Speaking Out 2018

What have you learned at your Regional Conference to take back to the members of your Local?

What have you learned at your Regional Conference to take back to the members of your Local?


Alyna Kong Customer Service Rep. Local 132

“California Gubernatorial Candidate Antonio Villaraigosa was a guest speaker. Being a shop steward, my focus was always at a local level dealing with local management. I now realize there is a bigger picture. Natural gas is under attack in California and we need the right representatives in government who are willing to fight with the union, not against it. My biggest takeaway from this Regional Conference is the need to have the right people running for office — those who have our best interests for the future.”



Joe Means,Customer Service Rep. , Local 132

“This was my first Regional Conference and I learned that the union is only as strong as its members. If we want a good contract we must all work and fight together!”



Olga Torres


Local 601

“I learned that we have some rights that I didn’t know we have. I learned that we have up to six months to file an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board. I learned don’t take no for an answer, do your research.”



Mario Garcia, Gas Distribution, Local 609

“The experience I received from our Region V conference was that I have to go home and get more 609 members involved in upcoming negotiations. We often forget how our union works for us. Now, I know; labor laws, collective bargaining, understanding our contract, fighting for better wages and our future!”

Melissa Ward , Trustee, Local 511

“During my first Regional Conference I learned so much about our union: what it really means to be in the union, the laws that protect us as workers, and about my role and responsibilities as a Union Trustee. But I think the most valuable and exciting piece for me to take back and share with my fellow union members are the tools and tactics I learned to build unity. The tools I learned will not only be applied when entering into negotiations, but to be utilized each and every day to strengthen our bonds, bring engagement, and a higher level of participation.”



Servesh Deswal, Shop Steward, Local 132

“My biggest conference takeaway was the importance of being active in our union. Sometimes we forget just how powerful we are when we come together in solidarity. We must go home and organize others to get what we want.”



Richard Williamson, Shop Steward, Local 1-2

“I learned about the power of the union and that you have someone backing you at all times. When you are hired by the company, you don’t realize what the union is all about. By coming to this conference I learned that I’m not by myself. If something goes wrong, if you have a problem with your supervisor or anybody who is trying to dictate something to you in terms of your job and you’re not ok with it, there’s someone to protect you. There’s someone to watch your back. The union is there for you.



Brian Hannon, Construction Inspector (Underground), Local 369

“The new National Safety Committee is very important. The interaction that we’re going to have between the regions will open the door to tackling issues we all share. This is going to help us promote a much safer working environment.”