For four action packed days, utility workers convened at the 30th Constitutional Convention in July to determine the direction of the union for the next four years.
The theme of this year’s historic 30th Constitutional Convention struck a chord with delegates and guest speakers. The need to Reclaim, Retrain, Repower and Repair America was echoed by AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka, Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Democratic Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and MA Senator Elizabeth Warren, all of whom addressed the convention live or in a special video tribute.
Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the UWUA, the Convention demonstrated the historical role of the Utility Workers in charting a course, doing the hard work, and leading the way toward improving the lives of its members, the communities they serve, and the country as a whole.
“We have to activate our members in ways we have never done before,” President Mike Langford said in his opening remarks. “We have to be creative, brothers and sisters, because we cannot keep doing things the way we have before. Business as usual is just not going to get done what we need to get done. So let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work defending what we’ve won, bringing union power to others, and rebuilding the middle class and our great country!”
Daily presentations by members of the Young Workers Initiative Committee, the convening of the first-ever National UWUA Women’s Caucus, the formation of UWUA Retiree Chapters, and the unveiling of a UWUA Convention App. were all part of how the National UWUA is opening new fronts in the battle to protect worker rights, improve members lives, and reverse the attack on workers.
All of these advances build on the successes of UWUA programs since the last convention four years ago: expansion of the Power for America Training Trust, establishment of the UWUA Veterans Committee and the Utility Workers Military Assistance Program (UMAP), and the rolling out of the Member-to-Member program.
Recognizing that utility workers are first responders, a UWUA National Hero Award was also created to honor those who went beyond the call of duty since the last convention. The first National Hero Award was presented to Steven Rosatti, a member of PA Local 164, for rescuing a number of people threatened by fire.
The convention is the highest policy-making body of the union, with the power and authority to elect National Officers, modify the Constitution, and set policy.
The 337 Convention Delegates and 117 Alternate Delegates representing 175 UWUA locals passed 24 resolutions that will guide the work of the union until the end of this decade. The National Executive Officers were also re-elected by acclamation: President D. Michael Langford, Executive Vice President Steven VanSlooten, Vice President John Duffy, and Secretary-Treasurer Mike Coleman.