October 22, 2014

Members helping members, the UTU way

By Vic Baffoni,
Vice president, UTU Bus Dept.

Local UTU officers sacrifice much of their personal time, without compensation, to assist and serve their memberships, and they deserve recognition for their outstanding commitment.

That is what I intend to do in this month’s column.

Two such individuals deserving of recognition for their hard work and dedication are Lonnie Hookfin, president of Local 1496, Riverside, Calif., and David Ojeda, president of Local 1563, El Monte, Calif.

When the Teamsters initiated a representation drive on our members in Local 1496, who work for Laidlaw Transit in the Riverside area, Lonnie spent hours explaining to his membership the many benefits and advantages of UTU representation and solidarity.

David, a friend of Lonnie’s, volunteered to help and came to Riverside and gave to the members of Local 1496 the perspective of another local on how to work together and resolve internal issues.

This willingness and commitment to assist fellow officers and members, to help them identify, improve and advance their mutually beneficial goals for the betterment of all, is very important to labor-union members everywhere, and especially to those working for Laidlaw Transit.

It also forms the foundation of the UTU and its predecessor labor organizations; it is upon this foundation that the UTU has built 40 years of success.

If you are seeking a solution to a problem in your local, or are looking for information and advice on better serving your fellow workers, you always have brothers and sisters ready to assist.

Together, nothing can stop us.