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May 2014

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A Toast to Hatzel & Buehler:
130 Years of Partnership, Respect

Sometimes it seems like Facebook's most active users are folks who get their kicks arguing with anybody and about anything. But, when IBEW's Facebook page posted a March story congratulating Hatzel & Buehler, the oldest electrical contracting company in America, on its 130th year anniversary, the comments were nearly unanimously positive.

Several members from a number of local unions supported the sentiment of James Cassata, New York Local 3, who said, "It's a pleasure to be with such a good company;" or Cip Garrido, Philadelphia Local 98, who said, "Great shop to work for."

Employing more than 700 IBEW electricians, Hatzel & Buehler is signatory to 21 local unions in Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. IBEW members even include some clerical staffers, engineers and estimators.

"The company's success is all about building great relationships," says John Condi, a third generation member of Philadelphia Local 98, who manages the company's Philadelphia and Delaware offices. "Solid relationships with a core group of customers, construction managers, vendors and employees provide stability for the workforce. Once workers come with us, they stay a long time."

Customers include pharmaceutical giants like Bristol-Myers Squibb and banks like JP Morgan Chase. Hatzel & Buehler has built power plants and legendary edifices like Walt Disney's Epcot Center in Florida and the United Nations.

Founded by two electricians who worked with Thomas Edison, Hatzel & Buehler offers expertise in electric design, construction, engineering, integration, and maintenance. A subsidiary company, Bluestone Communications, is dedicated to the low-voltage sector.

Two years after leaving Edison's Electrical Illuminating Co. in New York City in 1882, John D. Hatzel and Joseph Buehler formed their partnership. The quality of their work and the relationship-building that remains the company's hallmark was immediately recognized by many of the nation's most successful entrepreneurs, who signed contracts with them not just to build their businesses' infrastructures, but to build their personal residences.

Electrical systems in the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, N.C., at J.P. Morgan's personal New York residence, the Vanderbilt Mansion in Newport, R.I., and the duPont's Winterthur and Longwood Gardens were all constructed by wiremen employed by Hatzel & Buehler, a member of the National Electrical Contractors Association since 1901.

"Hatzel & Buehler is totally union-oriented," says Bill Mari, a 31-year New York Local 3 member who has been working for the company for the past six years. A third-generation electrician, Mari works as the superintendent for Hatzel & Buehler's New York operation. He says, "The company's owners, Bill and Mike Goeller, frequently come on the work site. And they are passionate about making sure you have whatever you need to complete the job. They do everything right and don't cut corners."

Mari expresses pride in his employer's contribution to relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy when 120 electricians were dispatched to Staten Island, N.Y., to restore service to and repair 140 houses. And, like so many other Hatzel & Buehler staff, he lists the landmark commercial buildings and structures throughout New York City and beyond that were built by company hands.

They include the Chrysler Building and the General Electric Building in New York, Detroit's Renaissance Center and Johnson & Johnson's world corporate headquarters in New Jersey.

Numerous transmitter rooms for tenants occupying the Empire State Building were installed by Hatzel & Buehler electricians. Customers include WCBS, WNBC, WABC, WPIX, Univision, Home Shopping Network, Clear Channel and Motorola.

The company focuses on corporate infrastructure upgrades related to redundant power systems, security and fire safety installations, new office construction, trading facilities, television and radio broadcast studios and transmission systems.

"Hatzel and Buehler is an amazing contractor," says Helena Russo, a 41-year member of New York Local 3 who works as a regional controller overseeing accounting and project management costs. "The company understands people. We work in a nice environment with good attitudes, alongside team players who are not looking to push others out of the way, but to make Hatzel & Buehler successful."

"The IBEW congratulates Hatzel & Buehler on the occasion of the company's 130th anniversary," says International President Edwin D. Hill. "We cherish our long relationship with Hatzel & Buehler, a signatory contractor who respects and supports our members, promoting the professionalism and excellence that make us the right choice for customers."

Hatzel & Buehler is signatory to collective bargaining agreements with:

  • Wilmington, Del., Local 313;
  • Michigan Locals 58 (Detroit), 252 (Ann Arbor) and 665 (Lansing)
  • New Jersey Locals: 102 (Paterson), 164 (Jersey City),
    269 (Trenton), 351 (Folsom), 400 (Asbury Park) and
    456 (New Brunswick)
  • New York Local 3
  • Ohio Locals 82 (Dayton), 212 (Cincinnati), 575 (Portsmouth) and 683 (Columbus)
  • Pennsylvania Locals 98 (Philadelphia), 375 (Allentown),
    380 (Norristown) and 654 (Chester)
  • West Virginia Locals 317 (Huntington) and 466 (Charleston).



In 1938, Hatzel and Buehler signed the first pension agreement between Local 3 and the New York Electrical Contractors Association.