Michael L. Nealy, Business Manager
A Letter to CT Open Shop Contractors
Dear Hartford Electrical Contractor,
I’m sure that you are aware, as we are, of the demand for skilled electricians on Hartford and through-out the region is increasing. The available supply of licensed, qualified and productive workers is rapidly depleting. This shortage will obviously have an impact on your business, construction time-lines, safety, quality, production, growth, and profitability.
It’s no secret there is a great deal of bad feelings, myth and misinformation out there regarding our organization. We would appreciate the opportunity to clear up some of these misconceptions. There have been so many changes in our 100+ year history, the most important ones being this year, that I will only address a few for now. Our electrical contractors signed to our contracts and they stay signed. You have to ask yourself why they stay. The fact is they like what we have to offer, and get to use the electrical industries best kept secrets and still remain profitable. They also have the choice of joining the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) which offers them an additional slate of benefits.
Our members work under the terms and conditions of a contract negotiated with NECA which guarantees wage and benefit stability and no work stoppages. We have over 500 of the best trained electrical journeymen and apprentices in our region. When you have a need for manpower it’s just a phone call away and they’ll be there the next day. No more wasting your time and money with interviews, advertising and temp. agencies. We have our own State of the Art training facility, here we do all the apprenticeship training and also training for journeymen in the industries latest technologies at no cost to the contractors.
Jobsite safety and health, and liability insurance costs are one of the fastest growing sources of financial burden. All of our members are OSHA 10 or OSHA 30 certified. We are also fully committed to having a drug free labor pool. As a union contractor this means lower costs, this is reflected in lower insurance premiums, enhanced future work prospects, lower workman’s compensation cost, less loss of work time, and improved productivity.
The IBEW offers the most cost effective and comprehensive medical insurance and pension plans in the industry. They are administered by Local 35 and NECA. Our contractors don’t have to spend their time nor have people in their offices administering their employee’s benefits. These plans are also available to you and your families as a union contractor. Good benefits are catalyst for retaining your work force and keeping morale and production high.
One of the most effective tools on a jobsite is competent leadership, people who get the job done right, on time and within budget. Many of our members are of this caliber from houses to power plants, no projects are too small or large. Having responsible foremen leaves other management personnel to pursue other tasks.
Another item that contractors enjoy are project labor agreements, these as always are available to you. We use our legislative action,on the local, state and federal levels to move this industry forward. Also offered is an assistance program to help contractors grow and secure projects. The IBEW believes in hours worked = hours paid, we don’t have paid vacations or paid holidays.
Protecting our region from outside contracting interests and political climates in also on our agenda. The DOL and DCP cannot patrol every jobsite, so we help. If your company has seen action against it for violations, don’t take it personally. For every violation a Connecticut contractor makes we find 10 violations from out of State contractors. So we actually help keep your competition at the border by protecting the laws of Connecticut and helping the DCP and the DOL.
The members of the IBEW Local 35 are committed to a sustainable and prosperous industry and recognize the necessity for our contractors to remain profitable and able to grow. We will work with you and your company to make this happen. All new contractors are allowed to keep their present workforce and arrangements are made for current jobs already bid to be completed. We just want a chance to show you what the IBEW is really about. If it’s not to your satisfaction, you can always end your affiliation.
I welcome all your questions and or concerns and will freely address them at any time. Just give me a call so we can make arrangements to meet at your convenience.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
IBEW 35 Business Mgr.