To the Members of SMART Local 1563

Robert Gonzalez, Chairman Local 1563

Robert Gonzalez, Chairman Local 1563

I want to thank the members of Local 1563 for their overwhelming support and vote of confidence in the last election. The last four years have been difficult and together, we were able to weather the storm and come out on the other side stronger.

Since being re-elected we have been busy doing the good work on behalf of this membership. I have spent many productive hours teaching and training our new Vice Local Chairman Robert Watson and Secretary to the Local Committee Henry Madrid. I have been able to share my years of knowledge and experience so that they may better serve the hardworking members of Local 1563.

We are already seeing the benefits of our new contract in action. The elimination of the two tier system was a big victory and our members are already seeing larger pay checks that they so truly deserve. The new work rules have also allowed us to combat the over reach of management. These rules have allowed us to appeal and fight false charges against our operators so that nearly 70% of the cases have been simply withdrawn by management. No contract is perfect though and we will use the next two years to learn what we have gained and improve on those gains in the next go around.

In this next year, I want to spend greater time with the Operators of Divisions 1, 2, and 9. At least once a month, I plan to spend a day in each division to answer questions, hear from the members and educate our members on our contract. I would also like to teach operators on the best ways to fill out accident reports, so that we have the best chance to appeal and fight any cases that come our way.

I am excited about the future of our Union. I am humbled and honored to be allowed to represent the hard working operators of Local 1563 and I look forward to earning your trust over the next three years.

In Solidarity,

Robert Gonzalez

Chairman, Local 1563