In Maine: IBEW Local 1837
16 Old Winthrop Road
Manchester, ME 04351
Phone: (207) 623-1030, Fax: (207) 621-8384
In New Hampshire:
680 Central Avenue, Suite 202
Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 743-1652, Fax: (603) 743-1654

Union Busting

IBEW 1837 Members Play Important Role in Defeating NH "Right to Work" Bill

IBEW 1837 members attending hearing.
IBEW 1837 members and retirees attended
hearings in Concord on "Right to Work."

February 20, 2017 - Members and retirees from IBEW 1837 joined with their union Brothers and Sisters throughout the Granite State and helped defeat a so-called “Right to Work” bill in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, 200 – 177. By doing so, the state’s Labor Movement overcame tremendous odds in thwarting a top policy priority of new Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who had GOP majorities in both bodies of the state legislature.

So-called “Right to Work” was narrowly approved by the Senate, 12 – 11, although its passage there was never really in doubt. 

Everyone knew it would be a tougher sell in the House.  Even though Republicans control that legislative chamber by a 226 – 173 margin, some of them are Union members or supporters of collective bargaining rights who recognize the true purpose of these union-busting bills. In the end, a total of 32 Republicans joined Democrats in the House and voted against “Right to Work.”

Hundreds of union members packed Representatives Hall at the State House in Concord for a public hearing on the bill before the House Labor Committee. Dozens of union members and allies from faith and community groups testified in opposition to it while only a handful of people testified in favor of “Right to Work.” Two IBEW 1837 members from Eversource testified in opposition: Rebecca Johnson, a Control Room Operator from Schiller Station, and Pat Moran, a Troubleshooter from the Hooksett AWC.

“To work beside someone who is enjoying the benefits I am paying for is not right and you know it,” Sister Johnson said, referring to “free riders” who are protected by the contract but choose to pay nothing in “Right to Work” states. “The bottom line is this bill is really not about paying dues so much as it is about splintering workers to their own corners and to take away hard fought benefits.”

Portland Holiday FunkFest for FairPoint Strikers on December 22

December 12, 2014 — A lineup of some of Portland’s most prominent musicians is holding a “Holiday FunkFest for FairPoint Strikers” on Monday, December 22, at Empire music hall. The evening will be headlined by the eight-piece band Model Airplane. Adam Waxman and Joe Farrell and special guest Kenya Hall will also perform.

The announcement of the benefit concert at Empire marks the latest surge in public support for the FairPoint strikers. Since the strike began on October 17, the workers’ relief fund has received nearly $150,000 in donations.

“The community support we’ve received has been amazing,” said Peter McLaughlin, chair of the bargaining committee of the nearly 2,000 union workers at FairPoint. “People aren’t just writing us checks, they’re walking our picket lines, they’re coming to our rallies, and now they’re literally singing our song. We can’t thank these musicians enough — and the people all across Maine — who are standing with us to win a Fair Deal for New England.”

The FairPoint strikers have received substantial gifts of food and other items in addition to the nearly $150,000 given to the strike fund. Highlights of the support effort include hundreds of Thanksgiving turkeys and food baskets distributed to strikers by the nonprofit Food AND Medicine; tens of thousands of dollars in grocery store gift cards given out by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; and a drive to collect thousands of Christmas presents for strikers’ children by the Communications Workers of America.

“This outpouring of support has allowed our strikers to remain incredibly strong,” said Don Trementozzi, president of Communications Workers of America Local 1400. “And thanks to the generosity of the artists behind this concert and so many others, we can tell FairPoint executives that we’ll fight one day longer, one day stronger.”

Election 2014: Gubernatorial Contests are Top Labor Concern

Michaud speaks on Labor Day
Michaud speaks on Labor Day

October 22, 2014 - Re-election campaigns for the Governors of New Hampshire and Maine have been getting plenty of attention from members of IBEW Local #1837 and other pro-worker groups. New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan has been a consistent union ally while Maine Governor Paul LePage has supported union-busting “Right to Work” legislation. Both are seeking their second terms on Tuesday, November 4.

In recent letters to our represented members, IBEW 1837 Business Manager Dick Rogers and President Ray Colello continued to stress that their top priority remains giving members the best representation possible by negotiating and protecting our contracts.

“Since many of our members belong to different political parties or hold contrasting views on the various issues of the day, we are reluctant to get involved in politics,” Rogers and Colello said. “However, we feel we do have a responsibility to let you know how the decisions we all make on Election Day can affect the ability of IBEW Local #1837 to secure good wages, good benefits and a safe workplace for you. In recent years, basic worker protections – from the freedom to form a union to the right to a safe workplace – have been under attack.”

After a thorough process that includes issue questionnaires and an analysis of voting records of each of the candidates, the New Hampshire and Maine AFL-CIO’s issue endorsements of Democrats, Republicans and Independents who demonstrate an understanding of the importance of labor unions and a commitment to working people. This includes not only the gubernatorial candidates but also candidates for important state legislative races and federal contests such as the United States Senate and House of Representatives.

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