Posts Tagged ‘Nigro’

Education, strength and unity – we'll fulfill our mission

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Thanks to all of the delegates, members, guests and staff that made the First SMART General Convention a resounding success.

I have been involved in this union for 45 years. There has never been a more outspoken, honest, and hardworking General Executive Council than the one we have now. They do what is right for this membership. They make this union. It also helps having a great partner, a general secretary-treasurer who has your back and who makes you proud every day. Joe Sellers is a great leader.

We are now one union. I know that some differences of opinion among the membership remain as in any democratic organization that respects the right of each and every member to speak freely. I will always continue to encourage discussion, debate and your input on where we go in the future.

As I told the convention delegation, we are going to fight some, and we are going to bleed some. But in the end, we’ll all bleed the same blood.

We closed the convention on Aug. 15 as one union. We are not divided and we will not let anything divide us. A house divided will fall and we will never go that way. We have a combined legacy of 270 years. We must build on what previous generations have passed to us by furthering our mission to make this union even stronger in servicing our members.

I am telling you what I told the assembled delegates at the convention. All business managers, business agents, general chairpersons and local chairpersons must realize that service to the membership must come first. Whether they are representing airline, rail, transportation or sheet metal members, our leaders must continue their duty to represent the membership to the best of their ability.

This union’s leadership will not tolerate anyone who doesn’t represent their members. You don’t have to like Joe Nigro, but you do have to like and work for your membership.

Through education, strength and unity, we will fulfill our mission to make SMART the strongest union in North America.

As I noted in my column here last month, I was never as proud of our members as I was to see our sheet metal brothers and sisters standing shoulder to shoulder with our transportation membership at a rally held by employees on the Long Island Rail Road.

It was outstanding to see sheet metal workers and transportation workers getting together and fighting together on behalf of their brothers and sisters. When I walked into that parking lot with more than 3,000 people, I was so proud.

Our membership was successful in obtaining a fair agreement with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and I congratulate LIRR GO 505 General Chairperson Anthony Simon and his leadership team for that outstanding effort.

We departed our first SMART convention renewed, stronger and united. We will continue to forge a new future with the dignity, integrity and the honor that went into building this great union. To read and view coverage from the First SMART General Convention, visit your union’s website at www.smart-union.org.

It’s all about our union, our members and our strength. Together, we are all SMART. 

Joseph J. Nigro
SMART?General President

 

 

Members invited to join Omaha Labor Day Parade

The SMART Transportation Division’s Nebraska State Legislative Board is once again organizing participation in Omaha’s annual Labor Day parade Monday, Sept. 1, and SMART members from Omaha and surrounding areas are invited to take part.

The festivities begin Sunday at 5 p.m., when the board will hold a “membership feed” at the Sheet Metal Workers’ Hall at 3333 S. 24th St.

Parade participants will assemble at 9 a.m. on Sept. 1 at 16th and Webster Sts. for the 10 a.m. march through Omaha.

As in past years, there will be mini trains and the SMART TD caboose for children to ride upon.

“Come on out and walk the parade route with your fellow members of the SMART family,” Nebraska State Legislative Director Bob Borgeson said. “I am sure SMART General President Joe Nigro will join us as he did last year.”

Those events are just the beginning of the fun. The city will be celebrating its Septemberfest over the weekend and there should be a variety of events available to entertain members and their families.

For more information, contact Borgeson at (402) 679-0872 or SMARTDIRECTOR@cox.net.

Feel free to post this flyer on local union bulletin boards.

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Leading the SMART contingent in the Omaha, Neb., 2013 Labor Day parade were, from left, Nebraska State Legislative Director Bob Borgeson, SMART General President Joe Nigro, SMART Chief of Staff Rich McClees and Douglas County Board Chairperson Mary Ann Borgeson, Bob’s wife.

SMART's Nigro, Sellers re-elected by acclamation

Delegates to the First SMART Convention at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas have returned General President Joseph J. Nigro and General Secretary-Treasurer Joseph Sellers Jr. to five-year terms in office by acclamation.

