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February 2014

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Paul Simon III

Third District International Representative Paul Simon III retired effective Jan. 1 after more than four decades of service to the IBEW.

Brother Simon was initiated into Wilmington, Del., Local 1238 in 1972 while working as a meter reader for Delmarva Power and Light. Quickly becoming active in the local, he served as an assistant steward, steward, then was elected to the executive board where he became secretary and then chairman. Simon was part of each contract negotiating committee with utilities in the local's jurisdiction between 1984 and 1997.

After being elected business manager in 1987, Simon helped sharpen the focus of the local stewards training program, and spearheaded the successful organizing campaign that brought all employees of the City of Dover Electrical Department into the IBEW fold in 1991.

That knack for teambuilding and negotiating was an asset that led to then-International President J. J. Barry appointing Simon to the Third District staff in 1997. "Paul was strong at the table, and he always promoted the IBEW's excellence," said International Representative Mike Welsh, who worked closely with Simon at the Third District office. "You have to be able to challenge a company if they try to tell you, 'This is how it's going to be.' Paul always knew how to respond, knew all the facts, and was a very hard worker."

Brother Simon began his work for the district by working in the Third District office as well as servicing utility locals in western Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh Locals 29 and 1956 and Beaver Local 272.

By 2002, Simon was assigned to the field to cover utility locals across central and eastern Pennsylvania, as well as in New Jersey and his home state of Delaware. He was key in helping organize and negotiate major first contract victories for employees at PECO Generation, Electric, Gas, and the company's call center; AES Generation; Veolia Power; and the Met-Ed call center in Pennsylvania. Simon also spent 11 years as the IBEW's state political coordinator in Democratic-leaning Delaware.

"Whether in organizing or politics — or any project — Paul would pull out all the stops," Welsh said. "He was always out there, and always gave 110 percent."

Brother Simon served in many roles with the Delaware State AFL-CIO and served on many committees, including as Chairman of the Political Education and a member of the Legislative committee. He attended the University of Delaware and the National Labor College.

In retirement, Simon said he looks forward to travel, golfing and spending more time with his wife, Holly, their two children, Paul and Jennifer, and four grandchildren, Olivia, Zoe, Jacob and Zac.

"With a stocked fishing pond 60 feet from my back door, I'll be enjoying my days fishing with the grandkids," Simon said.

On behalf of the entire union membership, the officers and staff wish Brother Simon a happy, healthy and enjoyable retirement.


Paul Simon III

Tony Buccella

We regret to report that retired Fourth District International Representative Tony Buccella died on Dec. 22. He was 87.

A World War II veteran of the Army Air Corps, Brother Buccella retired in 1989 after a 43-year IBEW career.

Paul Witte — who became Fourth District Vice President a year after Buccella's retirement — remembers him as a solid representative who was very well liked by the members of the manufacturing locals he serviced all along the I-75 corridor.

Born in Warren, Ohio, Brother Buccella moved to Richmond, Ind., with his parents at an early age and worked at the Richmond plant of Avco Manufacturing as a member of now defunct Local 1127. He was elected business manager in 1956.

When the Avco plant shut down, Buccella transferred his membership to Newark, Ohio, Local 1985, representing workers at the Hoover vacuum cleaner manufacturing plant.

"Tony was one of the most devoted international representatives I ever knew and I knew many," says Gary Snyder, an attorney who represented building and construction trades unions for over 40 years. "He deeply cared about his people. They were his life and priority and the members were nuts about him."

"In negotiations and arbitrations and confrontations with management, Tony was always cool and didn't raise his temper, but he was highly effective," says Snyder, a close personal friend. Witte adds, "Tony was very reliable, took care of problems in his local unions and didn't require much attention or direct intervention from the district or the International Office."

Witte and Snyder recall Buccella as a flashy dresser and a "health nut" who took dozens of vitamins every day and remained fit and healthy into his later years, during which he stayed active as a member of the American Legion, his church and community-based organizations.

On behalf of the members and staff, the officers send our condolences to Brother Buccella's son, Tom, his four grandchildren and great grandson.


Tony Buccella