, that while others may refer to President Memorial Scholarship
$500 and $250 respectively. (L to r): Cassianne Giammarino, Weber and Kristie Velazquez. and that it seems time to remove an Bush as a “nice guy”….”nice guys
administration that has “systemati- don’t do what this president has been
On September 11, 2001, I climbed fringed upon: barricaded, guarded, passion wherever they went and with doing to this country and this govern-
sound of an era falling, the sound of cally misled the public with lies and
up ten flights of stairs in a neighbor- and hushed so as not to create any everything they did, assuaging the ment.” He then recounted the many
thousands of innocent souls being Robert Erikson (rear left) the great-grandson of Harry Van Arsdale, Jr. misstatements.” Mr. Hevesi docu-
hood apartment building and pushed more reason for another attack that anguish that was once so predomi- examples of actions, which have not
taken from this earth, the sound of a is pictured with family members after winning the Hy Greenblatt mented these efforts to keep the pub-
open the heavy door to the roof. I was never our fault in the first place. nant. Yes, there was security every- Scholarship. (L to r): brother Nicholas Erikson, Robert, great aunt
new world being invoked: one of lic blinded to the administration’s been beneficial to this nation or its
could smell the acridity of the air as I understood the fears that people where — no one is yet allowed back Margaret Van Arsdale, brother Thomas Erikson, grand mother Kathryn
fear and sadness, but also of strength true goals. He ended by urging the workers. Mr. Van Arsdale stressed the
the wind blew fiercely around me. I now held, but every day I prayed for into the Statue of Liberty or prob- Erikson and mother Denise Erikson.
and humanity. Thunder from clear members of the audience to get out importance of voters becoming
searched the horizon cursorily; it did the resilience of the American hu- ably ever will be, the car-ferries do
blue skies. and vote because another Bush term acquainted with the facts and then
not take me long to spot the angry man spirit to quickly return. not run anymore, and airport secu-
Krista Marie Carbonetto
After that day, almost immedi- would prove disastrous for the acting accordingly. The program closed
rity is so tight, I had to hand over my Greg George Mangini
Edward J. Cleary pitch-black clouds of smoke billow- ately, I began to feel like a prisoner in Every day, I passed the New York nation. with a thank you to the Joint Industry William Liebfried Memorial
Scholarship ing from the city’s skyline. Once tran- City skyline on my way to school. nail file as a potential weapon — but Scholarship
my own hometown. When once my The next portion of the program Board staff
quil and picturesque from this perch, My stomach lurched every time I it no longer incites an oppressive or
parents wanted me to experience focused on the presentation of awards and to the
it now seemed terribly marred and saw the strange emptiness of it: my uneasy feeling within me.
Manhattan face-to-face and enjoy all with each recipient being called to participants
disfigured by the unfathomable act of favorite buildings gone, not even a September 11th and its effects re-
it had to offer, they were now petri- the stage. The Scholarship Commit- in the event,
hatred performed upon it. Visions trace left. It was almost disorienting; sounded throughout our city, our
fied of letting me anywhere near the tee, Robert Accetta, Fred Orestuk and further
and sounds flashed through my mind I couldn’t tell the skyline apart from country and the world. Not one per-
City. I was forbidden to explore my and Gerald Grow called the names of congratula-
as I stood there, tears streaming from any other anymore. Both of them, I son can say they were not affected
enchantments with it, which made it the recipients as Alan Hevesi posed tions to the re-
