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May 2016

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'Lending a Helping Hand'

L.U. 1 (as,c,ees,ei,em,es,et,fm,i,mt,rts,s,se,spa,st&ws), ST. LOUIS, MO — Last December Mississippi River floodwaters nearly destroyed the facilities of a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving disabled children, adults, veterans and at-risk youth.

IBEW Local 1 and the Electrical Connection helped restore Ride On St. Louis, located along the river in scenic Kimmswick, MO. ROSL's physical therapists and instructors utilize horse therapies to benefit program participants.

After a Local 1 member/ROSL volunteer informed our local of the flood damage, Local 1 Rep. Chuck DeMoulin, a Jefferson County Labor Club board member, visited ROSL to assess damages. Bro. DeMoulin contacted the Electrical Connection, a partnership of IBEW Local 1 and St. Louis Chapter of NECA. Subsequently, EC Pres. Jim Curran approved a grant providing donated materials and services to restore power up to code requirements.

Summit Electric owner Doug Heidland and Local 1 electricians made the repairs. Bro. DeMoulin also coordinated efforts of other labor unions within the Jefferson County Labor Club to help.

"Without the help of IBEW Local 1 and the Electrical Connection, I don't know if we would have been operational," said ROSL Dir. Marita Wassman. "The workers were so professional and made it easy to get the work done; they were all so nice." For more information visit

We mourn the death of several members: Herschel Dixon, John Cain, John Krummel, Fred Schrage, Frederick Bradley, John Davis, John Gamache, Kenneth Door, Graham Mackenzie, Odis Hearon, Benjamin Lee, Michael Bresnan, Robert Dooley, Fred Wesling, Clarence Hoguet Jr., Robert Mathews, Manuel Rivera, Carlos Roberts, Robert Manley, Albert Wilt, Robert Mueller, Jerry Hatridge and Clyde Ketcherside.

Jan Bresnan, P.S.


View of December 2015 flood damage at Ride On St. Louis site in Kimmswick, MO. (Photo courtesy IBEW Local 1 and Ride On St. Louis.)

Staff Members Appointed

L.U. 9 (catv,govt,lctt,o&u), CHICAGO, IL — We are pleased to welcome Eric Bergdolld and Kevin Schuster to our staff as assistant business managers.

Since becoming a member in 2000, Eric has graduated from ALBAT and worked for the past 12 years as an outside distribution and transmission lineman for the City of Naperville. Eric has served as a steward and as an instructor at our training facility. He will represent our members who do outside utility work as well as our line clearance tree trimmers.

Kevin comes to us from our outside construction jurisdiction with a background in street lighting, traffic signals and wireless work. As an assistant, he will represent our members performing this work. In addition, he will work as an organizer. Kevin was initiated into Local 9 in 1999 and has also served as a steward and as an instructor at our training facility.

In April, we held our 50th Annual Old Timers Dinner. The dinner is held each year to honor those members who retired in the previous year as well as all retired members of Local 9. As always, we had a great crowd. We celebrated the 2015 retirement of 40 of our hard working members. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the dinner, each attendee received a commemorative beer glass. Thanks to all who attended and helped celebrate with us.

Mary Beth Kaczmarek, P.S.


Local 9 Asst. Bus. Mgrs. Eric Bergdolld (left) and Kevin Schuster.

New Chicago Training Center For Linemen Opens

L.U. 15 (u), DOWNERS GROVE, IL — A new training center for linemen opened in Chicago on Feb. 19 this year. This new training facility at ComEd and the Rockford training center, which opened in 2013, are a result of the Electrical Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2011, enacted by the Illinois legislature with IBEW support. Local 15 Vice Pres. Terry McGoldrick spoke at the grand opening for the new center. Also in attendance were Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and ComEd Pres./CEO Anne Pramaggiore. As hundreds of guests toured the new facility, IBEW Local 15 members displayed their expertise on skilled tasks such as cable splicing, pole climbing and substation construction.

We finalized an agreement on Aerial work, clarifying job duties and manpower.

Our clerical representatives met with Exelon to discuss issues with Electronic Work Packages (EWP).

Joliet Generating Station's conversion from coal to gas is mostly complete. The resulting reduction in force and worker transfers should be done by July. More than 50 members volunteered for a severance package with up to a year's pay; almost 20 members were laid off; and 37 members are changing work locations.

Local 15 EWMC members attended the recent Electrical Workers Minority Caucus Conference in New York. Part of the conference is set aside for delegates to provide a "Day of Service," volunteering on community service projects at locations including churches and schools.

Doug Vedas, P.S.

'Welcome to the Neighborhood'

L.U. 21 (catv,govt&t), DOWNERS GROVE, IL — The well-publicized grand opening of Comcast's newest customer service center didn't bring the crowd the company expected. A "neighborhood watch group" made up of dozens of IBEW Local 21 members who showed up at the live radio broadcast informed the residents of Batavia that a new predator moved into their neighborhood. The group under our gigantic, inflatable rat's watchful eye passed out a community alert warning residents about Comcast's predatory employment practices. Every time the event went live on the radio, the chants of "no justice no peace" grew louder. It then went viral as our members began sharing our live IBEW Twenty-One Facebook posts.

Membership involvement was on the minds of our members who attended the Electrical Workers Minority Conference (EWMC) in January. They had discussions with other IBEW members on ways to build solidarity. While in New York they helped prepare food for people who, because of illness, are unable to prepare meals for themselves. After members returned home they learned that the meals were also used to assist those who were affected by the East Coast blizzard. IBEW members are making a difference in the communities where they live and work.

