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Officers of the new System Council U-9 are, left to right, Secretary Chuck Tippie and Vice Chairman Dick Taylor of Local 1466, Chairman Kevin Blackburn of Local 1002 and Treasurer Jeff Wachter
of Local 981.

IBEW Charters System Council U-9 To Deal with American Electric Power

January/February 2002 IBEW Journal

In order to create the coordinated force necessary to deal with American Electric Power, the IBEW has chartered System Council U-9, made up of 11 locals spread out over nine states, all with members at AEP. Kevin Blackburn, business manager of Local 1002, Tulsa, Oklahoma, was elected to a three-year term as U-9 president when the council was launched in July.

In addition to Local 1002, System Council U-9 comprises Locals 329 in Shreveport, Louisiana; 386 in Texarkana, Arkansas; 696 in Bellaire, Ohio; 738 in Longview, Texas; 876 in Grand Rapids, Michigan; 934 in Kingsport, Tennessee; 978 in Charleston, West Virginia; 981 in Newark, Ohio; 1392 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and 1466 in Columbus, Ohio.

The formation of System Council U-9 is the result of years of effort by many IBEW members to create a meaningful force to counteract the might of American Electric Power, Blackburn said. We extend our thanks to International President Hill, International Secretary-Treasurer OConnor, Vince OReilly and Will Paul for their help in the formation of the council. OReilly is Senior Executive Assistant to the International President; Paul is an International Representative in the Utility Department at the International Office.

Blackburn said the objectives for the system council are to establish a central bargaining organization, to pursue a collective effort to ensure the objectives of the IBEW Constitution, including organizing all unorganized AEP workers, and to raise the quality of work and life for all affected members. The tools to do that job will be increased solidarity through collective efforts and maintaining harmonious relations among all the locals, he said.

In addition to Blackburn, the other officers, all elected to three-year terms, are Vice Chairman Dick Taylor of Local 1466 and Treasurer Jeff Wachter of Local 981. The council appointed Chuck Tippie of Local 1466 as council secretary.