Last week, IBEW 1049's Assistant Business Manager Patrick Guidice and Executive Board Member Connie Fritzlo were in Albany to join the Utility Labor Council of NYS in lobbying for three important bills. The first bill, S6127 would extend a employment, health, and safety rights for IBEW members who are laid off due to the closing of Nuclear Power Plants, from 60 to 100 days. With many IBEW brothers and sisters at Indian Point slated to lose their jobs, due to the closing of the plant, this is a very important protection. They also discussed A 07685 and A 03628. Both are bills that will regulate how New York buys energy, giving a preference to energy that is produced in state. This is important because energy that comes from out of state or even out of country are not only taking jobs from New Yorkers, but they may also be coming from sources that do not meet New York's environmental standards. Throughout their discussion they reiterated the need to protect our members jobs and labor protections. While in Albany, they met with local elected officials and staff from elected officials on Long Island and important elected officials from across the state.
While lobbying these elected officials is important, our union also needs to make sure that we have a strong political voice. This is why it is important to donate to the COPE Fund. The IBEW does not use members dues to support or oppose political candidates. Every cent that is spent on political activity is voluntarily given to our local through the COPE fund. This money is used to fund our Political Committees work, like doing labor walks, making donations to candidates who are supportive of our issues, and helping to oppose elected officials who are opposed to us. I encourage all members to give to COPE and become active in our political action committee.