Front row, left to right: Jim Franklin, Treasurer/Business Agent; John Letner, Emeritus Board Member; Doug Schuetz, Business Agent; Phil Lukic, Financial Secretary/Business Agent; Paul LaBuda, President/Business Agent; Ed Thomas, Vice President/Business Agent; Mike Kado, Business Agent; Dan Kolar, Recording Secretary; Bob Mitcheal, Emeritus Board Member.
Back row, left to right: Stan LaBuda, Sergeant-at-Arms/Business Agent; Joan Kne, Executive Secretary; Sharon Herskovitz, Office Manager; Ronnie Linder, Jr., Trustee; Mike Helm, Business Agent; Mike Galassi, Corresponding Secretary/Business Agent; Tim Fadel, Local 19 Attorney; Jim Rumsey, Trustee; Mary Barnish, Logistics Manager; Charlie McGee, Trustee; Vince Bianchi, Emeritus Trustee.
Service is Our Business
Often at out of town labor conferences or meetings I am asked by fellow Union Officials, how does Local 19 operate so successfully? I answer by telling them that our Union is a service-orientated organization, and if you service your members right everything else will fall into place.
Our Officers and Business Agents not only believe in this, but live it daily. While many Unions only visit their members for scheduled meetings, Local 19's Business Agents run regular routes that take them all over the state of Ohio as well as into Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia daily, just to see our members on their job sites. In addition, these same Business Agents handle hundreds of scheduled grievance and reinstatement meetings annually.
Along with these shop visitations, the local provides many other services for our members, such as free legal advice, a full service credit union and a power program that sponsors credit cards and various loans for our members. Both educational and sports programs are available for sponsorship by the local for all of our members through our C.E.R. Fund, as well as annual Christmas parties and blood banks. We provide our members with the best health and welfare and pension benefits that money can buy. Even in retirement, our members continue to enjoy these benefits in addition to retiree luncheons, bus trips and other retiree activities. In our larger shops, the Union provides the membership with shop stewards as a convenience to provide information and assist members when bidding on jobs or filing grievances. In many cases, these stewards will also contact the Officers or Business Agents for members who are unable to do it themselves. The Union's Trust Funds provide Benefit Specialists to the membership on the job site to assist with health and welfare or pension problems or questions. Furthermore, there are toll free 800 numbers available for both active and retired members alike so they can easily speak to either the Union or the Fund office regarding any problems that they may be having. In addition, both offices provide 24-hour voice mail for members who work shifts or schedules that do not coincide with the hours of these offices.
Finally and most importantly, the Union provides its membership with some of the best labor agreements in our industry as well as our International Union. I am personally proud to have played a major part in many of Local 19's contract negotiations during my 35 years as an Officer and Business Agent.
In closing, I would like to remind all of you that you not only belong to the largest local union in the BCTGM, but also one of the most financially sound and successful Unions anywhere in the United States or Canada.
Paul LaBuda, President
BCTGM Union Local No. 19