July 2010

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Richard Dowling

Eighth District International Executive Council member Richard Dowling, who gave the Brotherhood more than four decades of solid service and leadership, passed away on May 31 of a heart attack at the age of 67.

The Vancouver, British Columbia, Local 213 business manager was a progressive leader and organizer known for his easy smile and dedication to the labor movement. Under his direction, his local had grown in membership from 4,000 to 5,000. Brother Dowling had been looking forward to hosting the 38th IBEW Convention in Vancouver next year.

First District International Representative Laird Cronk said Dowling embodied the best qualities of an effective leader.

"To me he was the perfect guardian of the local union," Cronk said. "He made everything a little bit better, a bit more secure. You had confidence that everything was under control when Rick was at the helm."

IBEW International President Edwin D. Hill said, "It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to Brother Dowling and thank him for his many years of dedication to the trade union movement. I pray that God will watch over his family during this challenging time."

Brother Dowling was elected to the IEC at the union’s 37th Convention in Cleveland in September 2006. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Local 1928 Business Manager Mike MacDonald nominated Dowling for the position. Addressing the delegation, MacDonald said, "Because of Rick’s vast experience and his character of a solid and compassionate trade unionist, I am certain he will be a strong voice for Canada and a valued member of the [IEC]."

Brother Dowling relocated to Canada from Scotland in 1967 and initiated into Vancouver Local 213 the following year. He served on several local and regional committees and was appointed business manager and financial secretary in 2002.

He won election to the position the following year and re-election in 2006. He represented workers in the utility, inside construction, electrical manufacturing, communications and cable television sectors.

Dowling’s activism had recently focused on dispelling the myths of open-shop organizations such as the Christian Labor Association of Canada, which he described as "anything but a union."

The officers and staff express our most heartfelt condolences on Brother Dowling’s death to his wife, Marga, their children and many friends.

Richard Dowling

Clyde Bowden

The IBEW regrets to report the April 28 death of retired International Executive Council Chairman Clyde Bowden.

Brother Bowden chaired the IEC for more than 14 years before stepping down in January 2001.

Born in Russellville, Ark., he was initiated into Diamond Bar, Calif., Local 47 in 1950. In July 1956, he transferred his membership to Phoenix Local 387, where he served as business manager for three decades, from 1968-1998.

He served on the Arizona Governor’s Energy Task Force, the Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board of Directors and the Arizona State Apprentice Council. He was a past president of the Arizona State Electrical Association, labor representative on the Arizona State Advisory Council for OSHA and served as secretary-treasurer of the Central Arizona AFL-CIO.

He spent his retirement years raising cattle on his small farm in Peoria, Ariz.

"My father poured his heart and soul into the IBEW," said Bowden’s son Tim, an International Representative in the 7th District. "His family and his union are the things he really cared about."

Brother Bowden is survived by his wife, Judy, three grown children, and his brother Dee, a retired member of Phoenix Local 640.

The IBEW officers, staff and members extend our deepest condolences to Brother Bowden’s family and his many friends.

Clyde Bowden

Jack P. Anderson

The IBEW regrets to report that former Eighth District International Representative Jack P. Anderson died on May 27. He was 79.

A Utah native, Brother Anderson was initiated into Salt Lake City, Utah, Local 354 in 1955. A journeyman wireman, he rose through the ranks of the local, first serving as an executive board member, president and then business manager-financial secretary, a position he held for nearly 20 years.

During those years, he served on the apprenticeship, labor management and negotiations committees as well as a trustee on the health and welfare and pension boards. He also served on the Utah AFL-CIO board of directors and on the state Democratic Party’s Central Committee.

Anderson was instrumental in helping to create the Eighth District’s first health care fund, said Eighth District International Representative Rocky Clark, pooling funds from locals throughout the district.

He was appointed International Representative assigned to the Eight District in 1983, serving as then-Vice President Jon Walters’ in-office representative, handling correspondence and other office matters for staff in the field.

Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus Walters met Anderson while working as a traveler in Utah in the ’60s. "He was one of the people who mentored me when I was up and coming in the union," Walters said.

Walters says he was particularly impressed with Anderson’s writing ability. "He had a real gift with the written word," he said. Those skills came in handy as a member of the law committee at multiple IBEW conventions, with Anderson helping to write many of the committee’s decisions.

He was also deeply involved with the work of the Council on Industrial Relations.

"He loved the IBEW and everything about it," Walters said. "We used to joke that we were married to the union."

Anderson retired in 1997.

He served in the United States Navy as a chief radioman for submarine services from 1947 to 1952 and attended the University of Utah before entering the trade.

The officers, staff and membership of the IBEW offer our condolences to Brother Anderson’s wife, Darlene, his two daughters and grandchildren

Jack P. Anderson

Gina P. Cooper

International Representative Gina Cooper was appointed Director of Professional and Industrial Organizing for Membership Development, effective July 1.

Sister Cooper says she is enthusiastic about building on the recent organizing successes made by the IBEW in the professional and industrial sphere—victories that keep coming even in these tough economic times. "We are seeing workers from nearly every economic sector seek out the benefits and respect that comes with membership in the IBEW and they haven’t let a bad economy slow them down."

A Las Vegas native, Cooper started her IBEW career more than 20 years ago with Las Vegas Local 357. She also worked for Hollywood, Calif., Local 45 before her appointment as assistant business manager for Las Vegas Local 396.

She was responsible for organizing new industries, including a locating company and a credit union. She helped negotiate contracts, investigate grievances and file unfair labor practice charges. In addition, Cooper headed up a grassroots solidarity team to mobilize Local 396 members around pressing workplace and policy issues.

She also served as the treasurer/ recording secretary of Telephone Coordinating Council 3, where she helped coordinate activities for 19 IBEW locals with members employed by Sprint (now CenturyLink) across the United States.

In 2005, she began her tenure at the International Office, assigned to the Telecommunications Department. She serviced multiple system councils and assisted in the creation and implementation of the Telecommunications Code of Excellence.

Residing in Clarksburg, Md., with her husband, Fourth District International Representative Kenneth Cooper, two of her five children, eight dogs and three ducks, Cooper enjoys outdoor activities and long walks in the woods.

"I am very excited to take on this challenge," Cooper says. "It will take all of us working together to make this program successful. Together we will add dignity and respect to the lives of workers and their families across North America."

The officers and members of the IBEW wish Sister Cooper great success in her new position.

Gina P. Cooper