Bob Przybylinski, R.S.


IBEW Local 21 steward Heather Hollaar "welcomes" Comcast to the neighborhood.

IBEW Members Volunteer —
Generosity of Spirit, Service

L.U. 37 (em,o&u), FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA — Local 37 is extremely proud of its members' generous spirit. Time and time again we see countless examples of members volunteering their valuable time and donating their hard earned money in support of so many inspiring organizations that are making a difference in the communities where we live and work.

A recent example of this generosity is the amazing success of this year's United Way campaign. The campaign was launched last fall by IBEW Local 37 and NB Power. Through payroll deductions, raffles and contests, IBEW members and management at NB Power made it a record year by raising over $80,000 for the United Way in New Brunswick!

The funds raised are used locally to invest in over 30 agencies and more than 80 programs and initiatives that are "Moving People from Poverty to Possibility, Helping Kids Be All They Can Be, and Building Strong Communities."

A celebration was held at NB Power to recognize the awesome efforts of the campaign team, the crew of volunteers, and contributors to the campaign.

Last year, IBEW Local 37 won the United Way's Labour Award of Distinction for the Saint John region and has been nominated once again this year. We're also very proud of IBEW member Eve Savage, an NB Power employee, who has been nominated for the United Way's Rising Star Award for her campaign involvement.

Ross Galbraith, B.M./F.S.


IBEW Local 37 and NB Power celebrate the success of United Way campaign.

'Projects Full Steam Ahead' Summer Activities Planned

L.U. 41 (em,es,govt,i,se&spa), BUFFALO, NY — We had a pretty mild winter by Buffalo standards, especially compared with the last couple of years. The mild winter allowed most of our projects to continue full steam ahead and steadily put members to work throughout the winter. Again, thank you to the traveling sisters and brothers who helped us get the work done on these projects.

We again have numerous member activities to participate in this summer. Please keep an eye out for Bus. Mgr. Michael Gaiser's mailing for all the details on these events. These occasions strengthen the bonds of our brotherhood through families getting to know each other, realizing we are all in this together.

This November we have another election to choose who our government representatives will be. Please understand that when our COPE committee selections are made to endorse candidates for public office, it is not taken lightly and we will always endorse candidates who have the IBEW's best interest in mind. I understand that on a personal level some members may not agree with a candidate we endorse, but when voting we ask you to consider who is best for the IBEW.

Gregory R. Inglut, A.B.M.


IBEW Local 41 members Doug Herbst and Tim McNaughton (blocked from view behind conduit rack) work at a solar panel manufacturing facility in Buffalo, NY.

Organizing Victories

L.U. 47 (lctt,mo,o,u&uow), DIAMOND BAR, CA — Local 47 wishes all IBEW members a peaceful Memorial Day. It is an occasion to commemorate those who lost their lives protecting us and our freedom while serving in the armed forces. It's time for us to rededicate ourselves to the causes for which they died, as well as for job security and a decent standard of living for workers and their families!

We continue to have organizing victories due to our Construction Maintenance Labor Agreement with Southern California Edison. We spent the first days of the New Year signing several line-clearance-tree-trimming companies and their employees into membership. Separate agreements for Birchfield Enterprises Inc., Synergy Tree Trimming Inc., and Mario Tree Service Inc. each include wage increases as well as family medical/dental and vacation.

We recently completed negotiations with two telecommunications service providers. The Rancho Cucamonga branch of Butler America signed the NECA Teledata Agreement; this is the first union contract for the company. Likewise, Norris Tower Inc., a highly specialized teledata component contractor out of Riverside, signed a collective bargaining agreement with Local 47.

We are sad to report the passing of Bro. Sylvester Castro and retired journeyman lineman Bro. Jeff Johnstone. May they rest in peace. Also, Local 47 wishes a speedy recovery to our Office Coordinator Nicky Berry.

Work and buy union!

Tracy Dougherty, P.S.


Local 47 Bro. Jeff Johnstone (1947-2016).

Status of Power Plants

L.U. 51 (catv,lctt,o,ptc,rtb,t,u&uow), SPRINGFIELD, IL — On Feb. 25, Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc. (MISO) informed Dynegy that it could not close the Wood River coal plant due to system reliability issues. MISO is continuing work on alternative options to remedy the reliability issues that prevent the plant from closing on June 1, 2016. Local 51 has 77 members employed at the plant; their future is uncertain as we wait for MISO to complete its work.

Our members at Exelon's Clinton Power Station are also working under a cloud of uncertainty regarding the future of the nuclear plant. Exelon has "implied" the plant could close as early as 2017 if results of the 2016 MISO capacity auction do not improve the plant's economic future, and/or if the state General Assembly does not pass legislation to assist Illinois nuclear plants that are economically challenged.

At unit meetings, we are collecting monetary donations to send to the Electrical Workers Historical Society for its project underway, in coordination with St. Louis Local 1, to restore the original meeting place where Henry Miller, J.T. Kelly and eight other delegates founded the National Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in 1891. Donations will help establish and maintain this museum. [For more information, see news story "Preserving the Dream: IBEW Birthplace Surpasses $1 Million Milestone," posted on the IBEW website at]

Congratulations to newly appointed Local 51 Bus. Mgr. Matt Moore, who previously served as assistant business manager. Bus. Mgr. Moore was appointed to fill the unexpired term of recently retired former business manager Jim Bates. Matt is a journeyman lineman and has worked as a business rep for 17 years. He has the experience needed to be a productive, efficient leader for our local.

