From the Apr/May/Jun 2022 issue

Saluting Our UWUA Retirees

The UWUA wishes all our retirees health and happiness during your “golden years.” Enjoy it — you’ve earned it! Local 1-2 Robert Smith Local 101 Heather Ritchie John J. Siedlecki Local 104 David Mitchell, Jr. Local 105 Steven C. Brandt Scott L. Farver Holly A. Hartley Timothy A. Malik Raphael P. Melbourne Harmon M. Millard…

VETERANS COMMITTEE: Privatizing VA Health Services is Bad for Veterans’ Health

We in the Veterans Committee occasionally find ourselves putting aside our own personal or organizational priorities to take action on something that matters for the greater veterans’ community. This is one of those moments. Together with the Dixon Center, we are working hard to fend off efforts to privatize veteran healthcare services. It’s an imminent…

YOUNG WORKERS: What’s Really at Stake in November

Brothers and Sisters, the importance and urgency outlined in the previous Young Workers Initiative Committee (YWIC) article regarding the need to vote, and to vote our interests has been greatly illuminated by recent current events. The stakes for the 2022 mid-term elections could not be higher. The outcome will no doubt go a long way…

News Roundup

MSUWC Leans into LEAN

Companies have been adopting “Lean” process, a methodology focused on creating value with fewer resources and less waste, since it was first introduced in the 1930s. In theory, Lean calls for ongoing experimentation by workers and managers to find ways to improve quality and flow, reduce time and effort, and lower costs. It involves collaboration,…

Listening to Our Family

The Region V conference was a great big, joyful family reunion. Our UWUA brothers and sisters gathered for the first in-person meeting in two years, and I was overwhelmed with emotion as I stood at the podium and looked out over a sea of beautiful faces. Our family has evolved and today is more representative…

Executive Vice President's Report

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT: Members Make Region V Conference a Success

On March 24 – 26, 2022, the UWUA held the first of its 2022 regional conferences with Region V members in Redondo Beach, California. The conference was very well attended with over 100 members who participated. Attendees included approximately 50% first-timers and a very diverse group of members, including an impressive number of women. In…

News Roundup

SAFETY CORNER: Know Your OSHA Rights – Medical and Exposure Records

Too many times members have had to fight for basic information after they were either injured or exposed to a harmful chemical at work. That’s why it’s imperative that every member know their rights under section 1910.1020 of the Occupational Safety and Health standard. It spells out employer obligations for recordkeeping of medical and exposure…

HERstory: Women Embracing the Power to Make Things Happen and Affect Change

What does it mean to walk in your power?  It means creating safe spaces for our union sisters to be their authentic selves, promoting opportunities for upward mobility for our UWUA sisters, and fighting inequality that denies women opportunities to thrive. Local 223’s Women’s Committee put this concept into practice in March with its “Painting…

News Roundup

P4A’s First Renewable Energy Specialist Graduates

Paul Turner is not afraid of heights. It’s a good thing because his utility sector career launched him from operating and maintaining natural gas lines to where he spends a lot of time today, up 300 feet into the air working on wind turbines as a journeyman renewable specialist. He and three colleagues completed a…

News Roundup

UWUA Locals Make Gains at Columbia Gas

UWUA members at five Columbia Gas units in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Ohio recently won significant gains in wages, healthcare, and other benefits, after facing down intransigent management bargaining tactics during contract negotiations. When negotiations opened last fall, UWUA local bargaining teams were determined to secure fair wage packages and to rein in excessive out-of-pocket employee…

News Roundup

New Owner, New Contract for Local 351

Members of Local 351 have long operated the combustion turbine power generation plant in Lorraine, Ohio. When their collective bargaining agreement expired last July, they faced bargaining with the plant’s new owner, Starwood’s IHI Power Service Corp., which had purchased the plant from First Energy. The natural gas and diesel-powered plant serves as a peak…

News Roundup

John Duffy Retires as UWUA National Vice President

John Duffy concluded 48 years of service to UWUA on March 1. Hired at age 17 by Consolidated Edison, Duffy became a member of Local 1-2 and his dedication to the union never wavered. Through five decades of membership, 32 years as a union leader, and 23 of those as a full-time local and National…

News Roundup

City Workers in Cuyahoga Falls Approve New Contract

Electric workers employed by the City of Cuyahoga Falls in Ohio ratified a new three-year agreement in February that includes annual percentage increases (retroactive to July 1, 2021) and a $1,500 ratification bonus. The city-owned municipal power company employs 35 line and substation workers represented by Local 399. The old contract expired July 1. Dave…

News Roundup

Local 304 Ratifies New Agreement at Monongahela Power

Members of Local 304 ratified a new agreement on March 1, bringing increased wages, time off protections, and more to 160 members at Monongahela Power’s Harrison Plant. The facility is a coal-fired generation plant in West Virginia owned by First Energy that provides power to large parts of West Virginia and western Maryland. The unit…

President's Message

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: Making Our Voices Heard

I recently traveled to the West Coast to attend our Region V conference in Redondo Beach, CA. For those who participated, this gathering signaled a step forward in our return to normalcy.

Cybersecurity Takes on New Urgency for U.S. Utilities Due to Global Tensions

America’s utilities are on high alert due to an elevated threat of cyberattacks. Hacking, ransomware, and data breaches have been longstanding concerns, but rising tensions since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February have moved cybersecurity to the top of the agenda for electricity, gas, and water operations. The Biden administration has warned U.S. companies…

Energy Outlook: Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Holds Promise of Utility-Sector Job Growth

By Jim Harrison, UWUA Director of Renewable Energies As U.S. automakers go all-in on electric vehicle manufacturing, the industry is at a turning point. Making electric vehicles (EVs) affordable and accessible for all classes of consumers is predicated on those consumers being able to charge their vehicles quickly and economically. Auto manufacturers, utility companies, state…