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Delegates Attend Telecommunication Conference
Addressing the members of this year’s 2012 Broadcasting, Telecommunication and Manufacturing conference is President Edwin Hill of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
The IBEW held its Seventh Annual Broadcasting, Manufacturing and Telecommunications Conference (BMT) on May 8, 2012, in the beautiful city of San Diego, California, home of the world-famous San Diego Zoo and equally famous Sea World. Leading the delegation from Local 3 was Assistant Business Manager Luis Restrepo, along with Business Representatives Anthony Esponda, Annette Diaz and Michael O’Neill representing the Broadcasting, Manufacturing and Telecommunication divisions of Local 3. This year, the theme of the conference was “Protect our Future,” promoting the importance of building solidarity between today’s members and future members of the IBEW. However, the main focus of the conference was to ensure prosperity for all current and future members of the IBEW and their families. A wide variety of speakers in attendance provided useful information and educational opportunities
for the delegates in attendance. Also in attendance were International President Edwin Hill and International Secretary/Treasurer Sam Chilia.
Leading the conference was IBEW Director of Broadcasting and Telecommunications Martha Pultar, and IBEW Director of Manufacturing Randy Middleton. The Manufacturing General Session opened with comments by Middleton regarding national contracts, organizing drives and in preparing collective bargaining agreements for approval with the IBEW. He also reminded everyone of the importance of attending the workshops and seminars and encouraged the delegates to ask questions of the many guest speakers that were on the agenda. Martha Pultar addressed the challenges the IBEW is facing with new technologies such as wireless systems that reduce the need for hardwiring, thus eliminating jobs. She also mentioned the 15-day work stoppage by Verizon workers who are represented by the IBEW and how they have been working without a contract for one year. Currently the IBEW and CWA have about 45,000 members who work under Verizon contracts. The IBEW and CWA have been working together to negotiate a new agreement with Verizon and hopefully this issue will be resolved soon.
International President Edwin Hill spoke of how labor is under attack and pointed to this year’s election as being one of the most important elections since The Great Depression. He mentioned how we must do everything in our power to ensure that future generations enjoy the same privileges and benefits that we enjoy today; how a nation that loses its industrial base is risking its long-term fiscal health and security; how today’s current labor leaders must think outside the box if they are to attract future generations of workers who will have different attitudes, dispositions and thoughts about work.
President Hill also mentioned the problems facing workers in states like Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin and how, if we are not careful, these problems can have a negative impact on the labor movement. He spoke of how it shows that there are powerful people and forces in this country that are out to eliminate unions and workers’ rights to bargain collectively, and that we must fight to protect our way of life so that we and future generations of workers can continue to live under the rights and laws that our forefather’s worked so hard to establish. President Hill also spoke of how manufacturing is making a small comeback and pointed to Randy Middleton’s recent trip to Germany and the discussion with representatives from Siemens Manufacturing, informing them of the strong relationships that the IBEW has built with its employers over the years. President Hill also mentioned how we must embrace The Code of Excellence to ensure we have the best and smartest workforce available for our current and future employers and reminded everyone of the importance of buying American-made products and of looking for the union label.
Anthony J. Esponda