A Message from Business Manager Chris Erikson
Hopefully this week we can all reflect on everything we have and be thankful. Despite the challenges and the hardship of unemployment, we are continuing to provide for our families because of the benefits that we have as members of Local 3, IBEW. There are many in our world and in our country who are less fortunate. Harry Van Arsdale Jr. encouraged us to “help those less fortunate.” As we acknowledge his birthday, I believe that he would be proud of the initiative we are currently undertaking to reach out to those in the construction industry who are being exploited — those who don’t have the high standards that we have.
Harry was all about education. His programs, such as our Critical Thinking classes, which continue today, have made our members smarter, more involved, and more valuable. The non-union sector in the construction industry in NYC needs to be educated. They need our help, and as they successfully organize their own employers and raise their standards, we will protect ours. This is a challenge that we must face together. They’ve been here and they’re not going away. Those workers need to understand that they are being taken advantage of by employers who are making huge profits off their backs by underpaying them. These workers have families who deserve better. Why shouldn’t they earn what unionized trades earn, enjoy benefits like we have, including medical coverage and retirement security, something all workers should have? They need to do it for themselves, and as we educate them and help them, we will stabilize the race to the bottom that is happening in our city.
Proudly, over the last few weeks we hosted the Governor, the Mayor, and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at our training center and our union hall. They were all impressed and know that we are continuing to lead the way in the Electrical Industry like no other. Our diversity, our training, and our skills were on display, as always. They know the benefits of belonging to a union, what that means to working men and women, and that nobody does it better than Local 3. I am thankful to all of the members of our union for what you do. This past weekend and during this week, our members are volunteering in the community, living Harry’s words, and helping those less fortunate. I am thankful to Harry Van Arsdale Jr. for all that he did for us, and I thank God for the strength to continue to do all that I can for our members and their families. Happy Thanksgiving!