Never have I been more proud of the work our members and our union are doing. We are advancing the goals of working people striving to build a better future for their children, grandchildren and generations to come.
In our daily lives we may sometimes feel like we’re doing everything we can possibly do just to survive. And that may be true. But when we’re able to pause and look at the bigger picture, it becomes clear that when union brothers and sisters struggle together, we succeed. And at the same time we create a path to a better future.
Providing tools to build power
The National Officers and Executive Board are pursuing ways to engage the membership like never before. The 2017 Labor Education Initiative is providing a vehicle to reach even deeper into our membership, especially to those locals that do not have the resources to send members to regional conferences and conventions.
These are proving very popular and we continue to seek ways to engage our members. Our goal is to build union power by involving local leaders and providing them with the tools they need to take on the challenges in their workplaces and communities.
Fighting to save jobs
Dayton Power & Light is threatening to close the Stuart and Killen coal generation plants in Adams County along the Ohio River. Not only would this put hundreds of UWUA members out of work, it would kill the local economy. We are doing everything we can to make sure those facilities stay open.
Both plants meet today’s emission standards and investors have expressed interest in buying them and keeping them running. The National Union is working closely with Local 175, elected officials and others to push DP&L to do the right thing for the communities they serve.
We are voicing our concerns to regulators about removing 3000MW of base load power from the grid. The potential impact on grid security and the cost of electricity could be devastating.
Building a safety culture
The recent tragic loss of a union brother to a work accident drove home the importance of safety training. One fatality is one too many. We will never, ever, rest when it comes to safety.
There is a lot of information about our work in this area in the pages of this magazine. We’ve really just started out and I envision growing our training capacity to reach tens of thousands of utility workers.
I cannot stress enough the importance and success of our efforts in building a culture of safety in our union and with our employers.
Communicating our message
Informing our members and the public about our work and our successes is another priority area. Our recently launched website has a fresh look and a wealth of information. Please visit it at www.uwua.net. Let us know what you think. We want to hear from you.
Working people face many challenges today. Utility Workers are demonstrating that we are capable of meeting those challenges and forging ahead. I’m proud of that and you should be, too. I’m convinced that if we stay engaged, stay together and stay strong, we will successfully navigate this rough period and continue to be a beacon of hope for future generations of utility workers.