Honoree Christopher Erikson Jr. pictured with Assistant Business Manager Elliot Hecht, Business Manager Christopher Erikson and EWC President Steve Sadofsky.
New York State Commissioner of Labor Roberta Reardon speaks to the Breakfast crowd.
On Sunday October 29th, 2017, the Electrical Welfare Club held its 55th Annual Award and Scholarship Breakfast. The event was held in the Electric Industry Center Auditorium. It provided a forum for us to share ideas on the labor movement and political awareness. This year Business Representative Christopher Erikson Jr. was honored for the great job and hard work that he has done on behalf of all the members of Local 3. We also celebrated the contribution of EWC Recording Secretary Joseph Jaffe who has selflessly given of himself time and time again for the betterment of others in the Electrical Welfare Club and Local 3. Over 450 members and guests were in attendance.
The Breakfast began with Brother Marc Deutscher, Vice President of the Electrical Welfare Club and Chairman of the Breakfast, introducing the 60-member dais as they entered the auditorium. The dais included New York City Comptroller Hon. Scott Stringer, New York State Commissioner of Labor Roberta Reardon, New York State Senator Hon. Leroy Comrie, Member of the New York State Assembly Hon. David I. Weprin, members of New York City Council Hon. Elizabeth Crowley, Hon. Rory Lancman and Hon. Barry Grodenchik, President of the NYC Central Labor Council, Vincent Alvarez, International Vice President IBEW 3rd District Mike Welsh, Former Business Manager of Local 3, IBEW Thomas Van Arsdale and our own Business Manager of Local 3, IBEW, Christopher Erikson.
Brother Deutscher then introduced the color guard from Electchester’s Boy Scout Troop 357 which was led by Andrew Coppeta. After the Pledge of Allegiance, the Hatikvah (Israeli National Anthem) was followed by our National Anthem sung by Cantor Aviva Marer, wife of Brother James Marer. Rabbi Gerald Solomon was then delivered the invocation followed by the Hamotzi, which is the blessing over the challah bread.
Former club president and Master of Ceremonies, Assistant Business Manager Elliot Hecht introduced the Hon. Scott M. Stringer, Comptroller of the City of New York. The comptroller spoke and thanked the Electrical Welfare Club for all they do for Local 3 and for the community. He talked about the ongoing strike by almost 1800 Local 3 members against Charter Spectrum and continued to pledge his support and said that he would do everything in his power to hold Charter accountable for any wrong doing and mistreatment of their workers. He congratulated the award recipients and scholarship winners.
Our guest speaker was Andrew Gross, Director of Political Affairs and Advisor to the Deputy Consul General of Israel in New York. Mr. Gross is responsible for political briefings and assists the Deputy Consul General with public relations and interactions for the tri-state area. He spoke to us about the ongoing strife in the Middle East and how everything is changing by the day. He shared with the audience that the number one issue in the Middle East was not ISIS but Iran and the preventing their capability to produce nuclear weapons. He said that the strong partnership between the United States and Israel has allowed the Israeli economy to continue to thrive. He was very thankful of the continued support of Local 3, IBEW and the Electrical Welfare Club with Israel Bonds.
After a delicious catered breakfast, Electrical Welfare Club President Steven Sadofsky welcomed everyone to our annual Breakfast and thanked Chairman Marc Deutscher and Co-Chairwoman Susan Roth and everyone on the Breakfast committee for all their hard work
Assistant Business Manager Elliot Hecht thanked the Breakfast committee for all their hard work putting everything together and then thanked the audience for supporting the EWC and being part of the Club’s history. He then spoke about the late New York State Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz who unexpectedly passed away earlier this year. Michael was not only a friend to Local 3 but to the entire labor movement. Michael served as Chief of Staff for Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn for many years. When Nettie retired Michael was elected to the Assembly. Michael was always there for the Electrical Welfare Club and Local 3. He was also a resident of Electchester. He was truly one of us.