my eyes not from emotion, but numb- always thought, They knocked both by it in some manner. But the resil-
all the more difficult to cope with the for a picture and a congratulatory cipients and
ness from the wind and my own as- of them down just like that. .. but ience that I had hoped and prayed for
Ian Lerner Cassidy
tragedy. I now saw the City as af- handshake. their proud
tonishment. I could hear the screams how, and why? For a year afterward, has shined through in this nation’s Meghan Jeanne Cochran
Sigurd B. Olsen flicted with the quarantined disease Dr. Finkel then introduced Greg parents. George Schuck Sr., Jully Li
Foundation Scholarship and sirens in the background of the I watched the fear flash in people’s darkest hours, and instead of shut- Naftel Bedsole Memorial
of “Orange Alert,” and I wondered Memorial Scholarship
(friend of family accepted) frenetic phone call I made to my fa- eyes as the tragedy was mentioned; ting ourselves off in hostility for- Scholarship
constantly if things would ever be
ther as he stood in the middle of the I heard of acquaintances suffering ever, we are slowly emerging from
the same again. They had already
storm of debris minutes after the tow- from post-traumatic stress disorder; the desolation of devastation every
blocked off the beautiful landmarks
ers fell. The news footage looped in I knew that everyone was too afraid day. Two years later, I climb up to
of my childhood, like Ellis Island
my mind of the plane slamming into to visit my City, or else too saddened the roof of that apartment building,
and the Statue of Liberty, which
the first building, then the second, as by the mere prospect. The war on and instead of looking upon the sky-
seemed to me were now under a sort
everyone watched, dumbfounded. terrorism began and the emergency line with melancholy, I gaze at it
of suicide watch. I felt like all that
Second period, I thought, in chemis- status of the city glared its angry, with hope and admiration for its
America stood for, and all that I loved The Scholarship Class of 2004 is pictured with Educational & Cultural
Carmine Salvatore Cataldo try class that morning, I heard the upset orange. history to come. Fund Director Dr. Gerry Finkel, (standing extreme right). Christopher Gordon Young Joseph Arthur Weston Elizabeth Mary Walpole Daniel Noah Leyzberg
about this country was being in-
Charles Louis Scharfe Jr. Sigurd B. Oslen Henry Thomas Memorial Herbert Flaum Scholarship Sigurd B. Oslen
Memorial Scholarship Foundation Scholarship Scholarship Foundation Scholarship
Brian Richard Colgan Michelle Lynn Condon Jessica Christen Deluca Brittny, Maria Dorset Megan Elizabeth Dubatowka Robert Gerald Erikson Meaghan Siobnan Fahfey Patrick Joseph Gazzini Theresa Parsell Giacopasi John Giaimo, Jr. Mark Michael Goreczny Jennifer C. Heyman Katherine Rose Holland Leo Anthony Inglima
Armand D’Angelo Frederick Mathew Hansen, Sr. David Coyne Monte M. Hurowitz Scholarship
Daryl Christopher Gleiche Morton D. Hoffman John C. Shea John Thomas Kelly
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hy Greenblatt William Beck Joseph Jacobson Gordon M. Freeman Benjamin Salzhauer Robert McCormick Sr.
Memorial Scholarship Memorial Scholarship Memorial Scholarship Memorial Scholarship (Father accepted) Scholarship Memorial Scholarship Memorial Scholarship Memorial Scholarship Memorial Scholarship William Gillin Scholarship Scholarship Memorial Scholarship Memorial Scholarship Scholarship
Page 8 ELECTRICAL UNION WORLD April 2004
Lawmakers Pass First Measure Against Outsourcing
WASHINGTON—By a 70-26 vote, the • A bill by Baucus, top Democrat on the
Senate passed the first measure aimed at powerful Senate Finance Committee, and
corporate “offshoring” of white-collar jobs— Sen. Norman Coleman (R-Minn.) to extend
but not before its’ ruling Republicans wa- trade adjustment assistance to service indus-
tered it down. try workers who lose their jobs to imports—
The proposal, by Sen. Christopher J. Dodd or to foreign workers with U.S. visas.