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Sheet Metal Division delegates also returned by acclamation all 11 current vice president to the General Executive Council.

In keeping with provisions of the SMART Constitution, each officer was nominated and seconded and voting delegates were given the opportunity to propose other candidates.

All 1,007 certified voting delegates, representing a variety of crafts from SMART’s new, diverse membership, were eligible to vote for the offices of general president and secretary-treasurer. Only Sheet Metal Division delegates were eligible to participate in yesterday’s elections for the sheet metal vice presidents.

Transportation Division officers were elected at the Transportation Division Convention June 30-July 2. 

First General Vice President Bruce Word took over the convention chair to conduct the electoral process, beginning with the nominations to elect Nigro and Sellers, followed by nominations and elections of 11 general vice presidents.

After the voting was concluded, Word administered the oath of office to 20 international officers, including the officers of the Transportation Division.

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SMART General President Joseph Nigro and General Secretary-Treasurer Joe Sellers Jr.

President Nigro presents vision for SMART future

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SMART General President Joseph Nigro opened the proceedings of the First SMART General Convention Aug. 6 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with a message stressing education, strength and unity.

Following the presentation of the Colors by the Palo Verde High School Junior ROTC and the singing of the Canadian and U.S. national anthems by former Sheet Metal Local 67 former bookkeeper Melina Narezo, Nigro advised delegates and guests that union leadership at all levels need to make sure they know their jobs and responsibilities.

“Let’s make sure you represent the people to the best of our ability — whether it’s planes, trains, buses or sheet metal, our leaders have to be educated; they can’t just shoot from the hip.”

After affirming that a merger between the former Sheet Metal Workers International Association and United Transportation Union was formally consolidated, Nigro acknowledged that some differences of opinion among the membership remain and encouraged discussion and debate.

“We’re going to fight some. We’re going to bleed some. But we’ll all bleed the same blood,” he said. “I’m tired of saying ‘we’ and ‘them.’ I want to feel comfortable saying ‘us.’ So, get all your animosity out.”

“We need to close the convention on Friday with one mission — that we are one union. That we are not divided, and we won’t let anything divide us. A house divided will fall. We will not go that way.”

Nigro spoke directly to all levels of union leadership — business managers, business agents, general chairpersons, and local chairpersons — when he said that service to the membership must come first.

“We will not tolerate anyone who won’t represent their members,” he said.

“You don’t have to like Joe Nigro, but you do have to like and work for your membership. Our mission is to make SMART the strongest union in North America.”

Noting the strength that can be found through SMART’s united membership, Nigro referenced a labor dispute between members of Transportation Division General Committee of Adjustment GO 505 and management of the Long Island Rail Road. GO 505 General Chairperson Anthony Simon led eight coalition unions in the dispute.

After asking for members of the delegation of GO 505 to rise, Nigro said his attendance at a labor rally there this summer was one of the most fulfilling moments of his union career.

“It was outstanding. Seeing sheet metal workers and transportation people, getting together and fighting together for the same cause — the SMART union! When I walked into that parking lot with over 3,000 people, I was so proud. Anthony, you and your boys, we’re proud as hell of you!”

Nearing the end of his address, Nigro offered his vision for the organization’s future.

“Transparency, transparency, transparency. And accountability. Our books are open to our members. We’re going to show them how we’ve spent their money. We also need to be accountable as officers for our actions and our decisions,” he said.

“Our deliberations over the next five days will give us the opportunity to move forward renewed, stronger, and united. This is our time to forge a new future with the dignity, with the integrity and the honor that built this great union. It’s all about our union . . . our members . . . our strength. Together, we are all SMART.”

In closing, Nigro advised it was time to move forward with the union’s business at hand.

“As a famous conductor once said: ALL ABOARD!”

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SMART General President Joe Nigro addresses delegates and guests at the first SMART General Convention Aug. 6 in Las Vegas.

