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

IBEW News

Popular Eversource System Electrician Retires After 45 Years

Tom Rzasa
Tom Rzasa

August 26, 2015 - It would be hard to find someone at Eversource more well-liked than Tom Rzasa, a System Electrician at 1250 Hooksett Rd. T&D who retired at the end of July after 45 years with the Company. A friendly and easy-going guy, Brother Rzasa has seen a lot of changes since he started at New Hampshire’s largest electric utility in 1970.

 “It was a much different feel back then, more like family,” Tom said. “I was there about a week when they brought me in and took my picture with people and everyone was saying hello and calling me by name. Someone said ‘Do you know who that was? That was (PSNH President) Bill Tallman.’ I thought, wow, I just started here and he knows who I am. I’m pretty sure that (Eversource CEO) Tom May doesn’t know who I am.”

Rzasa started out as a Hydro Operator at Amoskeag for a few years, then moved into the Construction Department for a 13 or 14-year stretch before settling in as a System Electrician. Through it all, he maintained a positive and upbeat attitude.

“I worked with the best guys,” he said. “We had fun and enjoyed doing the work together. 45 years went by fast. I had a great run.”

Union Members at FairPoint Approve New Contract and Return to Work on Feb. 25

AUGUSTA, ME (FEBRUARY 22, 2015 UNION NEWS RELEASE)—After three days of voting, IBEW and CWA members in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont have ratified tentative agreements with FairPoint Communications. The new agreements protect good jobs and ensure quality telecommunications service for New England communities.

“This is great news for our members, their families, and our communities,” said Peter McLaughlin, chair of the union bargaining committee and Business Manager of IBEW Local 2327 in Maine. “Our members remained united and committed to this fight for more than four months and today we have a fair deal that will bring them back to work and good service back to our communities.”

After initially demanding $700 million in concessions from workers, FairPoint implemented the terms of its proposals on August 28 saying the parties had reached an impasse in bargaining. The implemented terms included a dramatic increase in health care costs, a two-tier wage structure that would have paid new hires as much as 20 percent less to do the same jobs as current workers, and a greatly increased ability to outsource union members’ work to low-wage contractors from outside our region.

Ultimately, FairPoint agreed to a union-administered health insurance plan with better benefits that will cost workers and the company less. FairPoint also agreed to eliminate the two-tier wage structure.

“This agreement is a win for our members and for future FairPoint employees,” said Don Trementozzi, President of CWA Local 1400. “We went on strike last October because we are committed to keeping good, middle-class jobs in New England. Our members walked the lines for more than four months, not just for themselves, but for future generations. Our success will benefit FairPoint workers—and New England’s working families—for years to come.”

FairPoint, IBEW, and CWA Reach Tentative Agreements

February 19, 2015 - BREAKING NEWS/UNION NEWS RELEASE: FairPoint Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: FRP); System Council T-9 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (AFL-CIO) Locals 2320, 2326, and 2327; and the Communications Workers of America (AFL-CIO) Local 1400 are pleased to announce that today they have reached tentative agreements on the terms for new collective bargaining agreements.

The Company and the Unions agree that the terms of their new collective bargaining agreements will address, in meaningful and constructive ways, the objectives of the parties and that the new labor agreements will provide employees with wages and benefits that are among the best in northern New England. At the same time, the agreements permit the Company to achieve a much more competitive position in the marketplace.

Union members will vote on ratification of the tentative agreements as soon as possible. Effective with the signing of the tentative agreements, the parties agreed that striking employees will return to work on Wednesday, February 25, 2015.

Further comments will be withheld until the ratification vote is complete.

IBEW 1837 Welcomes New Office Manager Laurie Kelley as Debbie Owen Retires

Office Manager Laurie Kelley
Office Manager Laurie Kelley

December 18, 2014 - Laurie Kelley has become the new full-time Office Manager of IBEW Local Union #1837, working out of the Maine office in Manchester, Maine. Laurie succeeds longtime Office Manager Debbie Owen, who recently retired after nearly 35 years at the Local.

For many of our members, the Union Office Manager is the friendly and professional voice on the other end of the telephone. The Office Manager answers multiple lines in our Manchester, Maine office, frequently fielding urgent inquiries from members looking for help with a problem at work.

Among the other responsibilities of the job is the maintenance of our database and keeping that information updated for approximately 1,600 members. The Office Manager is charged with keeping up on the paperwork associated with financial records, grievances and arbitrations. She also must prepare for regular audits conducted by the Department of Labor, the International Union, the 2nd District, and our Local office.

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.”

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