May 2011

Letters to the Editor
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Super Job

I was recently hired by International Alliance Theatrical Stage Employees Fort Worth, Texas, Local 126 to work spotlight at the Super Bowl in Dallas on February 6, Green Bay vs. Pittsburgh. Local 126 members treated me great and I had an enjoyable experience helping our fellow union brothers out at the biggest event of the year.

Daniel Altamirano
Local 20 member, Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas

Daniel Altamirano

Honored to Serve

I would like to thank Collinsville, Ill., Local 309 for my 14-plus years of employment.

My grandfather, Theodore Czarnecki, was a Local 309 journeyman wireman his entire career until he passed away in January 1958. The local has always had a special place in my heart because this was his local union and I had the privilege to work here. When I got hired for the job of office service administrator, I was never sure who was more excited about it, my mother or myself. My mother used to tell me how she would take my grandmother to East St. Louis to pay her dad's dues (back in the days before people had checking accounts and mailed checks).

Ten years ago I married a journeyman wireman, Stanley Baczewski, who also worked his career for as a member of Local 309 until he became disabled. I met Stan when I worked in the office at Wissehr Electric. So often he tells me the interesting stories of his work and the other members he worked with and how much he misses working.

I am sure some of the members got upset with me when I got on them about keeping their union dues current, but I don't think they realize what a privilege it is to work for a great union like Local 309, and how much better the wages and benefits are working under a collective bargaining agreement.

Most of my career since I was 16 years old I have worked in the construction industry, and this was my first job that I was ever in a union. Some people don't seem to understand how tough it is on the outside when you have to negotiate yourself for each and every raise and benefit you try to get.

I have enjoyed all the staff that I have worked with at Local 309 and the opportunity to deal with the membership, contractors, the fund offices, travelers and everyone else that I have met. I have had lots of laughs, heartwarming experiences, as well as some frustrating moments. All of these have made my job a wonderful experience.

As I look forward to starting a new journey in my life of retirement, I know I will miss all the people I have met and worked with at Local 309.

Judy Baczewski
OPEIU St. Louis Local 13 retiree

55 Years and Counting

Amarillo, Texas, Local 602 member Don Daughtrey was recently presented his 55-year pin at a Duke Electric Co., Inc. luncheon. Don has worked his entire career at Duke Electric. He continues to perform his superintendent responsibilities while outworking and outlasting all who work with him.

He is an amazing individual, providing guidance, direction and inspiration to customers he serves as well as the electricians he supervises. For the last 34 years, Don has worked at the Department of Energy Pantex plant outside Amarillo. He has been active in the IBEW for his entire career, holding various local union positions including executive board. He was also an apprentice school teacher for 20 years, specializing in first-year classes.

Paul Salazar
Local 602 member, Amarillo, Texas

Don Daughtrey