On October 13, union members in Wilkes-Barre came together on a rainy Saturday morning to the IBEW Local 163 union hall to knock on the doors of union households. U.S. Senator Bob Casey Jr launched the labor walk in a local union hall like so many others.
IBEW Local 163 Business Manager John Olejnik opened Local 163’s hall to the union activists for the event. From providing release staff for Labor 2018 to doing labor walks with members and apprentices to holding retiree phone banks, Olejnik, like so many other local labor leaders, is investing in the election.
Olejnik joined the IBEW in 1991, having grown up in an IBEW union household. In his years with the union, this election stands out. “We say that every election is important, but this election really, really feels like the most important election,” said Olejnik.
“At the end of the day, what we’re doing at our local is no different than what everyone else is doing. We try and stay active, and educate our members,” said Olejnik. “We talk to our members about the issues that affect their jobs. We bring politicians in to state their case, we focus on the issues and we communicate that what’s at stake is your right to your union”.
Olejnik makes it a point to keep having the conversations with his members, in the lunchroom, in the classroom, and in the local union hall. At the end of the day, persistence and communicating with our members in every way we can is the most important thing we can do.
Join us again when Senator Bob Casey Launches a Labor Phone Bank at the Harrisburg CLC on October 19, at 522 South 22nd Street, Harrisburg, PA.