My name is Rick Oakes, I am the Business Manager/Financial Secretary for Local Union 949.
Local 949’s Charter was signed on August 16, 1933 and originated in Austin, Minnesota. Since that time, our office has moved to Burnsville, Minnesota and boasts a membership of nearly 2,200 working men and women throughout Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. Local 949 is a full-service, full-time Local Union. Our members are represented by Business Manager/Financial Secretary Rick Oakes and five Business Representatives. We also have a full-time three-person office staff that is represented by OPEIU, Local 12.
Our membership functions as seventy-six individual units working under forty-five separate contracts. Each unit elects officers, and Business Manager, Rick Oakes, appoints Stewards. The Stewards work closely with the representative staff and act as the ‘first line of representation’ for Local 949’s members.
In addition to collective bargaining and conflict resolution, the primary focus of Local 949 is organizing. It is the goal of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to have all workers protected by a union contract. If you or someone you know is interested in union representation and would like more information, you are encouraged to contact this office. You will also find links to the IBEW International website and the AFL-CIO website for your convenience.
Local Union 949’s staff and resources are fully dedicated to representing and protecting the rights and jobs of our membership. We do this through educating our staff and our members. Each Business Representative attends periodic continuing education classes to hone their skills in negotiation, grievance and arbitration resolution and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), among other topics. Two-day Steward Training is held annually to provide our Stewards with the skills necessary to deal with both management and their fellow workers. The Local has arranged financial planning seminars to assist our members with retirement planning.
Local 949’s staff works hard for its membership because we are all union members who believe very strongly in the benefits of collective bargaining and the strength that comes from unity. We believe in workers rights and the benefits afforded by having a written contract that clearly defines both worker and management’s rights. And we strongly believe that labor organizations have contributed to improving the lives of all workers – union and non-union – and their families.
I appreciate the time you’ve taken to visit Local 949’s website, and hope you like what you see.