Mergers make us bigger, stronger and richer

Secretary-Treasurer's Report Summer 2008

In the past six months, our Local has completed its largest merger ever with Local 78, integrated a new staff and office, organized hundreds of new members, and negotiated dozens of contracts. We also have some big battles looming with some major employers.

But the biggest and most important battle is yet to come, and that's the 2008 presidential election. This is perhaps the most important election since Franklin Roosevelt was elected, and signed the National Labor Relations Act.

If you work for a living, if you belong to a union, or have hopes of ever belonging to a union, this election will have a major impact on your current and future work life and your subsequent ability to retire securely and with dignity.

As the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama has committed to signing the “Employee Free Choice Act,” which will revolutionize the labor movement, and have much the same effect that the National Labor Relations Act had in 1937.

Workers will be allowed to seek union representation without fear, intimidation, or harassment. More importantly, they will be guaranteed a first time contract, through arbitration, if one cannot be reached between the parties.

This is important not only for the newly unionized; it will have a major impact on existing union contracts. It will finally allow us to have a fair and equal shot at bringing your employer's competitors to the same levels of wages, hours and working conditions that you enjoy. This has the potential of ending the constant undermining of our contracts by non-union competition.

Just as important as the ability to organize is the promise of legislation that will help us sustain your health coverage and pension plans. The Bush administration pushed through passage of the ironically misnamed “Pension Protection Act,” which has worked to assure the veritable demise of single employer pension plans, and which will, if not changed, erode multi-employer pensions in the future.

A Democratic president and a democratic majority in both houses of congress should increase labor's access and input, and hopefully, make the necessary legislative changes that provide a strong foundation for our pension plans and health coverage.

Between now and this November, the officers and officials of Local 853 will be pushing you to register to vote, join DRIVE, and make sure that we all do our part in changing the future to benefit you, your families and the rest of the working people in our country!


Battle at Granite Rock

As of July 2, we are on strike against Graniterock. This company has refused to bring the members to the same level of income as our other ready-mix drivers in Local 853. In addition, the owner is attempting to force our members to cross picket lines at job sites.

This is a monumental struggle, pitting us against an employer who will spend millions to defeat the union. Local 853 is committed to doing what it takes to make sure that our membership is protected from these types of tyrants.

Our ready-mix members from all companies are joining this fight. They have pledged their physical support and their monetary support. We need the rest of our members to join in!

All of your employers will be watching this fight. They will either get the idea that they should also try to take us on, or figure out that it is not worth the damage, money and pain that a fight with our union will cause them. Make no mistake; this dispute affects us all.



Rome Aloise, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 853

Rome Aloise,

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