Our work scene is picking up. We have 650+ travelers working in our jurisdiction. Be safe and attend your monthly unit meeting.

Karlene Knisley, B.R.

Four-Year Contract Ratified

L.U. 53 (lctt,o,rts&u), KANSAS CITY, MO — Bus. Rep. Eric Williams reported on a four-year agreement with Osage Valley Electric Cooperative ratified by the membership.

The contract features yearly wage increases as follows: first year - 5 percent increase; second year - 5 percent; third year - 3 percent; and fourth year - 2.5 percent. Current employees will stay on the old retirement plan, which is the NRECA 30/62 plan. New hires will be on the NRECA straight 62 plan, and will also be enrolled in a 401(k) plan with the co-op matching 1:1 up to 5 percent.

Bus. Rep. Brett Stone reported on the recent retirement of three Local 51 members who worked at water pollution control of Kansas City, KS. They are members Steve Roper (38 years of service), Carrie Milton (36 years), and Harold Hedgings (32 years). Congratulations, brothers!

Bus. Rep. Kyle Nuenschwander reported a very strong work outlook for 2016, and noted that the annual Local 53 crappie tournament will be Saturday, June 18, at Truman State Park in Warsaw, MO.

James Burks, V.P.

Local 81 Volunteer Service At 'Equines for Freedom'

L.U. 81 (i), SCRANTON, PA — Journeymen and apprentices of Local 81 have volunteered 400+ hours of their time and labor to a new nonprofit organization, Equines for Freedom, that provides innovative equine therapy to active and former military personnel who are experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder. The program is partnered with Marley's Mission at Matt Burne Acres on Eckel Farms, located in Newton Ransom Township, PA. Some of the services provided by Local 81 included wiring a riding arena, installing and wiring a 400-amp service, as well as wiring a utility room, restroom, and office space.

In the past, Local 81 has also dedicated 2,000+ hours of time and labor to the cause of Marley's Mission. We thank all of our apprentices, journeymen, instructors and officers for answering the call to support this mission.

Michael Brust, P.S.


IBEW Local 81 thanks members who volunteered their service at nonprofit Equines for Freedom and Marley's Mission.

FairPoint Reps Vote For IBEW Representation

L.U. 89 (catv,em,lctt,o&t), SEATTLE, WA — In the summer of 2015, the customer sales and service representatives who work at FairPoint Communications in Ellensburg, WA, came together to seek representation by IBEW Local 89. In an ever-changing telecom industry with a company whose future is seemingly unknown, the staff at the Ellensburg Call Center sought stability in their variable work environment. After a few months of research and discussion, combined with union education, they were successful in their vote for representation on the first round, voting 17-10 in favor of joining with the IBEW to create democracy and security in their workplace.

In the months since the representation election, the Local 89 negotiations committee, consisting of Local 89 staff along with Ellensburg Call Center representatives Heath Eklund and Michelle Schock, have collaborated amicably with FairPoint to negotiate a fair contract that benefits all parties, defining expectations from both sides of the table.

At the time of this writing, the team of customer service representatives at FairPoint and IBEW Local 89 look forward to a long and positive future together, starting with finalizing negotiations and securing their first contract in the near future.

Amanda McDougall, P.S.

'Kilowatt Chasers' Volunteer; Community Service Tradition

L.U. 97 (u), SYRACUSE, NY — Members of the Local 97 Kilowatt Chasers team from the Mohawk Valley recently volunteered their time to help a local Boy Scout troop from White Lake, NY. The troop needed to relocate their historic 1950s totem pole to a new location. The Kilowatt Chasers gathered equipment and erected the totem pole. We thank them for their continual community support.

Negotiations were completed and the security force at the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant ratified a four-year agreement, effective through March 31, 2020. At press time, we were continuing to negotiate effects bargaining and retention of members at the plant. Entergy Nuclear announced that it would not be re-fueling the plant and that employees would be downsized in February 2017. Local 97 has taken much action to reach out to politicians and the general public to consider the consequences of closing the plant. As part of the Clean Energy Standard, the New York State Public Service Commission has been formulating a new energy credit that would, for the first time, place a monetary value on zero-emission power produced by the Fitzpatrick facility and other qualified plants. The employees and their communities, schools and businesses will feel the serious ramifications if Entergy does not consider any options and continues with the closing of the plant.

[Editor's Note: For more information, see article "Closing Down Climate Change Solutions: Nuclear Power Plants on the Chopping Block in New York," of this issue and posted at]

Jim Zabinski, V.P.


IBEW Local 97 Kilowatt Chasers installed historic totem pole.

2nd Annual Solidarity Ride —
Motorcycle Run in May 2016

L.U. 99 (govt&i), PROVIDENCE, RI — Every December, Local 99's "regular" monthly union meeting turns "special," as current members and retirees are awarded service pins recognizing their years of IBEW membership.

Service pins are awarded in five-year intervals, the first pin being presented on the 20th anniversary of the year a member was sworn into the local union. The December meetings are always the most well attended of the year, as it is the holiday season, and attendees enjoy a magnificent buffet meal served following the meeting.

With the arrival of spring, we look forward to our annual picnic at Goddard Park, and also our second annual "Solidarity Ride" Motorcycle Run, a fundraiser that will benefit Operation Stand Down Rhode Island, a group that helps our veterans secure stable housing. At press time the date of the picnic was not yet set. The Motorcycle Run will be held May 15; please call Organizer Joe Walsh for details.

