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Business Managers Letter to the Membership

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am writing to let you know that effective January 2019 after 32 years with Peoples Gas and 20 years of union service representing the members, I will retire as your Business Manager of the Gas Workers Union Local 18007. There is never a perfect time for this type of decision, but now is the right time. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen at the end of my current term. After many discussions with my wife and sons and fully supporting my decision, I determined a new Business Manager who will be here longer than I would benefit the membership more than my staying for the end of my term.

This is a time of important transition for Local 18007. The new Leadership team is amazing and will build on my foundation. The strategy we have generated is first class and battle tested. Our position and leverage with political, community and corporate leadership has grown this local by 450 members under my leadership and has forced us to become relevant in an age of anti-union sentiment. The membership is well positioned for the opportunities and challenges ahead making decisions based on the overall good of the entire membership not just a few.

Service to Local 18007 and organized labor has been both challenging and rewarding over my years. I love this Local. I love the way we helped to solve problems, thrived through sales of the company and leadership styles while always securing labor stability for the membership. I love our locals Executive Board and all those I have served under and those I have had the honor to lead over these many years.

I am proud of what we have achieved. Labor agreements that have made Local 18007 ‘s members wages the 2nd highest in the country, enhancements to valued vacation time, retiree packages and more promotions than any Board in Local 18007 ‘s 90-year history. We created our own safety program, veterans’ program, tool committees, human rights committees. We have won court proceedings, established relationships with Governors, Senators advancing a labor friendly agenda for the membership. We have sent members to the White House, State House, co-written legislation signed into law. We have received awards for best practice, grants for the veterans for funding in D.C numerous times. We have won elections representing you in Washington DC on the National E- Board. These are just a few of the local’s accomplishments that a foundation has been built on. I have received recognition for leading these efforts, however I feel good about playing a role in these successes, this does not happen without the support of the many people in my professional and family life.

I am just a part of a team of too many individuals to list in this letter. You know who you are and thank you every one of you! I have committed 100 percent to you in this job and all my union jobs. This Executive Board has delivered more in my 10 years than virtually any other Board in our locals’ history.

I am excited for the local’s future. In times of political upheaval one constant is the ability of this union to stay cohesive, relevant and most importantly, focused on the mission to preserve organized labor for future generations. No one gave us these benefits or jobs, it was through collectively bargaining those benefits with hard work and in some cases blood, sweat and tears.

This is an emotional and difficult thing for me to do. I take this step in the best interests of the Local I love; it is the thing outside of my family and closest friends that matters to me most

18007 has all its best days ahead. Know you are part of the best team in the country and have the right leadership team in place to succeed me. We cannot and will not miss a beat in this transition. I am focused on continuing to support you and this E-board in the future days to come.

Whatever new chapter in my life holds, I truly hope I have contributed just a small piece to the history of this local. As with my military career, I remember what I was told as an 18-year-old sailor shipping out for my first deployment by a Navy Seal Senior Chief.

Get comfortable being uncomfortable,

Don’t run to your own death,

Have a shared purpose,

No plan survives first contact,

All in, all the time.

I tried to use these in my career and it has been the honor of my civilian life to serve for you.

Respectfully,

Richard Passarelli

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