(D-Conn.) would ban companies from using When TAA is granted at all, it is restricted
federal funds to send jobs offshore and to to factory workers, not service workers.
ban states from using federal grants to do the “When a factory relocates to another coun-
same thing. “Today, 40 states outsource try, those workers are eligible for TAA,”
jobs,” he said. Baucus told senators. “But when a call cen-
Dodd also banned agencies that privatize ter moves to another country, those workers
government services—a favorite GOP are not eligible for TAA. They should be.”
cause—from getting a contract to do so “if it “If we want more people to be employed,
again displaces American workers in favor we have to get serious about retraining them
of offshore workers.” ... And I have a warning: In the short run,
Dodd cited Minnesota as a case. There, jobs will be destroyed. There will be losers
food stamp recipient requests have been as well as winners,” Baucus told a Brookings
turned over to a private agency for handling. Institution offshoring seminar.
It outsourced the jobs to India. • A second Baucus bill, which he sought
“There are 14 million additional jobs in to include in the business tax bill, to give a
danger of being shipped overseas,” Dodd larger tax credit to factories here that create
said of the private-sector job exodus. U.S. jobs. The AFL-CIO Industrial Unions
“Office support areas, some 8 million Council is pushing such tax credits for U.S.
jobs; business and financial support, 2 mil- job-creators.
lion; computer and math professionals, close of fields, while creating 10,000 similar jobs get no federal funds until they reverse those • A proposal by Sen. John Kerry (D-
to 3 million; in the area of paralegal, legal in India. numbers. Mass.), the presumptive Democratic presi-
assistance, diagnostic support, medical tran- High-tech and IT layoffs, though a small “The taxpayer should no longer provide dential nominee, to order call center work-
scriptions and the like, the numbers are in part of the overall U.S. job loss—2.214 tens of billions of dollars a year in corporate ers to tell customers where the call center is
the thousands. million—since January 2001, are alarming welfare to those corporations who are throw- physically located. That would let custom-
“It isn’t just these low-wage jobs that are to workers, their families, their communi- ing workers out on the street and taking our ers decide whether they want to deal with a
going ... We’re talking about jobs in Silicon ties and their lawmakers. jobs abroad,” Sanders said. “It’s absolutely call center in India, as opposed to one in, say,
Valley. I guarantee you we are not talking Besides Dodd’s measure, other proposals insane and an insult to the middle class of Indiana.
about low-wage jobs at all,” he said. to combat offshoring include: this country” when those firms “say to the But Baucus said prospects are uncertain
Dodd’s amendment, on a corporate tax • A bill by Rep. Bernard Sanders (Ind.- American people: ‘Thanks for the welfare, for other immediate action regarding
bill, is the first success by lawmakers alarmed Vt.) to force companies getting federal sub- chumps. But we’re closing your plant and offshoring, except for the factory tax-break
by offshoring of thousands of white-collar sidies to disclose job creation and destruc- taking your job to China.’ ” bill that both parties want to pass—and that
jobs and the specter of millions more. The tion numbers, here and abroad. Citing a Companies—either traditional factories now includes Dodd’s plan.
AFL-CIO Department for Professional Em- conservative think-tank, Sanders says those or white-collar service industries—that The House version of the bill lacks Dodd’s
ployees campaigns against offshoring. subsidies total $87 billion. “don’t let the government know how many plan, meaning congressional negotiators
But prospects range from positive to un- The companies would have to tell how workers they have in the U.S., and how must solve the difference, and could dump
certain, depending on the complexity of a many jobs they create and abolish here and many outside the U.S. should not be asking the idea.
particular bill, politics, and the White how many they create and abolish abroad. the taxpayers of this country for corporate “By no stretch of the imagination is that
House’s stand, influential Sen. Max Baucus Those with a larger net job loss here would welfare,” Sanders explained. bill a silver bullet,” Baucus concedes.
Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell
(R-Ky.), speaking for the GOP leadership,
watered down Dodd’s plan by making it
conditional on Commerce Department “cer-
tification that this will not result in the loss of
more jobs than it will protect.”