Lastly, Local 99 members may remember a March 2011 rally at Providence City Hall in support of fired unionized Providence public school teachers — a rally that many Local 99 members and other building trade members attended. Recently, the organization that represents these teachers needed some electrical work done in its offices as a result of a fire; it's sad to report that this organization hired a nonunion electrical contractor to perform that work.

William Smith, P.S.


From left: Local 99 Bus. Mgr. Michael Daley; 60-year members William Lepore and David Kelman; and Pres. James Jackson.

Florida Luncheon for Retirees

L.U. 103 (cs&i), BOSTON, MA — For the last three years, the last Tuesday in February has been set aside not for snow shoveling or skiing, but for lunch with Local 103 retirees in sunny, warm Naples, Florida. This year would be no different.

On Feb. 23 this year, 250 Local 103 retirees and their guests were welcomed to south Florida by Miami Local 349 Bus. Mgr. William W. Riley, International Executive Council member, and treated to lunch, drinks, and catching up with old friends and new. Informative presentations about the state of our union were given by Local 103 Bus. Mgr. John Dumas and Second District Int. Vice Pres. Michael P. Monahan. Retired Int. Pres. Emeritus Edwin D. Hill was in attendance and spoke about Brotherhood Beyond Borders, his new global initiative to bring charitable awareness and good will to the less fortunate.

Local 103 retirees spent a career working in extremely harsh conditions. Now they spend time golfing, on the beach and riding Harleys. It speaks to the quality of life and benefits that Local 103 and the IBEW have provided during and after their careers.

A wise man once told me, "It's not how you start, it's how you finish!" That wise man was my father, and I'm convinced he was talking about retirement with an IBEW pension.

Lou Antonellis, Pres.


Boston Local 103 hosts February luncheon for retired members and their guests in Naples, FL.

Apprentice Sworn In

Ken Lue, left, gas tech construction apprentice, is sworn in as a new member of Rock Island, IL, Local 109 by Vice Pres. Randy Tresnak.


Ken Lue, left, gas tech construction apprentice, is sworn in as a new member of Rock Island, IL, Local 109 by Vice Pres. Randy Tresnak.

2016 Election of Officers

L.U. 111 (em,govt,lctt,mt,o,rtb,spa&u), DENVER, CO — Nominations for Local 111 officers began in April 2016. The election of Local 111 officers, Executive Board members, delegates to the IBEW International Convention, and Unit 1 Examining Board members will occur this year.

The election process started at April unit meetings, where nominations were made. A mail ballot will be sent to all active members in good standing during the month of May, with ballots to be counted on June 3. Members will vote for candidates for the following offices: president and delegate to the International Convention; vice president; recording secretary; treasurer; and business manager/financial secretary and delegate to the International Convention. Also to be elected are: seven Executive Board members (with six elected at large, and one to be elected from Unit 1); eight delegates to the International Convention; and three Examining Board members (elected from Unit 1 journeyman linemen).

The official notice of the IBEW Local 111 nominations and election was mailed March 1, 2016.

Mike Kostelecky, P.S.

Annual Casino Night Benefits Community Food Bank

L.U. 125 (lctt,o,t&u), PORTLAND, OR — The local hosted its 14th Annual Casino Night in March and raised more than $2,800 for the Brotherhood Fund along with 963 pounds of food for Snowcap Food Bank.

Thank you to everyone who attended and to all the generous sponsors.

"Our members' generosity and that of the sponsors allow us to host this terrific event," said Bus. Mgr. Travis Eri. "It's a great way to celebrate our brotherhood while providing valuable resources not only to our members but also the community."

Please check your voter registration and confirm that you are eligible to exercise your democratic rights. Vote for candidates who will respect your right to join a union and your right to collectively bargain your wages, hours, and working conditions. There are numerous candidates and special interest groups who want to destroy your way of life. Don't let it happen.

Stay current with your union's activities and issues by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram — @ibew125.

Marcy Grail, A.B.M.


Local 125 Bus. Mgr. Travis Eri calls out prizes at Casino Night benefit.

Giving Back to Community;
School Outreach Program

L.U. 159 (i), MADISON, WI — We are very fortunate to be able to give back to the community. One favorite cause is an organization, Badger Honor Flight, that sends veterans on one-day visits to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (See accompanying photo.) We also partner with a local nonprofit that provides housing for homeless vets. In February, our hardy Polar Plunge team raised more than $2,400, enough to support four Special Olympics athletes for one year.

Continuing education classes are in full swing at the new Training Center. Our school outreach program is also underway, as we connect with students in grades 8-12, as well as teachers and counselors, to share information about our trade and pathways to the trades.

At press time, members were excited to attend the 2016 Women Build Nations, Sixth National Conference for Women in the Trades, scheduled for April 29 — May 1, in Chicago. This year marks the first time this event has taken place in the Midwest.

At this writing, we were gearing up for the April 2016 presidential primary, and a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court was also up for election on April 5. Deep pocketed right-wing groups have looked to buy yet another seat on the court. A hand-picked Scott Walker appointee was tapped for the seat last fall, when a longtime justice passed away. At press time, labor was supporting the challenger, Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg.

Lisa Goodman, B.A.


Local 159 Referral Agent Jeff Crocker (center) spoke about his father's honor flight to Washington, D.C., as he and Bus. Mgr. Robert Doyle (left) presented $5,000 donation to Badger Honor Flight Pres. Brian Ziegler. The donation was funded by proceeds from Holiday Fantasy in Lights display.