 

Our union will only be as strong as we make it

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By Joe Nigro, 
SMART General President – 

The SMART General Executive Council met in Maryland the week of March 31 to April 4 to identify opportunities and challenges in developing a five-year plan to move SMART forward. Representatives from the Sheet Metal and Transportation Divisions participated in the strategic planning sessions facilitated by FMI consultants, who have worked with SMART in the past.

Officers and staff members delved into the challenges facing the organization and how it could combine its resources to advance the merger process. While SMART members in construction have suffered from the acute effects of the Great Recession on construction industry activity, members on the transportation side have been faced with the challenges posed by rival unions using cutthroat tactics to offer substandard services to our members.

One of the takeaways from our planning session was the need to re-examine the way we communicate within and outside SMART. I understand that the goal of jam-packed union meetings has become unrealistic in some cases, due to the pace of day-to-day schedules and the demands placed on all of us through work and family obligations.

That is why more and more people are connecting with each other online or through mobile communications. These avenues of communication are useful, but don’t forget the value of face-to-face relationships offered through union meetings.

Seventy years ago, during the New Deal, there were more than 2,000 labor-related newspapers published in local communities throughout the United States. That number dwindled during the post-war era to a low today of just a few dozen that are regularly published.

In order to fill that gaping hole, numerous online and social media websites have risen to fill that gap. Several years ago, SMART expanded its online infrastructure to not only inform members of what is going on in their union and their industries, but also enabled members to talk to and communicate with one another and with their leadership.

As one union, we are only as strong as we make it by working together. Every idea and every contribution is valued, and an idea that may seem outlandish today might be the spark that ignites a fellow member somewhere else. I strongly encourage you to follow our social media sites on Twitter and Facebook (both listed on our homepage at www.smart-union.org) and subscribe to updates from the SMART Action Team (www.smartaction.org) in order to remain informed about the issues we need to address together in advancing our cause. I want you to say something if you know something that makes us stronger and smarter.

The key to the success of our efforts is having members fully informed and involved. As we prepare for the upcoming conventions of the SMART Transportation Division and SMART’s General Convention, I want you to make sure you understand the provisions and proposed changes to the constitution.

I want you to be involved in selecting your delegates, who will be representing your interests in amending and adopting SMART’s Constitution, which will guide our operations for the next five years. To help keep you up to date, please visit our website at www.smart-union.org for breaking news and other vital information for our members and their family.

Let’s work together to put Fast Track on slow track

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By Joe Nigro, SMART General President – Recent news reports have been bleak when it comes to the status of working families in the United States. While much of the news focuses on unemployment, and rightly so, there’s a relatively unknown, legal way that corporations are going to impact the job market and the wealth of manufacturing workers throughout the United States.

On the wealth side, the stock market has never been any higher; however, the wealth gap between the wealthiest one percent and everyone else has reached levels not seen since the 1920s and 95 percent of the new income generated in the past decade has gone to the top one percent. In fact, only 2.3 percent of the financial wealth generated by all Americans belongs to the bottom 60 percent. In addition, the median middle class income of American families has fallen by $5,000 since 1999.

Forty years ago, President Ronald Reagan promised the nation that throwing money at the rich would result in their prosperity trickling down to the rest of us. For 40 years, Americans have waited and have only seen their fortunes slide backwards.

On top of that promise, we were told that so-called free trade agreements like NAFTA would open new markets for our products made here at home. What we got instead were more of our good-paying jobs disappearing overseas.

Unfortunately, there are politicians in Washington and CEOs on Wall Street looking to double down on these failed policies that only benefited the top one percent. Rather than fix badly constructed agreements like NAFTA, they’re looking to give us a heavier dose of the same.

Fast Track authority for a new trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership is their newest proposal. What Fast Track does is give the White House the power to present Congress with trade agreements that lawmakers cannot amend once they are brought to a vote. For six years, this Trans-Pacific Partnership has been shrouded in secrecy and now its backers want to rush it through Congress.

