A Labor Day & Retirement Message from Business Manager Mike Lutz
Happy Labor Day to all. The history of this day goes farther back that we can only reflect. The origins of the holiday can be debated, but the East Coast and New York State were a big focus of the origin of this day.
The thought I would have is in the present, what we are doing NOW! This Local has been through so much change, (an Amalgamation of 4 Locals, 5 new Collective Bargaining Agreements and numerous other issues. As members from all contract areas, Somerset Power Plant, Cayuga Power Plant, Oneida Madison Electric Cooperative, Otsego Electric Cooperative, New York State Electric & Gas members as well as Stueben Electric Cooperative were patient and involved.
Involvement in YOUR contract brings you into it. It is after that I believe the issue of Labor Day has meaning. We are under attack! They want us gone!! The happiest day for our opponents would be forgetting September 7th. That is the issue that should concern us all. If you don't stay involved, ask "what can I do", take a few hours to be active in your Local, they will win and we will lose. Look outside of your work location and see what the other world looks like, the working conditions, benefits, etc. For all that seems bad in "Local 10's World" seems in comparison, trivial. This does not mean that we still have to defend all that we have and always work for the benefit of the membership, but we MUST avoid the apathy that seems to me, to be creeping into the Labor Movement across the Country.
Attend your Local's meetings, see what is going on; support the people that work every day to advocate on your behalf. And please pay some attention to the news outside of your Companies and the government that makes decisions that influence us.
Elections are coming up for Local 10; ballots will be mailed out in September. Exercise your right! VOTE! That is another part of the Labor Movement that we should all participate in. It costs you nothing but marking a ballot and putting it in a mail box. Please, DO IT!
On a personal note, I will be leaving the Local after over 33 years in Organized Labor. It has been an honor and a privilege to represent the members of (Local 966) and the new Local 10. The people that I have known, past and present have always treated me with respect, even in disagreement, and I hope that I have done the same.
Thank you all for your help and support.