Saturday, September 11, 2010

Former Anheuser Busch Workers, Now Known As ABINBEV Vote YES To Join IBEW Local 363

The workers at the ABINBEV Metal Container Corporation in Newburgh have chosen IBEW Local 363 to represent them in collective bargaining.

The workers at the ABINBEV Metal Container Corporation have chosen IBEW Local 363 to represent them in collective bargaining in an election that was held on Friday August 27 and Saturday August 28 by the National Labor Relations Board.

These workers manufacture the cans for Budweiser Beer and other beverage companies affiliated with the company which is now called ABINBEV after the sale of the Anheuser Busch Company to INBEV - a Belgium owned company.

This campaign started approximately 6 months ago and there was a tremendous amount of work put into this effort by countless workers at the plant and by IBEW Local

A group of workers came to IBEW Local 363 in early February and spoke about how much they were losing with the new foriegn owned company. Soon after and through much effort, Local 363 began to increase the number of employees involved and held numerous small meetings with the workers on each shift.

Through their own efforts, the workers themselves brought more than double the amount of authorization cards required by law to file for the election to the union.

At that time, Senior Assistant Business Manager Sam Fratto became involved and suggested that they try a new way to organize the workers throughout the process – by using the electronic media and creating a blog that all of the workers could have access to 24 hours a day. The theory was that the blog would equalize the captive audience meetings and the fact that physical access to the workers was limited. It worked great and is still being used today in this next part of the election / negotiation process. The blog address is

On Saturday night, August 28 the majority of workers chose to have IBEW Local 363 as their collective bargaining agent.

There was much pressure applied by the company and many veiled threats were levied at the people. This is a solid group of workers who are very proud to become members of the IBEW and especially of Local 363 and they held strong. After the election there were workers who voted no calling the union everyday stating that they would be supporting the union and that they were sorry they voted no because of immense pressure from the company.

They understand the power associated with having a written contract to work under. With the sale of AB, the workers knew they had to take steps of their own to protect themselves and they contacted Local 363 to make that happen. They picked the right union to do that!

There are now 164 NEW IBEW 363 union members in the Hudson Valley because of their courage and effort to band together to join the union and to speak with one voice.

Hopefully, more workers in the Hudson Valley will see that there is a choice available when it seems that everything is being taken from them - call in the IBEW or any other union in the area. Organize.

Now the ABINBEV workers have a voice at the table with the multi-billion dollar company from Belgium that owns the former AB Budweiser Brand.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day To All Union Members And Their Families!

Happy Labor Day to all union members and their families. Here is a short Labor History lesson for your use:

Labor Day: How it Came About; What it Means

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Founder of Labor Day

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."

But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Labor Day Legislation

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

A Nationwide Holiday

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Labor Day Warm Up - Here's To The Workers

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Schools In: Warming Up For labor Day

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Kingston Nurses Looking To Unionize

The Registered Nurses at Kingston Hospital want union representation!

They have asked the New York State Nurses Association to file a petition for election with the National Labor Relations Board. The union also represents RNs at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie.

The Nurses Association represents the registered nurses at Benedictine Hospital. They have helped the nurses with such issues as health care benefits, binding arbitration to resolve grievances, and negotiated layoff and seniority provisions.

Union elections are up in the area with union wins increasing at a rapid pace.

In this time of uncertainty, workers are beginning to realiize that without a written contract, nothing "they have" with the employer has any legal standing. To ensure that workers keep what they have they can seek out union representation and negotiate for a written contract in their workplace.

Good luck Kingston Hospital Registered Nurses!