Journalists and public interest groups, along with the majority of Congress, have been denied access to the text of this agreement. At the same time, 600 corporate advisors and lobbyists – including Wall Street bankers and companies like Wal-Mart – have been given access to it and are actually allowed to be involved in negotiations. The actual text will not be released until four years after the talks have been concluded or a deal has been reached. Every step involved in the process of crafting this treaty has been hidden from the public.

Even with all the secrecy, there have been some leaks of what is inside the agreement. As many feared, the treaty has been geared towards reducing labor costs here and abroad, while undercutting workers’ rights. Labor, environmental, health and banking regulations that could impact corporate profits are rendered ineffective by a process that allows foreign companies to challenge American laws that negatively impact their profits. American and Canadian courts would be superseded by international unelected tribunals when disputes arise under the treaty. The goal of this treaty is not to raise the standard of living for the citizens of its participating countries, but to instead maximize corporate profits at all costs.

This treaty directly threatens every working family in the United States and Canada, along with the other 11 nations involved in its formulation. The Founding Fathers gave Congress the power over trade, but Fast Track eliminates the ability of your elected representatives in Congress to set trade policy and surrenders the sovereignty of our nation to unelected international tribunals.

Right now, there is a broad-based coalition of groups working together to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty. Not only are union, environmental and civil rights groups involved on the left, but we are being joined by groups on the right concerned about this treaty’s effect on our nation’s sovereignty. Join the SMART Action Team at www.smartaction.org if you have not already and sign up for action alerts that we will be sending periodically. You can also find updates on this fight at our website at www.smart-union.org/stop-the-tpp.

This is a threat we can fight off, but only if we stand together. Do this for the good of SMART members and for the future world in which our children and grandchildren will live.

SMART presents its first constitution and ritual

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We are pleased, as your general president and transportation division president, to present the first SMART Constitution and ritual to our membership. This is a milestone for both the former Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association and the United Transportation Union, that have merged to become the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers. While our merger has been complete for some time, this document solidifies this great union and its membership under a single constitution. It is impossible to speak to the success in completing this constitution without acknowledging both the hard work and the frustration of those who participated in the creation of the document and the membership who have waited patiently throughout this long and difficult process. The path has led both of us to take positions on interpretation of our separate constitutions and the merger agreement. In getting there, as would be expected of your leadership, we examined and debated every constitutional section thoroughly before agreement. At times, it required the help of an outside arbitrator to clarify a particular issue. While this slowed the process, it must be remembered the parties were tasked with blending 100 years of separate cultural and operational methods into a single constitution that would govern our organization. Throughout this process, both of us have recognized that, in the end, what matters is the importance of having a document that serves the best interests of all the membership of SMART. So, we are jointly resolved to move forward as an organization under one constitution and ritual, with a single focus. We, as your leadership, are dedicated to working collectively to provide a transparent and accountable organization that will strive to provide fair and reasoned representation to our membership and the efficiency of operation necessary to expand work opportunities for our members. To view the SMART Constitution, click here. To view a letter to all delegates attending the 2014 SMART Transportation Division Convention and First SMART International Convention, click here (This corrects and replaces the original posting from 1/14/2014.). To view questions and answers regarding the SMART Convention/Constitution, click here (03/18/14) Fraternally and in solidarity, nigro_signature     Joseph J. Nigro, General President previsich_sig_web John Previsich, President, Transportation Division  

Cooperation Will Bring Stronger, Brighter Future For All

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In September, delegates from both the SMART Transportation and Sheet Metal Divisions stood together united as one on the floor of the AFL-CIO convention. SMART’s message to our brothers and sisters in the labor movement was simple. We demanded that organized labor, as a whole, hold national, state and local elected leaders accountable for their actions – regardless of their party label and irrespective of any promises they may have made in the past.

