Business Manager's Message
Valentino Ceria, Business Manager/Financial Secretary-Treasurer
at the Union's Great Aloha Run breakfast
As you may know the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is now a global pandemic. The United Association sent a letter addressing the outbreak to all of our Brothers and Sisters. We hope that everyone is currently practicing preventive actions and are keeping informed. Local 675 will be cancelling the General Membership meeting and Big Island rap sessions for the month of April. We will keep you informed of any other cancellations and notifications impacting our Union members in the months ahead.
We started this year meeting with our contractor board members, PAMCA (Plumbing & Mechanical Contractors Association) and with the Board's Executive Director, Gregg Serikaku. This "rap session" was created to form a cohesive relationship with our union contractors informing them of the Union's activities and to share concerns and general information on upcoming projects.
We are looking at a busy construction boom for the next couple of years and so I will continue to see how we can meet the needs of our contractors' manpower requests. The Star Advertiser's article on "Hawaii Construction on High Plateau" dated October 14, 2019 said that construction has increased to about 9.6 billion dollars in 2019 and should continue through 2021.
Our focus is on apprenticeship recruitment to increase our workforce. Last year we had three recruitments. In February, we had an apprenticeship recruitment for Plumbing, Refrigeration A/C and Fire Sprinkler on Oahu and we're looking at another recruitment for the same on Kauai.
Part of promoting the Union is the participation in career and construction fairs under the direction of Training Coordinator, Chuck Shima. These events help market our Union and offer career opportunities for the upcoming graduating students.
Training participated in the career fairs on Kauai at the Hyatt Regency Poipu; on Maui at the UH Maui College; in Hilo at the Hilo Civic Auditorium, and at the Hawaii Community College Palamanui Campus in Kona. The training coordinators participate in the events along with the respective island business agent.
As you may know, Brother Matthew Brady has been handling all of Big Island. I am now having Brother Matt take care of Hilo and Brother Samuel Barrett, Jr. assigned to Kona. The business agents have been visiting the neighbor islands, visiting job sites and actively organizing for potential members and shops, statewide.
Kika Bukoski, Brother Matt Brady and I are continuing to work on maintaining the integrity of the Uniform Plumbing Code. This year, I also included the United Association for assistance in this on-going battle.
Politically, I have been meeting with the politicians who are running for office this year and seeking endorsement from the Union. I will continue to meet with those candidates and support those who support our industry and our Union's objectives.
The Primary Election is on August 8, 2020 and the General Election is on November 3, 2020. If you are not registered, you can go to www.elections.hawaii.gov to learn more and register by July 9th. Everyone now will receive a mail-in ballot to vote by mail so it's very important to have your current address listed.
I cannot stress enough the importance of voting so we can have legislators backing us up when we need support on projects, codes, and bills that affect all of us in this workforce. So be sure to register to vote and again, the ballots will be mailed directly to you. We will publish our endorsements prior to voting.
Again, the COVID-19 virus has impacted us all. Stay informed and follow the guidelines provided. We need to do our part in keeping each other safe and healthy.