Elliot asked all in attendance for their help and participation in preparation of a skit by repeating 21 Yiddish words to which he explained their definition. Elliot and Sister Roth then used those words in a “telephone conversation” skit about voting “NO” on the issue of a NYS Constitutional Convention. The skit was fun and very well received, afterwards a bouquet of roses was presented to Sister Susan Roth, club corresponding secretary.
Martin Reicher, Chairman of the Queens Chapter of Retirees of Local 3, IBEW who is a long-time member and former Officer of the Electrical Welfare Club presented for the 7th consecutive year, the Irving Reicher Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship is funded by Marty and named after his father, Irving, who was a 68-year member of Local 3, IBEW and was a long-standing member of the Electrical Welfare Club. This year’s scholarship was also matched by the Electrical Welfare Club and was graciously offered to Max Simanowitz, son of Michael and Jennifer Simanowitz. Max will be attending Yeshiva in Israel.
Elliot then introduced Dr. Gerald Finkel, Chairman of the Joint Industry Board and former President of the Electrical Welfare Club, to present the Louis Stein Memorial Scholarship to this year’s recipient Ariella Engel, daughter of Brother Jordan Engel and granddaughter of the late Arthur Engel, Former EWC Recording Secretary. Ms. Engel thanked the Electrical Welfare Club for this special honor.
Brother Hecht asked Business Manager å_Erikson to make the award presentation to Business Representative Christopher
Erikson Jr.. Business Manager Erikson read
Christopher’s bio. Christopher is a fifth-generation member of Local 3 and he is the representative for the ADM. During his apprenticeship, Christopher was a member of the ‘A’ Apprenticeship Advisory Committee. As a ‘A’ journeyman, Christopher served as a member of the Executive Board of Local 3. He has served as a member of the Electrical Workers Minority Caucus. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Youth Committee. He is also a Renew Advisory Council Member for the 3rd District of the IBEW. He is a member of various clubs of Local 3 including the Sword and Light Pipe and Drum Band. Chris thanked the Electrical Welfare Club for this very special honor. He spoke about the club’s 94-year history and its importance to the strength and success of Local 3, IBEW. He thanked everyone in attendance for their support of the Electrical Welfare Club’s Breakfast and supporting Local 3.
EWC President Sadofsky presented this year’s Electrical Welfare Club Service Award. President Sadofsky announced that this year’s recipient was the Club’s Recording Secretary, Joseph Jaffe. President Sadofsky spoke about Joe’s volunteerism. Whether helping at the monthly club meetings, our annual MD Picnics or at our annual Hanukkah party, Joe is always there. Joe also volunteers as a member of the Youth Committee of Local 3 and a member of the Board of Directors of 1st Housing of Electchester where he resides. He also volunteers at the Local 3 Training Center in Long Island City. Brother Jaffe thanked the Electrical Welfare Club for this great honor. He said that he is so thankful for the opportunity to be a member of å_Local 3. Joe also acknowledged and thanked his parents who attended the Breakfast. A beautiful bouquet of flowers was presented to Joe’s mother.
Business Manager Erikson provided closing remarks. He spoke about the fight that organized labor is in and that the Spectrum strike extends to all working men and woman and the entire middle class. He said that corporations like Charter Spectrum are out to destroy everything that unions have fought for over the last 100-years. He urged the audience to be “All In” and said we need to remain vigilant. He once again congratulated Business Representative Christopher Erikson Jr., Joseph Jaffe and the scholarship award recipients. He also thanked Business Hecht, EWC President Sadofsky and the entire committee for a great Breakfast. He then urged everyone to show up at the Rally against Charter Spectrum on Monday å_October 30th in Times Square. He thanked the members of the EWC for the support they have always given to the club & Local 3, IBEW. He thanked everyone in attendance for joining us at the Breakfast.
Once again, the Electrical Welfare Club’s Breakfast was a huge success thanks to all that attended and supported our event.
New York City Comptroller, The Honorable Scott Stringer addresses the audience.
Business Manager Christopher Erikson, rank and file honoree Joseph Jaffe, Club President Steven Sadofsky and Assistant Business Manager Elliot Hecht.