The last six years have been difficult for working people. The Great Recession, caused through no fault of our own, was devastating to millions of working families. Making the pill even more bitter and harder to swallow was the fact that when working people asked for a hand up, we were ignored and our hard-earned tax money was diverted to bail out the same Wall Street banks and CEOs who created the mess in the first place.

For those who work in the private sector, whether in construction or transit, the harm done was further exacerbated when we asked to be treated in the same manner as companies like Wal-Mart, who received a one-year waiver from the rules that will be set for administering the Affordable Care Act.

SMART, as well as the rest of the labor movement, supports the goal of better access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans. However, many union health care funds are multi-employer plans, designed to pool the resources of union employers in order to reach the best possible deal on health care benefits for members. Rather than treat these plans in the same way larger employers like Wal-Mart are treated, they were instead pushed out of the exchanges and, in effect, will be undermined by the government subsidies available through the health care exchanges. Amazingly, Obamacare will be undercutting and destroying the very health care plans of its staunchest supporters in order to cut the health care costs of America’s largest corporations. That is outrageous, and another example of why it is important, regardless of who is in office, to remain vigilant – to vote based on issues and not party identification or empty promises.

Let me point to a specific action that illustrates the power of unified action in fighting for workers’ rights on the political front. Adren Crawford, the SMART Transportation Division’s Tennessee State Legislative Director, worked with the SMART Sheet Metal Division Locals 4, 5, 177 and 555 to fight attacks on workers’ compensation and prevailing wage laws in that state. SMART’s transportation members now have a stronger legislative offensive to protect transportation members when they are being transported from point to point at work in that state, as well as support in securing prevailing wage rates for sheet metal construction workers. We see, in this joint effort, how the legislative experience and connections on the transportation side of our union combines with the sheet metal membership strength to show the benefits of the merger.

A similar experience is occurring in Illinois, where the SMART Transportation Division’s state legislative board met with Sheet Metal Local 73 to begin planning joint activities in that state. In Southern California, local unions have come together and worked on joint organizing projects, such as at Bombardier Inc., which manufactures and services passenger rail equipment and serves as an integral piece of the rail transportation pipeline in North America. Earlier this summer, workers at Bombardier overwhelmingly chose to join SMART and we anticipate future organizing efforts at other locations to prove just as successful.

When I hear about these joint efforts, it gives me a sense that the levels of trust and cooperation have increased. To some extent, credit has to be given to the transparency of our operations. We have in place a system of checks and balances that ensure, starting with the General Executive Council, SMART is financially viable. Leaders from both the Transportation and Sheet Metal Divisions serve on that council and we share information to make sure our decisions represent the best interests of our members. In this way, we are accountable for our actions and answerable to the membership.

I want you to remember that this is YOUR union. My job is to work for you. I only ask that you become more involved on the “union side” of being a member. Our union is only as strong as we make it and the stronger it becomes, the more it benefits you and your family. I encourage everyone to take part in their union meetings, campaigns and events. We need you to join SMART’s Facebook pages, either at www.facebook.com/smartunion or by searching “SMART Transportation” in the Facebook search bar. You can also join the SMART Action Team to stay abreast of action alerts and other news items via www.smartaction.org.

SMART is working for you and building a stronger and brighter future for this organization and for our families.

Fraternally,

Joseph J. Nigro,
SMART General President

Cooperation will bring stronger, brighter future for all

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By Joe Nigro, SMART General President – Last month, delegates from both the SMART Transportation and Sheet Metal Divisions stood together united as one on the floor of the AFL-CIO convention. SMART’s message to our brothers and sisters in the labor movement was simple. We demanded that organized labor, as a whole, hold national, state and local elected leaders accountable for their actions – regardless of their party label and irrespective of any promises they may have made in the past.

The last six years have been difficult for working people. The Great Recession, caused through no fault of our own, was devastating to millions of working families. Making the pill even more bitter and harder to swallow was the fact that when working people asked for a hand up, we were ignored and our hard-earned tax money was diverted to bail out the same Wall Street banks and CEOs who created the mess in the first place.