Scheduled Events —
'A Lot is Happening'

L.U. 191 (c,i,mo,rtb&st), EVERETT, WA — Spring and summer bring many events for members and their families. Among scheduled events are the following:

  • Retiree & Service Pin Banquets: Westside, on May 15; and Eastside, May 21.
  • Local Picnics: Bellingham, June 5; and Eastside, July 16.
  • Golf Outings: Westside, July 23; and Eastside, Aug. 13.

We welcome our new JATC Training Dir. Rob Bartel. Bro. Bartel previously served on the staff of IBEW Local 191 and chaired the Safety Committee. Welcome also to new staff member Chip Donaldson, who will cover Skagit County.

Best wishes to recently retired training director Randy Ambuehl. We thank him for his service.

[Editor's Note: The National Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (NJATC) rebranded in 2014 and transitioned into the Electrical Training Alliance. See "NJATC Transitions into the Electrical Training Alliance," The Electrical Worker (Sept. 2014), and at]

Congratulations to Bros. Chip Donaldson, Tim Kornelis and Gary Kemp, who graduated from the IBEW 191 Intern Training Program and are now on staff.

Special recognition goes to members who volunteered for the recent Habitat for Humanity lighting retrofit project: Dave Brune, Jeff Marshall, Dan Pinner, Sean McCormack, Ivan Tellez, Mike Potter, Matt Anderson, John Mitchell and Dave Williams. These members contributed over 164 hours to help our community!

Please take time to attend a meeting or event this summer. Your local needs and appreciates your input. Check our website at for details or call the office.

Bill Mirand, P.S.

2016 Contract Negotiations

L.U. 193 (i,lctt,o,rts,spa&u), SPRINGFIELD, IL — Local 193 will be very busy with contract negotiations this year. To be negotiated are agreements for Inside, Outside, Line Clearance and Telecommunications members, as well as agreements with City Water Light & Power, and St. John's Hospital.

Gov. Bruce Rauner finally signed legislation that makes it possible for the Illinois Lottery to resume payments to state lottery winners, following a lengthy and embarrassing delay! Lack of a state budget has ground funding for Illinois projects to a "train wrecking" stop. Let's all hope for an early spring and an Illinois budget without the governor's "right-to-work-for less" policy.

Organized labor will need every vote in November elections. Check that all eligible voters you know have their registration cards, and talk to everyone about voting "pro-labor." As a famous Illinois politician said years ago, "If you don't vote, you don't count!"

Congratulations to all who received service pins at the Local 193 Christmas party last year. Members who earned 50-year pins in 2015 were: Charles DeCroix, Robert Hunt, Jack Mariage, Joseph Neece, Walter Smith and Walter Stanley. Receiving 55-year pins were: Gerald Campbell, John Hoellerich, Donald Stickel, Max Strasbaugh and Donald Thompson. Sixty-year pins went to Richard Canfield and Carl Hayes. Edwin Davison received his 65-year pin, and William Smith received a 70-year pin.

Our sympathies go out to the families and friends of recently deceased members Charles DeCroix and Donald Thompson.

Stay safe and stay focused! In solidarity.

Don Hudson, P.S.


Local 193 congratulates service pin recipients. From left are: Pres. Mike Patsche II; 55-year pin recipients Donald Stickel, John Hoellerich, Max Strasbaugh and Gerald Campbell; and Bus. Mgr. Glenn Baugh.

Get Registered to Vote —
'Elections Have Consequences'

L.U. 197 (em&i), BLOOMINGTON, IL — As you all know, we are in an election year. At the time of this writing it is primary season. We have said it before and we will stress it again: get registered to vote and get educated on candidates who will support the interests of working families. If you are not registered, come to the hall and we can assist you with that. Talk to co-workers, family and friends about voting your paycheck. Our state is currently worse off than ever before and there is one reason — Gov. Bruce Rauner, with his anti-union stance. Elections definitely do have consequences. We should have Local 197 brothers and sisters at work on a proposed $54 million project at the Center for the Visual Arts on the campus of Illinois State University, but because of Rauner the project is on hold. He is affecting our paychecks and very negatively.

A Destihl Brewery expansion project and also a redevelopment project at the site of the old Kmart plaza are getting ready to start, and we look forward to that. We are encouraging the City Council of Bloomington to support the redevelopment of downtown Bloomington, which will bring much-needed jobs for our local. We also will be needing the membership to contact the City Council in support as well.

Remember to get involved with the local and stay involved!

Mike Raikes, Pres.

'Rewarding Work' —
Community Service Award

L.U. 269 (i&o), TRENTON, NJ — Unlike a neatly wired panel or a particularly challenging pipe run, the administrative efforts of our elected local union officers at the hall are not always on display for the general membership and may not always be recognized.

However, these efforts were acknowledged in the form of an award presented to Local 269 by the Lower Bucks County Chamber of Commerce. The Champions of Commerce Award was presented to Local 269 Bus. Mgr. Steve Aldrich for "outstanding community service" in Bucks County, PA. The award itself is in the form of a sculpted glass bowl and is a welcome addition to the local's trophy case.

Yet, more importantly, the award represents the tireless efforts of our officers, supported by our general membership, within our community to remain a relevant and integral part of doing business on a local level. For most of us in the field, the dirt under our fingernails and the little aches and pains are the evidence of a good day's work. For those who chose the pen in place of the pliers, awards like this are the palpable fruits of their labor.

Brian Jacoppo, P.S.


Award presented to IBEW Local 269 is on display in trophy case at union hall.

Building Membership

L.U. 343 (i,spa&st), LE SUEUR, MN — Building membership doesn't focus solely on apprentice and journeyman numbers. For us to work, we need contractors. For contractors to succeed, they need us.

