The Year Ahead!
This year is shaping up to be another blockbuster year for the UWUA. Our signature theme of Reclaim, Retrain, Repower, and Repair America is resonating with government officials, employers, industry regulators, and the public. We have positioned ourselves to make the most of what 2018 has to offer.
Foremost is President Trump’s long awaited plan to rebuild the country’s infrastructure with $200 billion of federal funds to leverage $1.5 trillion in investments.
A union with solutions
While Congress will make many changes to this plan, we are hopeful Washington will finally pass legislation in 2018 that will spur much needed investment in the industries where most of our members work: water, gas, and electric.
Trump’s appointments clearly favor those corporate executives who stand to benefit most from his policies. Nonetheless, we have shown time and time again that we are a union with solutions. As a result, I am confident our members will benefit from the infusion of money into our core industries.
Nobody trains utility workers better
We have clearly demonstrated that when it comes to training, nobody does it better. Utility workers training utility workers is the reason our Power for America Training Trust is so successful. And we look forward to bringing more employers into the P4A in 2018.
Our success is due, in part, to being the safest, most productive, highest skilled workers in the world. But without our knowledge of collective bargaining and the united strength we bring to the table, we would not be so successful.
Regional Educational Conferences
This year our Regional Conferences will focus on fundamentals, offering a number of workshops to help members sharpen their skills, and make them more effective advocates for themselves and their fellow workers.
Our strength and solidarity will be tested in 2018 as we brace for the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Janus v. AFSCME case. If the court rules against the AFSCME union, as is expected, “right to work” will replace “closed shops” for the entire public sector workforce. Many UWUA members work in the public sector and we will have to work with them to ensure such a decision does not weaken us.
The critical 2018 mid-term elections give us the opportunity to elect worker friendly candidates. With the stroke of a pen, government officials can take away hard fought gains. They can also make decisions in our favor.
The importance of engaging in the political process was driven home when the budget passed by Congress Feb. 9 and signed into law by the President included the FUTURE Act. We strongly supported this legislation because it will bring huge investments in carbon capture technology. This is a milestone event in our nation’s progress toward a clean energy future that includes a diverse mix of generation sources. As Utility Workers, we know there is a continuing place for the energy industries that built our nation, and that bringing carbon capture systems to scale will ensure the high-quality jobs in those facilities can continue to support working families and their communities across the country for the foreseeable future.