Gil Maestas announced as Region 6 RVP

Gil Maestas, President, Local 52-Denver, CO, has been appointed Interim Vice President for NABET-CWA Region Six, effective December 12, 2018. Maestas’ appointment comes in the wake of the unexpected and tragic passing of former Region Six Vice President Bill Wachenschwanz. The appointment of Maestas in an interim position is in accordance with NABET-CWA By-Laws, and Maestas’ appointment was subsequently unanimously approved by the Sector Executive Council.  Maestas will serve out the remainder of the term, which will expire June 30, 2019. 

Maestas has spent the past 25 years as a dedicated member of NABET-CWA, joining Local 52 in 1994. Beginning service to his union first a shop steward, Maestas later became an executive board member, vice president, and assumed the office of president in 1998. Throughout his ascent through the union and during his lengthy tenure as president, Maestas has shown remarkable commitment to his members, the local, and the broader labor movement overall.  

“When I got my start decades ago, I was working in a non-union shop. When I was laid off, I went to work at a union shop. What I immediately experienced were dramatically better wages, a workplace where if you had a problem you always had someone by your side, and generally an organization that worked to protect the members,” recalled Maestas. “Experiencing this firsthand is what motivated me to become involved in the union, and eventually put me on the path that I took to get here.”  

Maestas understands the many challenges facing union members and local unions as the industry continues to evolve. That evolution is not lost on him, and it is a reality that he constantly plans for.  

“We face many challenges today. With automation and the changing of the television industry, there are fewer jobs and people have to be willing to embrace change and learn new technology. What I’ve tried to do is foster a positive relationship with management, and work through open lines of communication. The approach has paid off—we’ve had many successful contracts, and management is more willing to work with us before implementing any changes that would impact our members.” 

While Maestas shared a profound sadness at the manner in which the position opened up, he was similarly eager to get started in his new role. Maestas is nothing if not an optimist, and to this point his positivity and willingness to engage in open communications is something he feels will serve his region well.  

I’m constantly looking for different ways to represent our people. Becoming an RVP provides me a larger platform to help our members. What I hope to accomplish is increased communication; talking with our members about our concerns, our challenges, our safety issues, the things we deal with every day. I’m eager to serve as the conduit between the locals and the national union, and above all else, to get things done. I want our members to feel the union difference that I felt so many years ago.”     

While NABET-CWA continues to mourn the loss of Bill Wachenschwanz, we look forward to the leadership that Gil Maestas is sure to provide. Maestas is a tremendous labor leader and will undoubtedly excel in his new role within the union, while continuing to provide tremendous leadership at Local 52.