About Local 455

Local 455 was chartered in Springfield, Massachusetts on June 16, 1941. It's charter was amended to allow members under "A" and "BA" coverage. "BA" being basic membership, and "A" having pension and life insurance benefits.

Since 1941 until 1971 there were no full time officers holding positions in the local. In 1971, Edward W. Collins was the first full time officer to be elected. He was an employee of Western Mass Electric Co. prior to his election as Business Manager/Financial Secretary. He remained in office until September 1, 1988, when he was appointed as an International Representative.

On September 1, 1988 William O'Rourke was elected to fill the position of Business Manager/Financial Secretary by the Executive Board, and completed the remaining term of ten months. He was formally elected by the membership in July of 1989, and has served seven, three year terms.

In 1995 Brian Kenney, President of the local, was appointed as Assistant Business Manager by O'Rourke, and has served five, three year terms as President/Assistant Business Manager. On March 1, 2011 the Executive Board appointed Brian to Business Manager/Financial Secretary to replace the retiring William O'Rourke and James DiBernard was appointed President.

The local represents approximately 650 members. Over the past twenty years we have seen a fluctuation of the numbers from as low as 600 to as high as nearly 1000. This has been the result of numerous factors including, deregulation of the electric industry, changing economies, and plant closings.

Currently the membership is made up of employees from Western Mass Electric, First Light Power, ISO New England, North American Energy Alliance, Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric, Chicopee Electric, South Hadley Electric, Westfield Gas & Electric, and Rockbestos Surprenant Cable Corp.

The mission of local 455 and its staff has remained solidly in effort to provide the best quality of life for its membership, both in and outside of the workplace. We do so, by ensuring a safe work environment and negotiating some of the best wages and benefits in the industries we represent. Changing times and a occasional atmosphere of non cooperation from companies, State Labor Boards, and the National Labor Relations Board has made the job challenging. However the membership when called upon has has shown the solidarity, cooperation, and support necessary to ensure some of the best wages and benefits are enjoyed.

As of November, 2008, the local purchased a building on Page Boulevard in Springfield, Ma. This is the first building owned by the membership. This progress clearly demonstrates our commitment to ensure the vitality of the local for generations to come.