From Our President
Howard W. Wells
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I hope everyone had a safe and healthy Holiday
season. It has been a great year for our Local. We won numerous
arbitrations and awards for our membership. We were able to increase and
maintain Health & Welfare in our contracts. Even our Public Sector
contracts did well, all though a few are still outstanding because of
the pressure that the State Government puts on Town and Municipalities
with caps on wages, health care, and pensions.
We were able to grow our Local by approximately 400
members through organizing. New towns and a few construction companies
came on board, as well as the bus drivers at the Lawnside and
Willingboro locations of First Student. We would also like to welcome
Camden Water aboard.
Our next First Student organizing target is their
location in Berlin. The coming year should also see the UPS Freight
drivers in our area join us here at Local 676.
It has been a good year politically with almost a
hundred public officials in our corner. As a result we were able to get
the Local’s first bill passed. The bill concerns PATCO contract
mediation and we are now working on getting similar legislation passed
Our third Annual Picnic was a great success along
with the visit from Santa at our Christmas Party (see photos on pages 3
& 4). A very special project of the Local was the awarding of eight
Scholarships this past May to children of our members. This was the
second year that saw us give eight young men and women a helping hand in
the pursuit of their goals and dreams.
In October we hosted our Shop Stewards Seminar for
the second year in a row. Attendance was very high at almost 80% and
there was something for everyone both new and experienced. Thanks to all
of those who gave up a Saturday to improve their ability to help the
members they represent.
A special Thank You to those guests who set up
information tables prior to our October and November meetings. We will
continue to expand this program if the members indicate it is a benefit
for them. You can check it out at our January meeting on the 20th.
Doors open at 9 AM and breakfast will be served. The
Business Agents will also be available at this time for information and
assistance to the members.
And the last shall be first … and so lastly I want to
thank the members and shop stewards, without whose help we would not be
successful. We will need your support and effort again to meet the
challenges of the coming new year. All of you play a big part in the
state of our country and our union.
This year will see us elect a new President. Let’s rally our support
for the candidate who best represents the interests of working families.
Make sure you vote and give whatever assistance you can to the candidate
of your choice.
Remember to say a special prayer for those members who have passed on
and left us to keep the dream alive. They helped to make this union
great and have passed that legacy on to us. Now it is our turn to
protect our children’s future.
Please keep those who died in the service of our country in your
prayers as well. It is up to all of us to honor their sacrifice and
“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things
he has not …. But rejoices for those which he has.” Epictetus
Howard W. Wells
President & Principal Officer Local 676