Employee of the Month: Jeff Rathner

Jeff Rathner
Jeff Rathner

Jeff was born and bred in D.C. Graduate of University of Maryland. Been a member of Local 1200 for 38 years. Started as a news photographer shooting film, at WTVR in Richmond. Also worked in Memphis, WBAL, Channel 5 in New York, Channel 9 in DC, and at WETA since 1983.

Been married to Jan for 38 years. Two boys; Zack 32, and Jesse 29.

Career highlights:

  • Exclusive film of police officers murder in 1978. Subpoena’d for the trial.
  • Smoked a cigar with Fidel and Raul Castro at a private party thrown for our crew in Havana in 1985.
  • Bill Clinton lied to our crew FIRST about his affair.
  • 2nd shooter on the scene at the Pentagon on 9/11.
  • Getting thrown off the stage at Merriweather Post Pavilion by Gregg Allman in 2012.
  • Two-time EMMY and CINE GOLDEN EAGLE award winner for individual achievement.
  • Been dancing since he was 17.
  • Danced on-stage at the Grand Ole Opry.
  • Like so many of us, have done countless shoots with Presidents, dignitaries, and celebrities. One that stands out for him personally was spending the day in New York shooting a feature on Mikhail Baryshnikov.

The best part about the video is that just before I went on, I was told I was being laid-off. “Now go out there and give us a good show!” Want to know why I’m not smiling?

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Business Manager’s Update

IBEW Legislative Highlights

Closes loopholes in current federal labor law

  • Currently has 141 co-sponsors in the House and 40 co-sponsors in the Senate; all Democrats.
  • We hope the House will bring it to the floor for a vote this Congress. We do not want a repeat of 2009 when the House failed to consider the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). • Please voice the IBEW’s support for the PRO Act and ask for co-sponsorship and support going forward. 4. Infrastructure The IBEW’s biggest legislative priority is a comprehensive bill to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, from airports and public transit to the electric grid and water delivery systems.
  • We have been told it is a major priority for both parties. A recent meeting between Trump and congressional Democrats ended in failure recently. We continue to call on the White House and Congress to pursue comprehensive infrastructure legislation.
  • The House Energy and Commerce Committee introduced a bill two weeks ago. Called the LIFT America Act, it would provide billions to modernize the electric grid, build electric vehicle recharging stations, deploy rural broadband service and modernize drinking water systems. o The IBEW and building trades met with committee staff to discuss improvements and ensure every program in the bill includes David Bacon prevailing wage protections.
  • The IBEW is also working with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which is expected to introduce a comprehensive bill before the end of July.
  • We have been told Senate Republicans are planning to reauthorize the Highway Trust Fund, set to expire next year, and use that as a vehicle for a broader infrastructure bill. POTENTIAL UPCOMING ISSUES OF CONCERN 1. DOL Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs – Trump DOL is focused on industry-recognized apprenticeship programs. They may expand employer-sponsored apprenticeship programs, which are not certified apprenticeship programs but will be treated as such. We may need to persuade DOL to back off this rulemaking. The DOL is expected to release a proposal in mid-June. There are rumors right now and the labor department told us construction programs will be exempt. However, we are concerned that the Labor Department will go against their word and include construction in their IRAP proposal. 2. Deregulation – Deregulation issues may be coming up in Virginia and Colorado. There is a round of proposed deregulation driven by independent power producers. A deregulated market can be detrimental to labor.

Business Manager’s  Highlights for the Month

  • Negotiated WETA contract – obtained tentative agreement
  • Completed  negioations with WUSA/TEGNA
  • Preparation for Superbowl LIII  coverage – Site  visit to Atlanta
  • New York City Conference – Discussion on recreational marijuana and the employer’s interest in efficiency and productivity
  • Government shutdown and how it affects  our families
  • Site visit to CBS  DC bureau –  Discuss  Mental Health Awareness
  • Here are some state legislative highlights for the week.   Local 1200 represents 650 men and women from Maryland to Louisiana:
  • National
    Public Service Workers
    The National Institute on Retirement Security released a report this week called “Teacher Pensions vs. 401(k)s in Six States: Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, and Texas.” The report “finds that teacher pension plans play a critical role in retaining educators while also providing greater retirement security than 401 (k)-style retirement accounts.”

    Equal Pay
    This week, Gov. Edwards indicated that he will, again, work this session to advance legislation “to eliminate pay secrecy by prohibiting employers from taking action against employees for inquiring about, discussing or disclosing their wages or another employee’s wages.”

To Learn about Trump’s fight with Federal Unions – Click here 

Women’s Conference in San Diego:  Please let Ken know if you are interested


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Union Meeting

The Local 1200 Union’s Officers’ Nomination Meeting which was supposed to be held in conjunction with the Monthly General Membership Meeting on May 1, 2019, HAS BEEN CHANGED until May 16, 2019.

The Nomination Meeting will now be held in combination with the scheduled Candidates Meeting which is to take place on Thursday, May 16, 2019. The Nomination Meeting will take place at 8:30 p.m. The Candidates Meeting will take place at 9 p.m. The meetings will take place at the the Union Office located at 201 International Circle, Suite 230, Hunt Valley, MD 21030.


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