“The question is not just will jobs move
offshore, but will good new jobs be created
here?” said economic columnist E.J. Dionne,
after Baucus outlined one set of proposals. On Wednesday April 14th, while some
The list of U.S. companies offshoring were struggling to finish their annual tax
high-tech, information technology (IT) and ritual, members of the St. George Associa-
white-collar jobs—sometimes using federal tion Chapter 80 of the Electrical Industry
aid to do so—stretches from IBM to Silicon were going through what has become their
Valley. Examples: mid-April ritual. They were gathering at the
• Boeing outsourced design work on its Church of the Ephiphany at 74th and York
airplanes to China, Russia and Japan, cost- Avenue to once again give a little back to the
ing 135,000 workers—including highly community. For the second year in a row,
trained U.S. aircraft engineers—their jobs the members provided, prepared and served
since 1990. Boeing engineers are in a Pro- Easter Dinner to New York City’s homeless
fessional and Technical Engineers local. community.
• IBM fired 15,000 workers since 2001, By the time the last person leaves the
while signing deals to train 100,000 soft- church, bellies are full, smiles and thanks
ware specialists in China over the next three are passed around, and the last of the pots
years. A CWA affiliate, Alliance@IBM, is
trying to organize “Big Blue’s” workers. It
reports IBM orders many to train their for-
and pans have been scrubbed clean. As has
happened each of the past nine years, the
members of the St. George Association are
Benjamin Arana Installed As
• Citibank moved much of its back-of-
fice operations, and thousands of jobs, to
heading home with a good feeling of a job
‘The number of people served at the soup
President of Santiago Iglesias
India since 1999. It’s helped by loan guaran-
tees from the federal Overseas Private In-
kitchen has increased over the past year,”
says Soup Kitchen Coordinator Janette
Goutierre, “where we used to get 70-80 we
• Bank of America fired 4,700 IT and On January 29 2004 the Santiago Iglesias Educational Society swore in their new
are now getting 85-95 each week.” “Of officers in the balcony lounge of the JIB auditorium. Brother Benjamin Arana
back-office workers since 2002, and course when the word gets out that the St.
outsourced 1,000 of those jobs to India. was sworn in as new club president replacing Humberto Restrepo. Guest
George Association is cooking the number speakers included President of Local 3 John Marchell, JIB chairman Larry
• Lucent, whose workers are also repre- swells to well over a hundred. We can’t Jacobson, Assistant Business Manager Christopher Erikson, Business
sented by CWA, has announced layoffs of thank them enough”. Representative Edwin Lopez and Business Manager Thomas Van Arsdale who
more than 10,000 U.S. workers in a variety R. Ayello P.S. swore in the new president and officers.
April 2004 ELECTRICAL UNION WORLD Page 9
RAVE Review for “Labor’s Champion”
The following is a review of the book, health and hospital workers, the United Fed- employee assistance program for the union; and economic conscience of our nation
“Harry Van Arsdale Jr., Labor’s Cham- eration of Teachers strike, the New York established scholarships, lecture programs, and the only means by which American
pion” that appeared in the January 2004 City sanitation strike, the United Farm Work- cultural events, libraries, and retirement en- workers could confidently provide a bet-
publication “Industrial and Labor Rela- ers organizing campaign, the air traffic con- richment programs; purchased and devel- ter life for their families.
tion Review.” It was reviewed by Thomas J. trollers’ strike, and the strike and national oped a rest and convalescent home for Local Van Arsdale understood that the key to
Germans, who is the director of the Center boycott of the Farah Manufacturing Com- 3 members that was expanded and trans- successful labor organization was the sys-
for Labor/Management Relations and Dis- pany. formed into an educational center and a tematic involvement of the greatest pos-
pute Resolution at Dowling College in Van Arsdale perfectly illustrates former summer camp for children of members, dis- sible number of its members, and he be-
Oakdale, N.J. Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill’s state- advantaged youths, and Boy Scouts; was the lieved the best way to empower members
Harry Van Arsdale, Jr.: Labor’s Cham- ment that “all politics is local.” While Van driving force behind the formation of the and the union was through education. He
pion. By Gene Ruffini. Foreword by Arsdale’s political access and influence Labor College of the State University of mandated that every member of Local 3
Theodore Kheel. Lebanon, Pa.: M.E. Sharpe, reached the highest levels of government, New York, the first accredited labor college attend the labor college and achieve no less
2002. 304 pp. ISBN 0-7656-1044-2, $29.95 than an associate degree in a curriculum that
(cloth). encompassed not only labor studies but lib-
In the Foreword to this book, noted labor eral arts as well.