For those who work in the private sector, whether in construction or transit, the harm done was further exacerbated when we asked to be treated in the same manner as companies like Wal-Mart, who received a one-year waiver from the rules that will be set for administering the Affordable Care Act.

SMART, as well as the rest of the labor movement, supports the goal of better access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans. However, many union health care funds are multi-employer plans, designed to pool the resources of union employers in order to reach the best possible deal on health care benefits for members. Rather than treat these plans in the same way larger employers like Wal-Mart are treated, they were instead pushed out of the exchanges and, in effect, will be undermined by the government subsidies available through the health care exchanges. Amazingly, Obamacare will be undercutting and destroying the very health care plans of its staunchest supporters in order to cut the health care costs of America’s largest corporations. That is outrageous, and another example of why it is important, regardless of who is in office, to remain vigilant – to vote based on issues and not party identification or empty promises.

Let me point to a specific action that illustrates the power of unified action in fighting for workers’ rights on the political front. Adren Crawford, the SMART Transportation Division’s Tennessee State Legislative Director, worked with the SMART Sheet Metal Division Locals 4, 5, 177 and 555 to fight attacks on workers’ compensation and prevailing wage laws in that state. SMART’s transportation members now have a stronger legislative offensive to protect transportation members when they are being transported from point to point at work in that state, as well as support in securing prevailing wage rates for sheet metal construction workers. We see, in this joint effort, how the legislative experience and connections on the transportation side of our union combines with the sheet metal membership strength to show the benefits of the merger.

A similar experience is occurring in Illinois, where the SMART Transportation Division’s state legislative board met with Sheet Metal Local 73 to begin planning joint activities in that state. In Southern California, local unions have come together and worked on joint organizing projects, such as at Bombardier Inc., which manufactures and services passenger rail equipment and serves as an integral piece of the rail transportation pipeline in North America. Earlier this summer, workers at Bombardier overwhelmingly chose to join SMART and we anticipate future organizing efforts at other locations to prove just as successful.

When I hear about these joint efforts, it gives me a sense that the levels of trust and cooperation have increased. To some extent, credit has to be given to the transparency of our operations. We have in place a system of checks and balances that ensure, starting with the General Executive Council, SMART is financially viable. Leaders from both the Transportation and Sheet Metal Divisions serve on that council and we share information to make sure our decisions represent the best interests of our members. In this way, we are accountable for our actions and answerable to the membership.

I want you to remember that this is YOUR union. My job is to work for you. I only ask that you become more involved on the “union side” of being a member. Our union is only as strong as we make it and the stronger it becomes, the more it benefits you and your family. I encourage everyone to take part in their union meetings, campaigns and events. We need you to join SMART’s Facebook pages, either at www.facebook.com/smartunion or by searching “SMART Transportation” in the Facebook search bar. You can also join the SMART Action Team to stay abreast of action alerts and other news items via www.smartaction.org.

SMART is working for you and building a stronger and brighter future for this organization and for our families.

Fraternally,

Joseph J. Nigro,
SMART General President

Statement from Nigro on government shutdown

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SMART General President Joseph Nigro has issued the following statement on the Oct. 1 shutdown of the federal government:

“It has become frustrating to see that the U.S. House of Representatives has become so dysfunctional that it can no longer do its job and pass legislation to fund basic programs and services that it has already authorized itself to do so.

“This is why confidence In the U.S. House of Representatives has reached is lowest level in history.

“Radical Tea Party Republicans are responsible for shutting down the people’s government. Their attempt at political gain puts the livelihood of many American workers and the recovery of our economy unnecessarily at risk.

“SMART proudly represents 216,000 working people in the sheet metal, construction, manufacturing and transportation industries who will be affected by the government shutdown. We appeal to the House leadership to put an end to this circus and pass the clean Continuing Resolution that has already passed the U.S. Senate.”