Jim Backus, Local 343 compliance officer, and Andy Kuisle, Local 343 membership and marketing rep, work together to promote the benefits of union membership to the non-represented electrical workers and shops within our jurisdiction. Bros. Backus and Kuisle have organized 14 journeyman wiremen, 19 apprentices, and shops in Austin and Pine Island. Additionally, at press time an organizing effort in Winona was underway. Bros. Backus and Kuisle have made more than 200 house calls to nonunion electricians. Those visits are typically not between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Organizing mostly happens in the evening, around the kitchen table of the prospective member with a spouse wondering about the family's future.

The future is unknown, but the Union Label & Service Trades Dept., AFL-CIO, states that one in eight U.S. working adults belongs to a labor union. Union membership varies by region. Approximately 24 percent of adults in the East live in a household where at least one person belongs to a union, compared with 23 percent in the Midwest, 18 percent in the West, and 6 percent in the South.

Notably, 66 percent of adults 18-34 years old approve of labor unions. Young Americans support us!

After "planting the seeds" of union benefits, we must promote growth of the new members. Lead by example, follow the contract, and support the union. Buying USA feels good.

Tom Small, P.S.

Annual Bowling Tournament

L.U. 357 (c,i,mt&se), LAS VEGAS, NV — As the weather warmed up members of Local 357 came out to knock over some pins at the fifth annual Bowling Brotherhood Tournament. Fun was had by all! All proceeds went to the Brotherhood Welfare fund. Thank you to all who participated!

We also want to thank the many members who came to the Benefit Fair and blood drive.

Election season is upon us, so please make sure your voter registration is current if you have recently moved. Or, if you need to register, come down to the union hall and we will make sure you get the forms you need.

Jennifer Tabor, P.S.


Local 357 Bus. Mgr. Al Davis (left) presents an award to Bro. Jason Corey, who won best adult score in third game at Bowling Brotherhood Tournament.

Training is High Priority;
'Hometown Hero' Honored

L.U. 375 (catv,ees&i), ALLENTOWN, PA — Our local union's NFPA 70E training program has been in high gear this year. While training our members continues to be the highest priority, we have expanded an overview version of the program, pertaining to National Fire Protection Association standards in the workplace, to our customer base. In February, we held two four-hour overview training sessions for invited customers. We felt it was important to educate our customer base on the training offered by the IBEW and the value we can offer on their construction projects. The events were well-attended and featured our apprenticeship teachers, as well as presentations by representatives of Westex and Salisbury companies.

Recently, Bro. Mike Kilpatrick, an active 15-year IBEW journeyman and a military veteran, was honored at the Lehigh Valley Phantoms ice hockey game as the "Hometown Hero." He was greeted with a standing ovation by approximately 8,500 in attendance. Retired Master Sgt. Mike Kilpatrick earned this award by his service in the 3rd Battalion 9th Marine Scout Sniper Platoon. His military service included the Persian Gulf War, Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, three tours of duty in Somalia, and the Iraqi Operations-Southern Watch. Mike served as a scout sniper and team leader for 10 years. His father Donald, who was a Marine helicopter pilot, was killed in Vietnam while serving in the 187th Attack Helicopter Company. Thank you, Mike, for your service — you certainly deserve this honor!

Dave Reichard, A.B.M.


Local 375 member Mike Kilpatrick, a military veteran, is honored as "Hometown Hero" at Lehigh Valley Phantoms ice hockey game.

2016 Apprenticeship Graduates

L.U. 429 (em,i,lctt,o,ptc,rtb&u), NASHVILLE, TN — On Feb. 27 this year, the NEJATC topped out 15 new journeyman wiremen. The Nashville Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training Center and Local 429 invite you to share in congratulating these fine brothers on their persistence and hard work to successfully complete their five-year apprenticeship.

The 2016 apprenticeship graduates are: Zachary Bailey, Dakota Bell, Jordan Bowen, Ian Brenner, John Dornan, Bradley Hurst, Jason Jones, Joseph Korth, Jon Plew, Trevor Puckett, James Ray, Jose Romero, Brent Schmidt, John Schmidt and Joseph Wright.

This graduating class had one of the highest grade-point averages ever. Apprentice of the Year honors went to John Schmidt, and the Leadership Award went to Jordan Bowen. We wish to recognize all of these brothers for their tireless commitment to our industry, and we wish them a very safe and profitable future in the IBEW.

[Editor's Note: The National Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (NJATC) rebranded in 2014 and transitioned into the Electrical Training Alliance. See "NJATC Transitions into the Electrical Training Alliance," The Electrical Worker (Sept. 2014), and at]

Local 429 had one of the best winters this past season, as far as work goes, in a long time. We even have had some calls going to traveling sisters and brothers. We thank them for helping man our work.

John Ledwell, B.M./F.S.


Local 429 congratulates 2016 apprenticeship graduates, some of whom are pictured.

Irvine Ranch Water District Project Underway

L.U. 441 (as,i&rts), SANTA ANA, CA — Congratulations to our football team for bringing home the SoCal IBEW Super Bowl Championship in February, the third time in four years. Great job, brothers!

We recently had the opportunity to visit with and applaud the hard work of our members at the Irvine Ranch Water District, where they continue to do a great job on this important project. As of press time, Morrow Meadows is currently employing 25+ Local 441 members working on-site. A biosolids and energy recovery project that began in June 2013, this project will lower the surrounding communities' costs, and reduce the plant's carbon footprint and greenhouse gases. The plant serves approximately 330,000 residences and over 500,000 individuals daily. Set to be completed later this year, this project — with an outstanding crew led by general foreman Tom Beauchamp — will clock approximately 62,000 man-hours.

