March 2010

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104-Year-Old Member Looks Back on Proud Career

When Norbert Schuh started his role as an electrical engineer with the Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Co. in 1929, the world was about to absorb the first economic blast of what would become the Great Depression.

But hard work, frugality and union membership with Milwaukee Local 494 helped ensure that Schuh was able to continue to provide for his family—even during the leanest of times—for decades to come.

"The union helped get me work," Schuh said. "I was paid well. They also helped me get very good benefits."

Now at the Rose Manor Assisted Living facility in Zephyrhills, Fla., Schuh, now 104, looks forward to his monthly issue of The Electrical Worker and takes pride in his decades of IBEW membership. Schuh was featured in a July 2009 article in the local weekly newspaper The Laker holding an issue of The Electrical Worker. Family and friends are quick to point out his appreciation of the Brotherhood.

"He was so happy when he received his 75-year pin," said Schuh's daughter Marillyn Evaska, who lives outside of Milwaukee, not far from the plant where her father spent most of his life working. "He keeps all of his IBEW memorabilia and loves to talk about the union."

Schuh worked at the same facility from 1929 to 1970. Now called Wisconsin Energy, the company went through many changes over the years, as did the responsibilities of Schuh's job. He said one of his biggest accomplishments was when he single-handedly got a substation up and running in the middle of the night.

To young trade unionists just starting out in the field, Schuh tells them, "It's a special career. The IBEW will take good care of you."

Centenarian Norbert Schuh is a Milwaukee Local 494 retiree.