SPEAKING OUT: What should be our union’s primary focus in 2024?

Sandy Null, Local 132

“I’d like to see more opportunities for locals to network with each other. Our locals should get to know each other better, especially among the various sectors. We have so many common challenges, especially those of us who work in natural gas, and could benefit from getting together and sharing strategies. We should be educating politicians, the public and our customers on the real facts about natural gas; it’s not a dirty word. The renewable energy sector has been growing rapidly, offering alternatives to fossil fuels. By investing in advanced technology and infrastructure, we can mitigate environmental issues. By diversifying, our industry can and will have a sustainable future. We can achieve this if we all work together to chart that course.”


Jason Carter, Local 18007

“As a utility worker in the natural gas sector, I would like to focus on educating the public on the safety and reliability of our natural resources, how we can use them productively and the jobs that are created by them.”




Christopher Katzmann, Local 1-2

“First, organize the unorganized at our workplaces. This way our membership grows, and people will realize the value of being in a union. Second, get in on the ground level of all the new ‘green’ jobs. That is the way our country is moving. Third, don’t leave behind our members in gas, coal, nuclear, etc. There is a place at the table for all our brothers and sisters. Lastly, listen to the members whether it’s about safety or day-to-day issues. It’s always good to have a pulse on what’s going on in the shops. I have full faith in our union’s leadership.”


Shane Benoit, Local 330

“We should be proud of what we built yesterday, but that does not mean it will be sufficient for tomorrow. New technology and cleaner sources of energy are here; we need to embrace that work to sustain our future.”




Loren Paulicelli, Local 393

“At the 32nd Constitutional Convention I felt such as strong sense of solidarity and unity. In the year ahead, I’d like to see the UWUA keep up this momentum. I am not just talking about within our individual locals but on the national level. When we hear of a local struggling, we circle the wagons in support to aid them through their difficulty. As an example, last April members from all over the country went to Local 51 in New Mexico, knocked on doors, spoke with and educated people about the important, positive role their union can play, phone banked before the election and were successful in gaining labor-friendly seats on the city council. With solidarity, organizing, educating, and helping those locals that need support will only make us a stronger force nationally.”


Dasher Zsomboran, Local 395

“It would be great to have more regional meetings for each sector — water, gas and electric — so that locals have more opportunities to discuss what we’re experiencing. The more we meet, the better we communicate and the more relationships we can build. More frequent get-togethers will help us identify and take on common challenges, win better contracts and build a stronger UWUA.”



James Dent, Local 335

“We should work to get national legislation to make it easier to organize and a national referendum to ban right-to-work. Workers should be able to organize in two steps or less.”