Continued work by the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building Trades and our business manager helped secure the sixth project labor agreement in our jurisdiction in the past two years. This is almost unheard of in Orange County. (Prior to 2013, the area had seen only four PLAs in Local 441's history). As work in the area continues to grow, we have a healthy outlook for jobs and construction over the next three to five years. Star Wars Land at Disneyland, as well as Broadcom and the Anaheim Convention Center expansion will prove to be landmark jobs in the area.

Neal Lauzon, Pres.


IBEW Local 441 members at the Irvine Ranch Water District project with Bus. Mgr. Richard Samaniego, Pres. Neal Lauzon and Bus. Agent Doug Mangione.

2015 Apprenticeship Graduates

L.U. 449 (catv,em,i,o,rtb,rts,spa&u), POCATELLO, ID — Congratulations to our local's class of 2015 apprenticeship graduates: Marlin Balls, Devin Rowe, Jeff Fried, Travis Paige, Jade Jackson, Matthew Wight, Zachary Whitehead, Travis Stoor, Tim Jones, Michael Arzola and Michael Strawn. Every one of these guys passed their state licensing test on the first attempt. I also want to thank our JATC director and instructors for their role in producing excellent results. The JATC is constantly adding more training labs for our apprentices and journeymen to utilize and sharpen their skills. Just recently, we added a large Low Voltage Lab and will be offering classes with continuing education credits recognized by the state.

[Editor's Note: The National Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (NJATC) rebranded in 2014 and transitioned into the Electrical Training Alliance. See "NJATC Transitions into the Electrical Training Alliance," The Electrical Worker (Sept. 2014), and at]

It looks as if we are in for several good years of work ahead of us. We most likely will be looking for our traveling brothers and sisters to come help man our work. We will also be working to gain new members through organizing efforts.

Local 449 thanks Bros. Phillip Wood and John Wanstrom, who recently retired, for being members of our local. We wish them happy new adventures in retirement. Congratulations, brothers.

Is with deepest regret that we report the passing of Bro. John Dunn.

Rodney James, B.M.

Apprenticeship Contest

L.U. 479 (i&u), BEAUMONT, TX — Local 479 each year sends the very best to compete in the Seventh District Apprenticeship Contest.

Between the years 2000-2015, Local 479 has returned from the contest, hosted by the IBEW and signatory contractors in the Seventh District, with a total of three first-place district wins overall.

Local 479 first-place winners have included the following: for the year 2000 - Casey Hart; for 2011 - Ryan Plessal; and for 2014 - Johnathon Miller. Local 479 honorable mentions have included: for 2012 - David Gray; for 2013 - Kory Gadis; and for 2015 - Johnathon Bolser.

From the local's point of view, the competing local union Apprentice of the Year is already a winner, even before the district contest, because of the hard work it takes to be on top, locally. With that said, we congratulate Scottie Sterling, who is Local 479's 2016 Apprentice of the Year! Scottie is a great example of a young worker who demonstrates excellence in a great trade with superior benefits. In March, he competed at this year's Seventh District Apprenticeship Contest and represented our local well. We are proud of him.

[Editor's Note: To read more, see Oc. 16, 2014, news story "Yearly Contest Challenges Apprentices in Tasks, Theory," posted on IBEW website]

Christopher Reeves, Mbr. Dev.

'Great Job, Graduates' —
Union Sports Activities

L.U. 481 (ees,em,i,mt,rts,s&spa), INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Congratulations to IBEW Local 481's most recent apprenticeship graduating class, who topped out in December 2015 to become journeyman wiremen. Great job, graduates, on successfully completing your apprenticeship and best of luck as you start your new careers as IBEW journeymen. Remember to continue to be active and involved with the local union.

One way to stay involved is through our many sports activities. In February, the IBEW 481 Basketball League hosted the 6th Annual Cornhole Tournament, with all proceeds going to the IBEW 481 Help Fund. The Basketball League has raised a significant amount of money over the years for the Help Fund. These events are a great way to connect with one another and, at the same time, help out our fellow brothers and sisters. Thank you to all who participated.

In March, our local completed the latest installment of our 481 Forums. These meetings serve as a way to educate the membership on the current activities of the local as well as what the administration has planned for the future. A special thanks to Bus. Mgr. Steve Menser and staff on a job well done.

Blake Andrews, R.S.

A Strong Work Picture

L.U. 551 (c,i&st), SANTA ROSA, CA — We continue to have a prosperous work picture. We have been putting our travelling brothers and sisters to work and greatly appreciate the help. We anticipate this trend to continue through the summer. Just one of our projects alone will peak at 100 electricians to complete by year's end.

So far this year, the local has put on a Stewards Training Class as well as a COMET Training session. Both of these classes are important to promote good unionism and working relations with each other and our contractors. Please get involved in some of these trainings offered by your local union; you'll be glad you did!

We are once again in a big presidential election year, with elections for public officials at the national, state and local levels as well. We will be very involved in helping to elect the candidates who stand with workers. Don't be mistaken, YOUR vote does and will count. If you have recently moved, please register to vote in your county. Or if you have never registered, please do. Check out our website and click on the cool "IBEW Votes" icon. You can register to vote and see our endorsed candidates!

We remove our hard hats for the passing of two members. Bro. Raymond Knapp, who was a 51-year IBEW member, passed away Dec. 1, 2015. Bro. Lewis Sievers, who was an 18 year member, passed away Dec. 14 last year.