mediator Theodore Kheel refers to Harry
Van Arsdale, Jr., as a “practical realist.” In
the book’s preface, the author, Gene Ruffini,
Harry Van Arsdale Jr. In the book’s Afterword, Hy Greenblatt,
President of the Harry Van Arsdale, Jr.
Memorial Association, writes,
calls Van Arsdale the most powerful labor
leader in New York City, a champion, a
legend accorded the respect of a saint. By
Remembered To sum it up, if I had to say in one word
what Harry held most dear, it would be
education. It was what Harry was most con-
the time I got to the first chapter, I expected cerned with and he saw education as the
this biography to be little more than an means to help find solutions to the chal-
experience in public relations hyperbole. lenges that will continue to face working
However, after reading the book, I would men and women. He saw education as the
describe Van Arsdale as a pragmatist, justification for higher standards and ulti-
visionary, and icon, and one of the most mately he saw education as the path to a
powerful, influential, and productive leaders better and more just society.
in the history of American trade unionism. The author quotes one of Van Arsdale’s
The struggles, influence, and accom- closest friends who spoke with Harry just
plishments of Van Arsdale are so far-reach- before he died:
ing that they continue to have a major impact Before he passed away, I visited him and
on labor—management relations. Speeches he was in bed and he could hardly talk. He
and programs made and initiated by Van motioned me to come over to him and I
Arsdale more than 50 years ago are as rel- pressed my ear against his mouth and he
evant in today’s world as they were vision- said, “Tell me the truth. How many students
ary a half-century ago. do we have at the Labor College?’ He knew
The author details a number of strategies he was dying and he wanted to know how
and tactics applied by Van Arsdale as he many students there were at the college.
struggled to rid Local 3 International Broth- After more than 60 nears in the labor
erhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) of movement, Van Arsdale died at age 80 on
corruption and to overcome the heavily February 16, 1986. In a fitting tribute to a
biased anti-union reporting of the media. man who believed so much in education and
The strikes and boycotts he managed to lead the trade union movement, Empire State
despite such impediments resulted in collec- College’s Center for Labor Studies, State
tive bargaining agreements and union orga- Pictured above is the monument to Harry Van Arsdale Jr. located at the intersection University of New York, was renamed the
nizing campaigns; and yet, notwithstanding known as Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Plaza. It is located at the juncture of 160th, 161st Harry Van Arsdale, Jr. School of Labor
his readiness to fight when necessary, ulti- and 162nd Streets in the Electchester Housing Cooperative Community in Flushing, Studies; and on December 5, 2001, Harry
mately a more important means by which he N.Y. A wreath was place at the monument by the Electchester Community in his Van Arsdale, Jr. was inducted into the AFL-
bettered union members’ lot-shortening their memory on the 18th anniversary of his death, February 16, 1986. Van Arsdale CIO’s Labor International Hall Fame.
served as the business manager of Local 3, IBEW from 1932 to 1967. He was the
work hours while increasing their pay and This book leaves no doubt that Van
prime mover behind the creation of the Electchester Community. He also served
benefits-was by paving the way for an un- as the international treasurer of the IBEW from 1968 – 1978 and as the president Arsdale’s reputation as labor’s champion
precedented level of labor-management co- of the NYC Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO from 1957 until his death in 1986. is well deserved. But he was more than
operation. that: he was and is a champion and role
The book traces the roots of Van Arsdale’s model for the human race-which, the author
family from the Revolutionary War to twen- unions, and corporate America, his power in the United States; in 1962 negotiations, tells us, Harry often wished everyone
tieth—century New York City, where his base was always New York Cite, where he gained Local 3 electricians a 5-hour work would someday rejoin.
