History of TWU and Local 225 Branch 4
The Transport Workers Union of America was founded in 1934 as an industrial union dedicated to the promise that an organization built on trust and equality for all workers cannot be denied. We are a trade union representing workers in all crafts in Mass Transit, Airlines, Railroads, Utilities Universities, Municipalities and Service and Allied Industries. Our union operates on three levels—the International Union, Industrial Divisions and Local Affiliates. All TWU members belong to Locals formed on the basis of interest and geographic locations. The members elect their own Local Officers who handle most of their problems. The International Union coordinates the activities of the Divisions and the Locals and assists in negotiations, organizing drives and legislative campaigns.
While Local 225 Branch 4 received its charter in 1985, many of its contracts began in the 1970’s. In the early days, Branch 4 was part of Local 225 out of Hackensack NJ and was serviced by 225 President George Leitz, who rose through the ranks to become the 5th International President of the Transport Workers Union.
School bus drivers in Brick NJ, tired of being at the mercy of the school board for workplace fairness contacted TWU and President Leitz came down to the Jersey Pine Barrens and led a massive organizing drive reaching not only to school bus drivers in Brick, but to all workers in the school, and on to Municipalities, maintenance workers at retirement communities and college employees. Local 225 was bursting at the seams, with public service bus companies in north Jersey and the bulk of public employees in South Jersey.
In October 1985, elections were held for Officers of Local 225 Branch 4. From a wide field of candidates, elected President was William J. Ernst, a bus driver from Brick Schools who held the title of President for fifteen years until his retirement in 2000; Bill Newman, also a bus driver from Brick Schools, was elected as the first Vice President; Amelia Maute, another bus driver from Brick Schools, became Secretary Treasurer: and Susan Resch, a deputy court administrator, from the Township of Brick, was elected Recording Secretary. In the following election in 1988, Recording Secretary Resch won election to the position of Secretary Treasurer and served in that capacity until 2000 when she became an International Rep.
The newly formed Local continued to grow with the assistance of our International Representative Michael T. O’Brien, who himself a TWU bus driver from Bristol, Pa., now is our International President. The Local had a growth spurt organizing new groups all through Ocean County, Monmouth County and onto Atlantic County under the guidance of Mike O’Brien.
During the years, many gains were made for its members in wages and benefits and our contracts continue to set the standards for public employees in New Jersey. The Local has faced and succeeded in major battles, such as privatization, raiding by non-affiliates, and a two month strike during the cold months of January and February at Marriott which was won by the dedicated hard working cafeteria workers determined to not allow a corporate giant to deteriorate our seniority. Out of this strike, a new labor leader arrived, Joyce Kramer, who currently serves as the Secretary Treasurer of the Local.
In October of 2000, the Local Officers were President Christopher W. Mikkelson, a maintenance worker from Howell Township, Vice President Diane Nase, a school bus driver from Brick Township, Joyce Kramer, Secretary Treasurer, and Marcie Germann, a Freehold Township school bus driver.
In 2009, Christopher Mikkelson and Secretary Treasurer Kramer were re-elected to their positions. Newly elected as Vice President is Scott Sargent, a DPW worker in Jackson Township, and Recording Secretary Margaret Reddan, a Secretary from Brick Schools. The Local services fourteen contracts covering a vast majority of classifications in Municipalities, School Districts, Utility Companies, Fire Bureau, Retirement Communities and Private Food Service Companies.
In 2012, John Menshon a Senior Mechanic from Brick Township DPW was elected President. Jeffery Masker a pump station Supervisor from Jackson Township MUA was elected Executive Vice President. Christina Scott a Police Dispatcher from Brick Township was voted in as Vice President. Secretary Treasurer Joyce Kramer and Recording Secretary Margaret Reddan were both reelected to their positions.The Executive Vice President resigned in 2012 and the Executive board appointed Christina Scott to Executive Vice President and Barry Agen to Vice President.
In 2015, President Menshon was reelected to another three year term.Christina Scott was elected Executive Vice President. Chet Smilek, a Sr.maintenance repair/electrician from Jackson DPW was elected Vice President. Joyce Kramer, a long time Union leader,and member advocate was also reelected to her postion as Secretary Treasurer. Jeanne Franklin, a school bus driver from Manalapan was elected Recording Secretary for the local.
During this time, the Executive Board, and the local membership voted in favor of changing the locals Charter number from 225 branch 4 to 220.This was done in part to end some confusion and give the local it's own identity.All employers were notified and there were no objections.