Thursday, September 28, 2006

It is time for the change of horses to drive the engine that supplies the fodder for all working men and women. We have had a variety of leaders to cope with the natural self-serving demands of the hydras at the top of the companies.

My first experience with the IBEW back in the ‘50’s was with the master Charlie Calame, and his wife Jean Robbins. Charlie’s style was of the old-fashioned labor-leader type generally depicted in the movies. But, for his time he was affective.

Following Charlie brought a profusion of wannabee’s that were technicians turned politicians. Lenny Bader, was bright but he got only what was given in an era when anyone could achieve a modicum of success. Followed by the Colonel (a real Air force Lt. Colonel) Art Korff, who set the pattern for company and union dialogue that exist to this day. The quarterly meetings. They were productive, until the company started using the great company negotiator Jim Sermons. I called him “Gentleman Jim” after the great fighter of the 1890’s Jim Corbett, the man that introduced the Solar Plexus punch to Heavyweight Champ John L. Sullivan. Jim Sermons could hit you below the belt and make you happy he did it.

The only man to really get something from Jim was Vincent Bartilucci. Vinny is responsible for getting the sons and daughters of CBS working people hired (including his own son Dan).

Then along came the irrepressible Michael DeIso. He was like a burr in Gentleman Jim’s ass. Mike is a natural born politician. He could run for public office. He is responsible for introducing the current Business Manager, Keith Morris, to the negotiating table. And it was at that table that the fiery Keith shot a blast across to Jim, that set the two on a course that exist to this day, except that Jim Sermons is retired and Keith Morris now has the mantle to protect the working men and women of CBS technical.

You must wish him well, for he is in an era when there just “ain’t any gittin.” I hope he can protect what he has, and hold the line on the rest. Good luck to Keith Morris, for what he achieves reflects to management, technical, and retired people.

Tony Cucurullo