by President Dan Larson
On behalf of Secretary-Treasurer Milton Hum, myself and the Executive Board at Local 648, I want to take this opportunity to thank our members for having the confidence in us to serve as your union officers.
During my campaign to be your president, I promised change. I was elected by you because you and I believe that our union can and must do better. We wanted a president that would fight for our members, to provide better and more visual union representation at our stores and we wanted a president that understands that we are all in this together. As your president, the next three years will provide opportunities to build and strengthen our union and deliver the changes that we promised.
In our first 100 days
It is hard to believe that nearly 100 days have passed since I took office. We have accomplished a great deal in this short time. I would like to report on my first 100 days in office and share some of the highlights in my State of our Union, Local 648 address.
100 Days Highlights
Taking it to the Members
Negotiation Preparation is underway at Local 648
I decided to take the Union to our Walgreens members. In March, Local 648 had two all-day meetings away from the Union Hall with our members. We sat and listened to everything our members wanted in their next contract. I am proud to say we had approximately 120 members attend each meeting. Walgreens members expressed loud and clear what they wanted on their new contract. And we listened.
With engaged and active member participation and the momentum from these meetings, we will begin to negotiate for stronger contracts for our members at Walgreens. And we will protect and defend our union premiums.
During my first day in office, I quickly discovered that I was left with a lot of unfinished business from the last administration. With the help of Milton and Hailan, we have made great progress in closing many loose ends.
I started reviewing every vendor contract and each expense incurred by our Union to insure we were getting the best value and rates possible from each of them. In the first month alone, we were able to save our union approximately $10,000 by changing or eliminating unnecessary vendor contracts. This is just the beginning.
Extended Service Hours & Added Convenience to our Members
I was elected to make changes and I will. As promised in my campaign and as a convenience to our members, the union office will be open on Saturdays. Each Saturday, I will have a dues agent and a union representative available to answer your questions. This extended schedule will commence sometime before June 2014.
You may have already noticed this but if you have not, I have also changed the union representatives work schedules. At my first meeting with the local 648 representatives, I was clear that our members work 24/7 and we will too. Representatives will now be working late and weekend shifts to better accommodate your needs and to better serve you.
Embrace our Past – Retirees Club Meetings
Local 648 will foster and support a monthly retirees club meeting. I want to build a culture of activism at Local 648 and our retirees will play a central role in getting this started. The more our retirees get involved, whether it’s participating in the retirees’ club, attending membership meetings, joining us in organizing outreach efforts, or assisting us in political and legislative action, the more they get back too.
As the new President of Local 648, I plan on embracing the past and attacking the future. I believe that drawing on the wisdom and experience of our retirees is a good place for us to start. Retiree Club Meetings information can be found on our website at ufcw648.org.
New Website and Tools to keep Members Connected
During my campaign, I promised that if I were president our members would be informed and engaged. I promised a website that will provide members useful information and resources. I am proud to introduce our new website at ufcw648.org and hope that you will find it a valuable resource and tool.
On the website, members will be able to access contracts, look up your union representative, download forms, find union places to shop and get discounted rates at amusement parks. We welcome your feedback and if we can add information to your union website, please let us know.
Moving Forward Together
During my first 100 days as your president, I have witnessed great progress. Local 648 has seen increased member participation and involvement in our union. Meeting attendance is up. Our governance process is transparent, democratic and allows for meaningful input from our rank and file members and leaders.
The next three years will provide opportunities to build and strengthen our union but they will also present significant challenges. Local 648 will successfully meet these challenges while taking advantage of the opportunities to continue to build our great union. We will accomplish this with strong leadership, hardworking and dedicated staff and most importantly, an engaged and active membership. As your president, I ran on principles and promises. I intend to keep these same values as I lead and guide this union. Thank you again for your trust and support and the opportunity to serve you.