What Labor Day means for our union workers

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Ron Bauer, right, and friends at the PSEG Long Island-sponsored Ducks game in August. Our linemen took to the field to sing ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ during the 7th-inning stretch. Watch the video here!

Labor Day began as a time to honor those who worked in some of the most difficult and dangerous conditions with a day of rest. With roots in the Industrial Revolution during the 19th century, the holiday has morphed into an end-of-summer staple complete with barbecues, parades and parties. Despite the evolution of how Labor Day is celebrated, and the working conditions of manual laborers, the essence of its foundation is not lost.

Much of what we do at PSEG Long Island is reliant upon our hard-working and dedicated union employees. Our linemen, meter readers and other union employees work in heat, snow, wind and rain to help us keep the lights on for our customers, as generations have done before. But being part of the union means more than just braving the elements for a job.

Meet one of our long-standing union employees, Ron Bauer. Ron is a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1049, which represents utility workers that generate and maintain the electric and gas transmission and distribution system on Long Island, most recently taking over as its business manager for Don Daley in February 2017. He started his labor career in 1987 as a union member with Local 1486 (International Union of Painters and Allied Trades) then joining IBEW Local 1381/1049 in December 1991.

As part of IBEW Local 1049, Ron has chaired various committees, attended conferences, and received training during his labor career that have instilled in him the core values and principles of all working people.

“Being a union member is very beneficial,” he said.  “Good and fair wages, benefits, security, a career path, dignity, a voice at work, a safety conscious job and fair treatment all through collective bargaining and activism.”

Ron currently volunteers with Hope for the Warriors, which benefits disabled veterans; Make a Wish’s Polar Bear Plunge; The American Cancer Society’s Making Strides 5K; the Marcum Workplace Challenge; and the United Way’s March of Dimes 5K.

The camaraderie from participating in these events as a union employee, Ron said, is truly a unique experience.

“The unity and family atmosphere a union brings is unparalleled,” he said. “I’m grateful to be a member of Local 1049 and feel truly blessed.  The opportunity to serve more than 4000 IBEW members [between electric and gas] is such an honor.”

We’re incredibly grateful for all of the work Ron, IBEW 1049, and all of our employees do for PSEG Long Island on a daily basis. Wishing everyone a happy, relaxing and well-deserved Labor Day!

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