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May 2005 IBEW Journal

Stewards Conference

Local 47 journeyman
lineman Nick "Time
Bomb" D’Avanzo,
participates in UFC/
type "Cage" fights. In
March, more than 100
IBEW members
attended to cheer on
Bro. Nick.

L.U. 47 (lctt,mo,u,o&uow), DIAMOND BAR, CA—The short and long-term work picture for our Outside Construction Unit remains strong. SCE will spend $11 billion to expand and upgrade its infrastructure. We hired six new business representatives to handle our new jurisdiction.

Our Annual Stewards Conference was held March 19 in Palm Springs. Over 140 stewards attended. Keynote speakers included Sen. Joe Dunn, SCE Vice Pres. Walt Johnston, and Anaheim’s Utility General Mgr. Marcie Edwards.

Negotiations continue at the Anaheim unit, as well as for the newly organized Water Unit in Colton. We are close to agreements for both. We have opened negotiations with SCE for an equity wage adjustment for the FSR’s.

The City of Riverside moved ahead with its plans to build a "96 MW" station without a PLA. We doubt the non-union contractor will be able to build the project on time or near budget.

We are saddened to report the passing of three IBEW traveler brothers who passed away while working in our jurisdiction: Local 258 member Terrence Walters, Local 769 member Quentin "Ed" Powers and Local 1245 member Joe Zach Felts. We also mourn the loss of Local 47 members Wade Richardson and Anthony Ellis. Our condolences to their families and friends.

Live well, live safe—work union.

Stan Stosel, P.S.

A Seat at the Table

L.U. 51 (catv,lctt,o,rtb,t&u), SPRINGFIELD, IL—As the utility industry changes, we see companies divest, merge, with very deep pockets. We as local unions need to change if we are going to have a tomorrow. Those who support the status quo and sit on their hands will only ensure their own demise.

Commerce commissions were established to protect the public interest and ensure that lights, gas and telephones were there when needed. In Illinois that is no longer true. With utilities cutting jobs and failing to reinvest in infrastructure, we continue to see a downturn in reliability. Unfortunately, the ICC sits on the sidelines.

To address these issues, we are involved in establishing system/coordinating councils and supporting local mergers. We have also actively backed legislation to protect jobs for our members as well as reliability for the consumers. We will do everything possible to have a seat at the table when the decisions are made.

Work for our line (distribution and transmission) will be about the same. Telephone continues to be stagnant, and tree trimming is barely holding the line. They tell us the economy is turning around. If so, it hasn’t reached our section of Illinois yet.

Dominic Rivara, B.M.

New Contracts Ratified

L.U. 53 (lctt,o,rts&u), KANSAS CITY, MO—Local 53 has settled several new contracts. Members at Laclede Electric Cooperative ratified a three-year agreement with a wage package that includes a 4 percent increase each year of the agreement as well as an adjustment to the lineman rates of 75 cents per hour and the apprentice rates of 25 cents per hour.

Line clearance tree trimming members ratified two-year contracts with all the tree contractors working in the jurisdiction (including Asplundh, Nelson and Wright), as well as the NECA agreement that covers Thorne and Shade Tree employees. The settlement provides that the contractors cover the scheduled increases in LINECO the next two years as well as increase wage rates 7 percent over the term.

Members at Independence Power & Light ratified a five-year agreement that features 3 percent raises the first three years and 4 percent raises the last two years, as well as an increase to their deferred compensation plan over term resulting in a total package increase of 20 percent. It was agreed to place the District Planners, Inventory Control Tech and Power Dispatchers under this agreement.

The Retirees luncheon will be May 5 at the union hall. Fifty-year service pins will be awarded to George Thomas, Bill Glover, Freddie Imgarten, Robert "Joe" Miller, Bill O’Dell, Jack Parrish, Benny Rector and John Smith; 55-year pins to Harold Honeywell, Claude Kendall and Pete Rust; and 60-year pins to Francis "Arkie" Barton and Bobby Walraven.

Duane Pearce, V.P.

Joe Murphy PAC Fund

Local 77 Brother
Joe Murphy.

L.U. 77 (lctt,mt,o,t&u), SEATTLE, WA—With great sadness we report that longtime member Bro. Joe Murphy has moved on to a greater calling. Joe and his twin-brother Jim flew off to a fishing trip in Alaska in September 2004. Their plane disappeared in route. As of this writing, after an extensive search, they have not been found.

Joe most recently served as our volunteer political coordinator. He was a natural at this and his network was huge, especially given all his previous work with Local 77. After only a few months at work, well-connected contacts were willing to welcome Local 77 back into the political circles that help determine our wages/hours/working conditions. We renamed our PAC to IBEW Local 77 Joe Murphy PAC Fund in his honor.

Sister Sylvia Hanson, recording secretary, took a non-bargaining position at Snohomish County PUD No. 1. Sylvia has been an active member with Local 77 for over 22 years. Her dedicated service to Local 77 was paramount. She volunteered many hours to Local 77 and the labor movement. We will miss Sylvia, but wish her the best in her new endeavors.

Work Picture: Remains steady. Call before you come. Current Negotiations: Avista, Seattle City Light, Potelco Admin., Sea-Tran, and Asplundh Tree. Visit our Web site at: http://www.ibew77.com.

Don Guillot, B.M./F.S.

Fiber Project

L.U. 89 (catv,em,lctt,o&t), SEATTLE, WA—Things are starting to get busy in the Pacific Northwest. Verizon is ramping up to launch its "fiber to the prem" program, which should offer our members employment opportunities for some years. As this program progresses it should afford us the opportunity to grow our membership as well. Initially the new fiber project will launch in Oregon and expand to areas of Washington in 2006.

At this writing we were preparing to start negotiating the new labor agreement with Verizon on Feb. 14, 2005. We will bring proposals regarding contracting, job security, sick leave and medical benefits, among others, to the table.

In closing, it is my sad duty to report the passing of two long-time Local 89 members, Bro. Harvey "Bud" Felker and Bro. Al Barton. Those of us who knew and worked alongside these two gentlemen will remember them fondly. Their families have our heartfelt condolences and our assurances that their loved ones will be missed by their union brethren.

Raymond Egelhoff, B.M./F.S.