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Monday, May 25, 2009

Rumor Control: Organizing the I-81 Corridor

There is a persistent rumor that the United Association ordered our Business Rep. and Organizer, Bill Durkin, to back off in his efforts to expand our work along the interstate I-81 corridor. I spoke personally to our UA International Rep., Brad Karbowsky, about the rumor this morning. No such thing ever happened.

In fact, UA International Rep. Mark McManus went with Bill for two days on a trip to view the commercial and industrial work that is up and down Route 81. Along the way, Mark got involved personally in convincing an owner to take a look at the local Unions and their affiliated contractors to do their work. He was successful and the UA’s marketshare was expanded. Contrary to the rumor, the UA is excited about Bill Durkin’s campaign.

Bill Durkin worked with Bob Engelbach, an organizer from the Maryland States Pipe Trades to help set up this campaign. The Baltimore, Cumberland, Richmond, and Roanoke local Unions were kept abreast of their progress. When a potential lead was located, the information was passed on through the appropriate channel.

Bill Durkin’s official title is Business Representative and Organizer. Our jurisdiction includes Winchester, Virginia. That is where the campaign began and it spread from there.

When our neighboring local unions are unable to man their work we send in our members. Bill Durkin’s efforts have led Boland Services, Carrier, Dominion, Kirlin, and HPS to bid work that had been previously surrendered to our non-union competition. Brother Bill Durkin’s hard work is entirely appropriate and he should be applauded for it.

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