Message from Business Manager Leo Yanez

Freedom at Home and Abroad: Brothers and Sisters, it is hard to believe that almost half the year is already gone. Independence day is just around the corner, with this day of celebration there are a few things we should consider. Safety is the number one priority for an enjoyable celebration.  The risk of home fire increases, especially if fireworks are involved so please don’t leave your children without supervision if they are enjoying fireworks. Practice the same safe behaviors at home that you practice at work. Your health and the well being of your family is very important. Let us not forget that freedom isn’t free. Many of our members are overseas protecting our beloved Country from harm. Make sure a prayer or a solemn moment goes out to the families who have loved ones in our armed forces abroad. While they are out there fighting to protect freedom, let us fight here for the right to organize, for a safe workplace, good benefits, decent wages and to secure a bright future for our children and the generations to come. Happy fourth of July Local 83 and may God bless us all.

Victory: November 7, 2012 Dear Brothers and Sisters. We have achieved victory last night, it was a hard battle. This is a victory for the Labor Movement and for Unions across the country. This will give us a break and a chance to educate and send our message to the rest of the Nation, specially to the “right to work” States where union membership is low, as is wages and benefits for working people. Unions and their Brotherhoods are here to take care of the members, to speak out for unfair labor practices, to help the American worker achieve the “American Dream”. Through labor’s efforts, unions help send young people through college and get an education and see that greed and selfishness is not the answer. Brothers and Sisters it’s time to educate not only ourselves on what unions are all about – but our friends and family as well. Somehow along the way we lost track of the meaning of Brotherhood, let me remind you of some of the concepts that are associated with that word. Brotherhood is sharing the same values of hard work, honest pay for honest work, supporting one another, helping others when in need, rejoicing in others triumphs and be sadden by each others tribulations. In the end, we are only as strong as our weakest member, strength comes from knowledge and the sharing of values. Lets share with one another, lets take pride on being a Union member, lets take pride on being a member of the IBEW and last, lets take pride on being a member of the IBEW Local 83. God bless you and keep you.

Be at the table and not on the menu October 1, 2012. Now that the Summer is officially over, our thoughts and senses gravitate towards the the Fall season. Football, warm cider, the smell of fresh baked home made apple pie, and the sounds of dry leaves under our feet in the clean crisp morning air.

Here in the union office work still goes on at a feverish pace. We are busy with negotiating contracts for the Co. Op’s we represent. At this time we are working on two contracts, one for Otsego Electric and the other one for Steuben Electric.
A great deal of things had happened during the Summer. We worked on safety and the issues that arose from that – so lets make this Fall the safest season we can. As a Brotherhood lets pay attention, not only to our own safety, but to those who work around us. Lets look out for each other. We can do much better, practicing safe behaviors at home and at work. Using eye and hearing protection, wearing the appropriate clothing for the task at hand. Communicate and make sure we understand each other, be informed and ask questions. That is important, especially with a big election around the corner. Make sure you are informed, know the issues and what is going on in the Labor Movement. Register to vote and exercise that right and most importantly get involved. There are multiple local campaigns that Local 83 is involved in – so contact Business Agent Don Tuttel at the union office to make a difference this election year.
Change is accomplished by one vote at a time. You have the right to elect your representatives and hold them accountable for their actions. Praise them if they do what they promise or hold them accountable for what they fail to do. The government holds you accountable for the labor you do, that should work both ways. So get involved Local 83…be at the political table and not on the menu this Fall season because we all deserve a piece of that fresh baked home apple pie.

Vote your values & educate your neighbors 

June 13, 2012. We are at the halfway point in 2012 and there are still many challenges ahead of us. This being an election year, all of us are subjected to news and promises from politicians. As members of a Brotherhood we have to listen, not only to what the politicians are saying, but more importantly, what they are not telling us.  As union members we have to educate ourselves on the issues that affect us and our livelihoods. We don’t have to remind you what happened in Wisconsin where politicians are working to weaken unions and their bargaining rights. We must make sure that as individuals and as union members, that we vote our values and support elected officials who support our bread and butter interests. We each have an individual responsibility to educate our non-union neighbors and answer their questions about the benefits of being union. Remind them that earning good benefit’s come from working together, caring for one another and sacrificing selfish behavior for the collective good. People that don’t understand and do not have any idea what unions represent are usually the first to cave-in and turn their jealousy into division. Working class people who vote for the candidates of the rich elect politicians who take away pensions, employer paid benefits and the right to bargain for raises. So please take some time to educate your friends, family and colleagues on why we are Union, why we are holding the line on the Middle Class and encourage them to vote with their pocket books in mind as well. Unions fight for better working conditions, better benefits for the family, better wages, and a pension or retirement plan so that at the end of the one’s career, one will not be a burden to the State or to their children. An honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work is our mantra. Unions are not opposed to making profits, all we ask is that our employers share the wealth with the people who make that profit possible.

So we must support the politicians that support us. It does not matter what party they are affiliated with. Voting a straight party ticket is an easy task, and we as union members do not have that luxury. We must only support those who have and will stand behind us as we fight corporate greed and worker injustice. Support your Brotherhood by learning and understanding the issues, remember, knowledge is power. Most of all, remember not to let politics put a damper on your summer and the good weather. Get out there and enjoy life and be proud of where you work and proud that you are a member of a good union, Local 83 of the IBEW.  Please be safe doing what you love to do.

Welcome to our website message. Thank you for stopping by and checking out our website. As Business Manager of one of the largest unions in the region, I am both humbled and honored with the task of managing our union effectively and efficiently. We work hard to enforce the contract, manage our funds, volunteer in the community and promote unity and solidarity throughout all 8 Units across New York State.

Working with our Executive Board and our hardworking staff, we made a decision to invest in communications so Local 83 members from every corner of the state can stay informed, share best practices, and keep up to date with what’s going on with our union and the issues and challenges we face.

We are proud of our email we call Members Only. This email is sent directly from the union leadership to the membership about meeting dates, political action, social outings and issues important to the rank & file. We get this information from the membership, and distribute it throughout the entire union. If you haven’t already done so, please visit the Members Only page and sign up, and encourage your fellow Local 83 members to do the same. Also please sign-up for union blast text messages as well.

Our website has many features which can help you gather information quickly and efficiently. The Upcoming Events listing on the homepage lets you know what’s coming up, the Benefits Page gives you helpful numbers when you are sick or in need of care. The Links & Referrals page has links of groups and organizations that we work with to promote the empowerment of working people. Don’t forget to check out the Photo Gallery, our members at work. If you have a photo you would like posted here, email it to us.

We welcome the general public to our website as well.  As a labor union, we care about the communities in which we live and serve.  Our fight for higher wages, better benefits, retirement and dignity and security on the job is not just our fight, it is everyone’s. We believe that all people who put in an honest days work deserve all the finest things a union contract provides. Our legislative efforts both in Albany and Washington DC are both designed to serve and protect not only our members, but all working people.  Labor Day is special to us because it gives us an opportunity to say thanks to those who fought for what we have today, and allows us to educate the next generation of workers that our unions survival, and the health and prosperity of working America depends on them.

Thanks again for stopping by, and remember, there is nothing more important than being safe on the job. God Bless.