father, an electrical worker who was a staunch served as Business Manager of Local 3 of day (meaning, in practice, that they worked
union advocate, strove to improve the lot of the IBEW and President of the New York 5 hours per day at a straight time rate of pay,
his fellow workers by fighting not only City Central Labor Council. then a sixth mandatory and seventh volun-
contractors, but also factions within the elec- Reading this book, which at times ap- tary hour at overtime rates) and, for their
tricians’ union itself. The author spares nei- pears to be more of a novel and twentieth- families, an educational trust fund; funded a Purchase
ther union nor individuals in recounting century labor history text than a biography, program to help handicapped and disabled
these struggles. The disorganized, greedy, one cannot help but be overwhelmed by the workers find jobs; spearheaded voter regis- Harry Van Arsdale Jr.
corrupt, and sometimes violent activities of vision, tenacity, dedication, integrity, and tration drives; formed community alliances
various union members and leaders are ex-
posed. Even the arrests, convictions, and jail
ultimately the accomplishments of this truly
astonishing labor leader. Among many other
with racial, ethnic, religious, business, and
social agencies; created the National Coun- “Labor’s
time of the book’s hero Harry Van Arsdale things, he led the fight for a 7-hour day and cil of Unemployed for union and non-union
are detailed, as are the eventual over-turning
of his criminal convictions.
35-hour work week in 1931; established a
Joint Labor-Management Industry Board
workers; opened the union and all of its
benefits to African-American, Latino, Asian,
The author devotes much of the book to a based on his belief that labor and manage- and all other minority and immigrant popu-
number of historical strikes and organizing ment could accomplish more benefits for lations; and advocated for civil rights with by contacting the
drives in New York City and the nation. He each other working together than working Martin Luther King, Bayard Rustin, and A.
focuses on the critical roles Van Arsdale
played in these events, which include con-
separately; organized the entire electrical
industry in New York City; established the
The author makes a convincing case that
Harry Van Arsdale Jr.
flicts with department store giants Gimbel first employer-paid pension plan in 1937; Van Arsdale’s life was his work and the
Brothers and R.H. Macy, United Electric, formed the first multi-employer pension plan union was his life. “Without a union,” Van Memorial Association
New York Edison, the Lincoln Tunnel for the building trades in America; con- Arsdale said-speaking as a skilled and
project, the city-owned Independent Sub- structed inexpensive cooperative housing hard-working craftsman, not just a union at
way System, Brooklyn Edison, Bronx Gas for Local 3 members; established a loan activist- “a worker has no chance.” He
and Electric Company, and Con Edison.
Also described are Van Arsdale’s important
fund, death benefit plan, and insurance and
supplemental pay for members during ill-
believed that the only purpose of the union
is to serve the membership, and viewed
part in the Local 1199 drive to organize ness or injury; created a medical, dental, and the trade union movement as the social
Page 10 ELECTRICAL UNION WORLD April 2004
56th Annual Scholarship Awards Breakfast
A chilly April mist and appropriately gray state of our nation. He urged people to make
skies greeted the nearly 700 people who a concerted effort to make a change in the
attended the Educational and Cultural Fund’s coming fall elections because the president’s
Scholarship Breakfast. The Electrical In- stewardship has even been harshly criti-
dustry Center Auditorium was set aside for cized by the leading members of the Repub-
the first Saturday of the month so the indus- lican Party. He also pointed out that the
try could honor 46 successful scholarship present administration has “the worst record
applicants. on jobs since the Great Depression.”
