Enjoying refreshments at Local 466 celebration,
from left: International Representative Brian Malloy, Luke
Bergovich, Organizer Bert McDermitt Jr., Joe Brinley, temporary
organizer Bill Fenn, contractor Alan Myres (back to camera).
466 Opens Satellite Office
January/February 2005 IBEW Journal
Consolidations of local unions
can be a demanding process. This is especially true when
large geographical areas and divergent state laws are involved.
Celebrating the opening of
Local 466s satellite office, from
left: Wayne Rebich, Affiliated
Construction Trades; Dave Efaw,
business manager, Local 466;
and Tom Keatley, business
Charleston, West Virginia, IBEW
Local 466 is dealing with the demands of consolidation
head on. On November 6, they hosted almost 100 people
at an open house for a new office in the southern tip
of the state at Princeton.
The local gained four southern West Virginia counties as
well as eight counties in Virginia as a result of the dissolution
of Local 637 in Roanoke. Local
26 in Washington, D.C., and Local
596 in Clarksburg, West Virginia, also picked up
"We now go down to the North Carolina border," says
Business Manager Dave Efaw. Local 466 ended up with 94 new
members including apprentices and a maintenance unit at The
Greenbrier, a famous West Virginia resort.
Virginia does not have a prevailing wage law and is a right-to-work
state. Both factors make it hard for workers and local contractors
to find a level playing field. Says Efaw, "Without prevailing
wage, local contractors are under constant challenge from
out-of-state firms. Right-to-work laws just make it harder
Efaw and Local 466 are determined to increase union market
share. The local hired Tom Keatley, a former member of the
Roanoke local who lives in Princeton, as a business agent/organizer.
Keatley and organizer Bert McDermitt Jr. have been going
around to local job sites talking with workers and contractors.
McDermitt is a veteran of a battle, in 2000, with K.W. Electric,
a southern West Virginia contractor. When K.W. fired two
workers who openly supported the union, the IBEW filed charges
with the National Labor Relations Board and won back pay
for both workers after an appeal before the full Board in
"We have not seen K.W. Electric in our area since that
case. But we now cover a larger area. Im sure we will run
into them again," says McDermitt.