35-year retiring member: "Let union history be our guide!"

Posted Jul. 28, 2022 by

Jim Costello is a long-time union activist set to retire this year with 35 years of public service. Jim, who is chief steward for Ashtabula Chapter 400, came to the Ohio Department of Transportation back in 1987, right after OCSEA’s first State contract was signed in 1986. Having lived this union history, Jim says it's vital the next generation of OCSEA activists know the history of the union and let history be their guide for the future.

“When collective bargaining came in, we finally had representation and could fight against [unfair] practices. It gave us protection and really changed the game for public employees,” he said in reference to political patronage that plagued ODOT.

Jim says it's time for the next generationl to "step up in our union, too." "People like me are leaving the union. I’m the last of the old stewards in Ashtabula County,” he said, referring to his pending retirement this month. “Young people need to get more experience in the union and learn from our history. And what a history it is,” he said. Read his story on page 11 of the recent union magazine at