The program began with the introduction Dr. Finkel then introduced Robert Weber,
of the dais guests and the presentation of a scholarship recipient from 1950, and Vice
colors by the Girl Scouts of America Troops President of Career Counseling for the
from the Electchester community. Soprano Alumni Association of Scholarship Win-
Caterina Acqua Marina led the audience in ners. After explaining the history of the
the Star Spangled Banner and a powerful Alumni Association of Scholarship Win-
rendition of God Bless America. Reverend ners and encouraging the new recipients to
Gerald Blaczczak, S.J. of Fordham Univer- become active in the organization, Mr. Weber
sity provided the invocation. presented the Alumni Association Essay
Dr. Finkel, director of programming for Contest awards to:
the Educational and Cultural Fund, intro- First Place – Cassianne Giammarino -
duced Larry Jacobson, Chairman of the Joint $500
Industry Board, for his welcoming remarks. Second Place – Kristie Velazquez - $250
The Chairman noted the joint commitment Third Place – Anaila Shakur - $100
of management and labor in executing these
NYS Comptroller Alan Hevesi addresses the 2004 Scholarship Breakfast.
awards. Mr. Jacobson went on to explain
that he felt “duty-bound” to focus on the (Continued on page 6 and 7)
options – like a spouse with an insurance The Inglewood battle took on a moral as
Wal-Mart Hits a Wall
The rapid proliferation of suburban big- the community than the owners of mom-
plan – may wind up depending on state-
subsidized health programs or local emer-
Further, the entry of such an especially
well as an economic tone. A coalition of
business, union, religious and community
leaders led the opposition, and residents
voted against the store by a ratio of three to
box stores hit a pronounced bump when and-pop hardware stores disapproved. tight-fisted employer in a community com- two. Wal-Mart has said it will press ahead
Wal-Mart failed in an aggressive effort to Elected officials in Inglewood had al- pels competitors to whittle at their own labor with its larger plans to construct 40
build at least 130,000 square feet Super ready rejected Wal-Mart’s overtures last costs. That translates into lost jobs and supercenters around California. It may have
Wal-Mart to sell everything from clothing to year. The ballot initiative would have by- smaller paychecks for everyone. The recent to give up on Los Angeles, which may ban
car tires in suburban Los Angeles. The passed not only that decision but also any long strike by California grocery workers megastores. Other communities will be
world’s largest retailer spent $1 million on a scrutiny of the effect a superstore may have had its roots in stores that fear they could emboldened by Wal-Mart’s setback. In the
ballot initiative and a charm offensive, but had on the town. The chain dangled the eventually be put out of business by Wal- end, people may love low prices, until they
residents weren’t buying. promise of hundreds of jobs and help for a Mart “Supercenters,” which also sell take a closer look at the real costs.
This was more than the familiar battle community in which many residents are groceries.
between superstores and Main Street shop- unemployed and many more are underem-
keepers fearful of competition. With ployed. One-fifth live below the poverty
superstores now ubiquitous, the corpora- line. That apparently did not allay concerns
tions that build them have been grabbing for over increased traffic, the environment and
increasingly inappropriate parcels of land to Wal-Mart’s low-wage, nonunion jobs. The Educational And Cultural Fund
continue their expansion. The results of the In many places, Wal-Mart workers are
vote in lnglewood. Calif., a community of
113,000 mostly black and Hispanic resi-
among the working poor. The company picks
up health costs for fewer than half its em- of The Electrical Industry
dents, showed that a much broader slice of ployees nationwide, and those without other
28th Spring Art Festival
Passover for Seniors OPENING RECEPTION
ELECTRIC INDUSTRY CENTER THEATRE
SUNDAY, MAY 23, 2004 - 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Reservations and entry tickets to the reception are a must!
Displays will be open to the public from
Monday, May 24 through Sunday, May 30
Noon to 6:00 p.m.
Admission is free-of Charge
Featuring Over 300 Exhibits On Display
Submitted By Local 3, IBEW Members & Their Families.
Electric Industry Center Theatre
67-35 Parsons Boulevard
Flushing, New York
(Corner of Parsons Blvd & Harry Van Arsdale Jr./Jewel Avenue)
For further information or ticket requests to the Opening Reception,
contact the Educational & Cultural Fund
(718) 591-2000 ext. 1350
J Division volunteers helping deliver Passover food to shutins and senior citizens
in the Flushing, Queens area.