President – Rob Bassat
Vice President – Josh Cleveland
Recording Secretary – Kendall Groenewold
Financial Secretary – Vern Levine
Treasurer – Nate West
Guard – Jim Tousignant
Executive Board – Dan Justin, Pete Johnson, Brian Cook, and John Vandagriff
Finance Committee – Pete Otterness, Charles Johnson, and Chris Lovely
Grievance and Negotiating Committee – Rob Bassat, Josh Cleveland, Kendall Groenewold, Pete Johnson, Cullen Arbogast, Dan Justin and Nate West
2015 Gas workers local 340 scholarship winners are Sofia Everetts, Jessica Justin, and Matthew Rosebrock. Thanks to all the applicates.
The new contract with Center Point Energy has been accepted by the members. The new contract is a five year deal. A huge THANK YOU to the Negotiating Team for all there hard work and long hours. Ian, Kendall, Dan, Rob, Pete, Brian, Perry.
Regular and shift workers membership meetings, will begin September 16th, 2015. Shift workers meeting is at 11:00am and regular membership meeting is at 6:30pm.
Local 340 has new T-Shirts for sale $25.00 each. To order your new t-shirts send a check, with the sizes,the color(black or grey) and the address you would like it mail to.
In March of 1937 our union was first organized under federal charter as Local 20490 of the AFL-CIO. We were organized to cover all craft workers and have jurisdiction over work performed by the Minneapolis Gas Company. In 1953 we became associated with the United Association as Gas Workers Local 340.
Our union has represented craft workers faithfully for 75 years and will strive to continue to serve the best interests of its members for the next 75!
1. In our company’s early years, 45 men were employed to light gas lamps in Minneapolis at night fall and to extinguish them in the morning. They were housed overnight on call, in dorms, because if the moon became visible to illuminate the city they were required to put out the gas lights to save on fuel. Conversely if clouds appeared and cover the moon they had to re-light these gas lamps.
2. A Minneapolis ordinance was approved in 1871 to prohibit people from hitching their horses to the gas company’s gas light posts. Too many horses, when frightened, were damaging the gas lamps atop the posts showering glass fragments down the street. The ordinance was generally ignored.
3. Busiest day of the year for gas company employees in the 1920’s? It was Thanksgiving Day. Gas lighting had gone by the wayside replaced by electic lights and home heating by gas had not yet taken hold. The company’s Gas Works would be manufacturing gas at maximum capacity to supply all the homes preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Additionally company servicemen were on call to repair gas ranges that broke down while preparing the meal.
4. On November 12,1931, ground was broken for the Linden Service Center at Linden and Lyndale Avenue, next to the garage built a year earlier, and the storage gas holder that had been there for many years.
5. A very common method of suicide in the first half of the 20th century was by putting one’s head in a gas oven. This concerned the gas company greatly with records kept of suicides by gas in Minneapolis and proposals made to resolve this horrible problem. How was this suicide method possible? Manufactured gas (our main source of gas supply through the mid 1950s) contained amounts of carbon monoxide that could kill a person if inhaled in large amounts. Pipeline natural gas, which replaced manufactured gas, does not contain carbon monoxide, and thus eliminated this source of suicide.
At the general membership meeting of our union on April 21, 1943, a motion was made and carried to allow the relatively unknown labor candidate, Humphries, running for Minneapolis Mayor, to speak before our union. Apparently Mr. Humphries was well received as the union meeting minutes note that “Humphries was highly applauded by the members after the conclusion of his inspiring speech.” He lost the election in 1943 for mayor, but returned to speak before our union in 1945 and this time he was successful becoming the mayor of Minneapolis. Humphries was actually Minnesotan Hubert H. Humphrey – he later moved on to be U.S. Representative, then a well respected U.S. Senator representing Minnesota, and finally Vice-President of the United States under President Lyndon Baines Johnson.
Called into a possible investigative review with management? You have the right to have union representation at that meeting and may decline participation in the meeting until your union representative is present. This is covered under what is known as “Weingarten Rights”. Local 340 strongly encourages you to always have a union representative present at a meeting with management that may result in discipline. These representatives can assist you in clearing up the problem with management, call for more assistance if needed, and possibly diminish the penalty you receive or even save your job!
So if called into a meeting with management read the following statement to them: if this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative, officer or steward be present at this meeting. Without representation I choose not to participate in this discussion.