Every member should be part of Constitution process

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By SMART General President Joe Nigro – 

It was really great meeting so many of your leadership team at the recent regional meetings in Boston and Anaheim. They are an active and involved group with a commitment to the labor movement. It confirmed my belief in the potential value we have in joining forces on several fronts to build membership and greater influence at all political levels. I used the opportunity to talk candidly about the importance of finalizing the merger when the result of the current arbitration is received. As soon as we have that opinion, an interim SMART Constitution, comporting the Transportation Division Constitution (Article 21B) with the SMART Constitution in accordance with the Merger Agreement, will be effective until the adoption of a new SMART Constitution at the SMART General Convention, beginning Aug. 11, 2014.

Essentially, there are two stages in the process for developing a new constitution that will guide SMART’s operations for five years. Amendments proposed through the provisions of the Transportation Constitution (Article 21B) will be submitted for vote by the delegates at the Transportation Division Convention to be held June 30 – July 2, 2014. The approved amendments at that convention shall be submitted to the SMART Constitution Committee as recommendations. The SMART Constitution Committee, composed of delegates from both the sheet metal and the transportation operations of SMART, shall consider and submit all amendment recommendations for concurrence or non-concurrence by all delegates to the SMART General Convention.

Every member of SMART must be involved in the process. The SMART Constitution governs the union, its officials at all levels and, most importantly, the members. It’s really a contract between you and your union. To help keep you better informed and to make transparent the provisions of your membership, we’ve posted the current SMWIA Constitution, the Merger Agreement and the November 2011 Arbitrator’s Opinion and Award on the www.smart-union.org homepage. The interim SMART Constitution should be available in October to be posted on the www.smart-union.org website and the www.utu.org website. In addition, each SMART local will receive printed copies for members without access to the Internet to read at the local’s office. Most community libraries also provide access to the Internet.

I encourage you to submit any proposed amendments to your local union for consideration in preparing its amendments to be submitted to the respective Constitution Committees in accordance with the provisions in Article 13, lines 1-18, in the UTU Constitution and Article 33 in the SMWIA Constitution. If you have any questions, please send them to info@smart-union.org or to SMART Constitution, 1750 New York Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20006, for referral to the appropriate office.

As this publication is being finalized, thousands are marching and gathering at the Lincoln Memorial, just a few blocks from our offices, to commemorate the peaceful march in 1963 and Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Jobs and justice still require national attention and we must be involved in assuring those for ourselves and future generations.

Let me close by thanking Al Nowlin’s wife, Phyllis, for asking me at the Anaheim regional meeting to present a clock to her husband on the 35th anniversary of his becoming a union officer (local chairperson, Local 349 at Kansas City, Mo., and now general chairperson, GO 569). I really appreciate everything our wives do for us and our families because of the hours we are away from home.

Fraternally,

Joe Nigro, SMART General President

Nigro to join Omaha Labor Day festivities

This Labor Day, SMART General President Joseph Nigro will be present for the Omaha, Neb., Labor Day parade and other festivities. The SMART Transportation Division, led by Transportation Division Nebraska State Legislative Director Bob Borgeson, will also host other events at the Sheet Metal Workers Hall in Omaha Sept. 1-2.

The event kicks off with a “membership feed” Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. Members who show up will receive a T-shirt to wear for the parade. The Labor Day parade will be held Sept. 2 and line-up to walk in the parade is at 9 a.m. at 16th and Webster Streets. There will be mini-trains and a SMART TD caboose for children to ride on.

Eight Transportation Division locals and two general committees are expected to be in attendance. Members from Omaha, Lincoln, North Platte, Alliance and Scottsbluff, Neb. are expected to be represented as well as Council Bluffs, Iowa. Around 400 members from both the Transportation Division and Sheet Metal Workers are expected to be in attendance.

Members can view the UTU in the parade from the past four years by going to YouTube and searching “UTU Labor Day.”

Borgeson encourages all SMART members in the Omaha area from both the transportation and sheet metal divisions to attend. For more information, contact him at (402) 679-0872, or email him at smartdirector@cox.net.