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News :: DNC
Electrical Workers Union Zaps Convention Plans
07 Jun 2004
TheBostonChannel.com
Electrical Workers Union Zaps Convention Plans Union Sides With Police Union, Puts Pressure On Mayor
posted by Choke on Sunday June 06 2004 @ 11:13PM PDT


POSTED: 9:04 AM EDT June 6, 2004
UPDATED: 9:10 AM EDT June 6, 2004

BOSTON -- An electrical workers union is promising to honor a police union picket at the FleetCenter this week, throwing a wrench into Democratic National Convention organizers plans to install telephone and data wiring in time for next month's event.

Some members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2222 will join Boston Police Patrolman's Association on the picket line starting Tuesday. The police union is in a contract dispute with Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

"Our members will not cross, absolutely, positively, unequivocally," Myles Calvey, business manager for Local 2222, told the Boston Sunday Globe. "We're hoping everything gets resolved. If everything gets resolved, we'll go in and do a great job. If it doesn't, they'll have to go wireless."

The electrical union is the first to commit to staying away from the FleetCenter while the police picket, but others could follow, hampering efforts to have the FleetCenter ready by the July 26 start of the convention.

That in turn puts more pressure on Menino to settle with the police union to avoid a potentially embarrassing situation.

Local 2222, which represents about 3,800 Boston-area Verizon workers, was supposed to have about 50 members install telephone and telecom equipment for the convention. Work must begin next week to ensure completion by the start of the convention.

DNC organizers refused to comment on how they will handle the electrical workers' decision. Verizon could provide nonunion managers to do the job, or the host committee could use nonunion workers.

Another electrical workers union, the IBEW Local 103, intends to work despite the police pickets, but it will not do the work of Local 2222.

"That's their work, and if they choose not to cross the picket line, that's their decision," said Local 103 business manager Michael Monahan.

The decision by Local 2222 could hinder the Greater Boston Labor Council's efforts to sign a project labor agreement with convention organizers before construction is scheduled to start on Tuesday.

The labor agreement is being sought by organizers because it includes a labor-peace guarantee. The council is scheduled to vote on the measure Monday night.

The police union and the city resume negotiations on Monday, and Richard Rogers, executive secretary-treasurer of the labor council, said he hopes a settlement can be reached.

"The stakes are so high that it's incumbent that both sides explore every option in an effort to reach an agreement," he said.

Even though talks between the city and the police union have shown some progress in recent weeks with the involvement of Police Commissioner Kathleen O'Toole, the police union welcomed the electrical workers' support.

"There's been so much support pledged and we're honored by it," said Thomas Nee, president of the patrolman's association. He called on other building trade unions to refuse to work on the convention as long as the police and other city unions are without contracts.

The city's firefighters, police detectives and supervisors, and service employees are also working without contracts.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

This work is in the public domain
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Comments

Local 105 has SCABS
08 Jun 2004
What's ironic is that Local 105 of the I.B.E.W. claims they are going to cross the picket line, do their job and leave. Some unity!
Here's what should happen.
ALL UNION PEOPLE SHOULD NOT CROSS THE PICKET LINE!
Anyone who does? Are scumbag scabs!
Re: Electrical Workers Union Zaps Convention Plans
09 Jun 2004
For one thing, to the comment above, it's Local 103, that's crossing, not 105.

I will say, though, that it's impressive how much support the cops are getting in this fight. It'd be nice if they'd reciprocate. I've been on a lot of union picket lines, and I haven't seen the BPPA there. I've seen them fight for the Quinn Bill, but I haven't seen them defend UMASS and community colleges from cuts.

When this fight is over, I hope that they show solidarity and reciprocate the support!
A Union Boilermaker's Opinion.
09 Jun 2004
Cop's do not deserve to have their picket lines
honored.
Period.
Re: Electrical Workers Union Zaps Convention Plans
09 Jun 2004
Yeah, I know. Cops not Cop's.