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March 2013

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Jim Ross

International Representative Jim Ross was appointed Director of the IBEW Political/Legislative Department effective Jan. 1. Ross, who had been assigned to the Construction and Maintenance Department, replaces Brian Baker, who was promoted to Executive Assistant to the International Officers.

"My first IBEW job was as a registrar in my local union," says Ross, a journeyman inside wireman who was initiated into Parkersburg, W.Va., Local 968 in 1977 after attending college for two years. Assigned to the Construction Department in 2007, Ross was responsible for the National Maintenance Agreement, the General Presidents Agreement, the Joint National Industrial Agreement for Instrument and Control Systems Technicians and overseeing jurisdictional disputes and grievances.

"I'm excited for the opportunity that my new position holds," says Ross, who adds that he is fortunate to be moving into an arena where the IBEW has "recognizable influence" backed by a "strong, dependable, knowledgeable staff."

"Coming from a small local, we didn't have lots of staff. I dealt with local and state politics on a regular basis," says Ross, who was elected business manager of his local in 1995 and served on his area's AFL-CIO central labor council.

While being involved in national politics is important to help shape policies on everything from job safety to the environment, Social Security and health care, says Ross, "involvement in local politics is equally or more important."

The key to being effective in local politics, says Ross, is building coalitions and ties across party lines. While the West Virginia Legislature had a Democratic majority during his tenure as business manager, he learned that "reaching out to all members of the Chamber of Commerce and the city council, not just the Democrats, was essential."

"I've always been a hard worker who is willing to accept new challenges," says Ross. "None of this would be possible without the support and sacrifice of my wife, Valerie," says Ross, who has three sons and enjoys golf and woodworking in his spare time.

On behalf of the entire staff and membership, the officers wish Brother Ross great success in his new position.


Jim Ross

Ernest Hanson 'Han' Massey, Jr.

We regret to report that retired Tenth District International Representative Ernest "Han" Massey Jr. died on Jan. 16 at the age of 68.

Brother Massey was born on July 21, 1944, in Mecklenburg County, N.C., and was initiated into Charlotte Local 1902 in 1964, serving on the negotiating committee and as shop steward. For seven years he was president of Local 1902 until 1976, when he was appointed as an International Representative assigned to the then-Twelfth District staff, now the Tenth District.

Massey began his career as a journeyman gas man after two years in the North Carolina National Guard. He serviced locals throughout the Carolinas for 22 years before his retirement — on the 35th anniversary of his initiation — on Aug.1, 1999.

International Representative Jim Springfield remembers Massey as a life-long organizer.

"He was the youngest International Representative I ever heard of," Springfield said, adding that Massey was 32 when he joined the district staff. "He was a young, assertive, very competent, smart guy."

Retired International Representative Gene Ruff worked with Massey for 15 years. Ruff said the challenge that best captured Massey at work was an unfair labor practices dispute with Pirelli Power Cables & Systems in Abbeville, S.C. Workers struck Pirelli several times and the legal battle bounced up and down in the federal court system.

"That dragged on for years, but Han won millions of dollars in back pay for the workers," Ruff said. "He held that group together."

Ruff said it was how he did things as much as what he did that made him successful.

"He was thoughtful, and really pleasant, with a real quick dry wit. He had a manner that made you trust and confide in him," Ruff said. "The world just isn't as nice a place without Han."

Massey leaves behind his mother, Mary Edith Boyd Massey, his son, Chris, his daughter Cissi and his four granddaughters: Marissa, Kennedi, Kathryn and Christin. He was preceded in death by his wife, Karen.

The officers, members and staff express our deep condolences to Brother Massey's family and many friends.


Ernest Hanson 'Han' Massey, Jr.