Dear Brothers & Sisters,

We start off 2006 at United Technologies with a lot of exciting changes that promise to be very rewarding to both the union and company organizations.  For these reasons, I am really looking forward to representing your interests in regards to labor relations throughout the upcoming year.

First, as you all know, the company has finally agreed to re-institute the Work Design Liaisons.  In the fall of 2005, the union randomly surveyed approximately 100 members of our local union regarding their feelings towards work design.  The results of the survey were not overwhelmingly favorable regarding the current state of Work Design at the factory.  I took this information to the company and shared your concerns with them.  As a result of doing so, we began seriously discussing ways we could work on improving the Work Design Concept.  The analysis of the survey results, brainstorming of the Work Design Steering Committee, and persistent lobbying on my part for the liaisons has resulted in the company’s decision to have them reinstated.  Personally, I feel that this is proof of commitment on the part of the current management of United Technologies to not only insuring the longevity of business, but also respecting the decisions of their work teams while doing so.  Accordingly, I ask that you please keep an open mind during this transition period and lets see where we can take this thing together as a team — the way a true work design facility should work.

Secondly, Joel has assured us that he remains committed to working with his staff and the union members to develop manufacturing process improvements on the floor.  As you know, maintenance worked exhaustingly over the holiday shutdown to do some rearranging of the production lines and floor.  This has resulted in freeing up production space in the back of the facility where GRR used to be, which will be the future home of the first lead-free solder line we will have in the factory.

Thirdly, as the production increases at the facility, it may become necessary later in 2006 for Line FG to start operating again on third shift.  If this happens, we could easily add another 30 members to our local union, which will put us over 600 members for the first time in the history of our local union.  Although there is no guarantee obviously that this will happen, the local union remains committed to working as necessary with the company to innovate new ideas and initiatives to insure such growth opportunities are within our reach.

Aside from 2006 initiatives at the plant, this will be a busy year for your local union leaders as well.  This year, the IBEW will hold its 5-year Constitutional Convention in September.  The convention is going to be in Cleveland, Ohio.  Our local union will get to send two delegates to the convention, based on our current membership count.  The elected delegates for our local union include Bill Davis and myself.

In addition to the convention, as in past years, union officers will be attending the IBEW State Conference, National Political Conference, Women’s Conference, Organizing Conference, and our District’s Annual Progress Meeting.

As 2006 begins to wrap up, we will begin preparing for contract negotiations, which are scheduled to start in February of 2007.

In closing, I want to wish each and every one of you a Happy New Year!  If you set resolutions, try your best to stick to them —although doing so is not easy (trust me I know).

As always, I appreciate the opportunity to serve you as your President & Business Manager, and remain,

Very truly yours in Solidarity,


Jamie Lee Curtis

President & Business Manager

Local Union 983, IBEW

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