Business Manager’s Message
Valentino B. Ceria
I hope you and your family enjoyed the holidays. I want to thank you all for adapting and facing the challenges of working safely and hopefully staying healthy during the pandemic. As essential workers, we managed and endured through a long trying year unfortunately continuing with COVID-19 and the tribulations of the presidential election still lingering in the air. There is still uncertainty but I feel we have more confidence knowing we will get through this, especially with our new President-elect Joe Biden in the White House. This was a big win for the United Association and for our Union.
We supported Keith Amemiya for Mayor of Honolulu and although unsuccessful in the race, we feel he could have made a difference in our city. We will continue to move forward always with our people's best interests at heart. We also want to congratulate new Big Island mayor-elect Mitch Roth and all the other important winners with endorsements from Local 675.
The membership meetings and many events of the past year had to be cancelled. To keep you informed we mailed out notices and posted various information on our website plumbershawaii.com. My Business Manager's report was also made available on video on our website. When the timing is right we may look into having socially distanced mask-wearing meetings for 2021.
Last year we gave out personal protective equipment kits – masks, hand sanitizers, and gloves, to our members as well as face masks and neck gaiters made with the Local 675 logo. We ask that if you are out there working, please continue to follow all workplace protocols and safety guidelines to keep yourself and others protected.
We also covered monthly dues for the months of April, May, June, and July, as mandated by the UA that local unions cover the fixed monthly dues ($31.00) of all nonretired members who performed 40 or fewer hours of UA work in the previous calendar month.
The Union and Management Trustees made important changes to our health and welfare trust funds as the fiscal year ended on July 31, 2020. Also, pension changes were needed to be made in order to keep the funds stable and out of the yellow or red zones to maintain and eventually improve future pension benefits.
We will continue to focus on organizing new companies and membership recruitment. The Apprenticeship Training Office implemented the online year round recruitment process on our website last year and will evaluate the process for any modifications necessary and review the applicants for further action.
Our Union looks forward to another challenging year as we begin negotiations for a new Labor/ Management Collective Bargaining Agreement which expires in July 2021. The United Association convention which occurs every five years is also right around the corner in August when each local union with a delegation votes on a renewed UA Constitution which governs all locals. It is also a time when the UA general officers are nominated and elected. Local 675 also enters its own officer election at year-end.
Last year we gave out ten $1,000 Local 675 Imi Loa Scholarships and hopefully we can give out more this year. The 2021 scholarship application can be downloaded from the website plumbershawaii.com in the month of March.
I would like to take a moment to congratulate our 2020 Local 675 members who achieved 25 years or more of dedicated service to the United Association and our local. We thank them for their loyalty and for their many years of support. Their names are listed in this issue of the Haʻaheo.
Although the Oahu and neighbor island holiday dinners usually held in December were cancelled, we were able to send to each member our best wishes and appreciation with a giftcard. As always, we need to stick together, remain strong, and stay healthy. Thank you Members for enduring, managing, and working together in this trying time to keep everyone safe.
On behalf of all the officers and staff, I wish you and your families a healthy and joyful new year!