Denise Soza, P.S/B.R.

New Union Hall & A New Training Director

L.U. 553 (i,mt, o&ws), RALEIGH, NC — The membership of IBEW Local 553 has voted in favor of selling our current union hall location off of U.S. 70 in Durham, NC. The union hall has served us well for 40 years, having been occupied by the IBEW since 1976. However, the building is outdated and space is maxed out for our members and for our office staff, especially with the amount of work we will have in our jurisdiction in coming months. We will be moving to a new location within the year.

New to the IBEW Local 553 office is our training director of the Raleigh-Durham JATC, Rebecca Axford. She replaces our former training director, John Martin, who now heads the JATC program of IBEW Local 60 in San Antonio, TX. Rebecca brings administrative and education experience to the table, and has taken our JATC in a new direction, with more future growth planned.

The JATC class of 2016 looks to be the largest class yet for the Raleigh-Durham JATC, and with the growth of our membership in the area, there likewise has been an expansion of the apprenticeship program. Thus, we are seeing greater opportunities for aspiring electricians throughout central and northeastern North Carolina.

[Editor's Note: The National Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (NJATC) rebranded in 2014 and transitioned into the Electrical Training Alliance. See "NJATC Transitions into the Electrical Training Alliance," The Electrical Worker (Sept. 2014), and at]

Joshua Nixon, P.S.


Raleigh-Durham, NC, JATC Training Dir. Rebecca Axford. (See Editor's Note in article.)

'Future Looks Brighter' —
Community Service Projects

L.U. 557 (i,mt,rts&spa), SAGINAW, MI — With spring now upon us, our work outlook has started to pick up. Many of our summer jobs are starting to ramp up and putting members out to work. We had a tough winter this year but our future looks brighter.

We did do many great things this past winter and one of them was to start getting our younger members involved in our own RENEW — Reach out and Engage Next-gen Electrical Workers — committee.

We also completed the Roberts Park Pavilion volunteer project, and it is a great addition to our community. With summer here, we hope to start many more volunteer projects to help make our community a better place.

"The union is not a fee-for-service organization, it is a family."
– Sue Carney, director of Human Relations, American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO.

Howard Revard, P.S.


Local 557 members working with Leddy Electric volunteered to help build the Roberts Park Pavilion in Saginaw, MI.

Powering Up the Green Economy

L.U. 569 (i,mar,mt,rts&spa), SAN DIEGO, CA — IBEW Local 569 is continuing to power the green economy with robust projects and policy actions.

We are actively involved in the development of regulations to implement California SB 350. This landmark legislation will double energy efficiency in California buildings and increase our electricity generation from renewable sources to 50 percent by 2030.

We're also key coalition members in an effort to ensure that taxpayer dollars are invested in mass transit to build a vibrant, inclusive economy that lifts up families, creates healthier communities, and addresses climate change.

Additionally, over 300 IBEW 569 electricians and power professionals are building the new high-tech, energy efficient Kaiser Permanente San Diego Central Hospital. This project is seeking LEED Gold certification and incorporates the latest technologies and sustainable materials, including a solar array on its parking garage.

We're also pleased that a recent California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) decision will help make charging an electric car convenient and cheaper than gasoline, while ensuring that charging infrastructure is built and maintained safely with highly skilled union electricians.

Finally, we congratulate the graduates of our new Solar Start boot camp training program! All of them are now employed and working for our union contractors!

Gretchen Newsom, P.S.


IBEW 569 members are at work building the new high-tech, energy efficient Kaiser Permanente San Diego Central Hospital. Photo credit: Kristoffer Newsom,

Saint Patrick's Day Parade & IBEW Community Involvement

L.U. 595 (c,cs,govt,i,mt,o,se&st), DUBLIN, CA — Dublin (California not Ireland) is the home of Local 595, which received its charter in 1907. Not long after relocating our Oakland union hall 30 miles east to Dublin in 1996, we quickly became active in our new community, so it only seemed natural to participate in the annual Saint Patrick's Day parade.

Over the past decade Local 595 Rep. Greg Bonato and his wife, Kim, have coordinated our members, family, friends and pets, transforming them into "Irishmen" for the day. Thousands of spectators arrive at sunrise on the morning of the parade, lining Dublin Boulevard to get a front-row seat. Walking with marching bands, youth clubs, and others, our members don their green Local 595 T-shirts, wear silly headgear and walk proudly behind the IBEW banner as they hand out IBEW "swag" — Frisbees, hats and beads — to the younger spectators. Community involvement might be one of the best organizing and recruiting tools around.

Bob Tieman, B.R.


IBEW Local 595 contingent marches in Saint Patrick's Day parade in Dublin, CA.

Habitat for Humanity Project

L.U. 601 (i&rtb), CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, IL — Once a month, Local 601 retirees are treated to breakfast at a local restaurant. We recently changed restaurants to Perkins and enjoyed dining with 16 of our retired members along with spouses and widows of retirees. The retirees would like to thank the local for making this event possible, as it enables these friendships to continue.

Donny Deremiah was in charge of heading up the electrical work for yet another Habitat for Humanity house last year in Gifford, IL. We had a great turnout of both retired and active members to help with this house. Our local has been helping with Habitat projects since the early 1990s.

The work outlook for this summer is not looking too promising, as our state can't seem to come up with a budget, which has put several projects on hold. The next phase of the State Farm Center is ready to start and Carle Hospital has another project starting soon.

Please remember to get out and VOTE. This is an important year to make sure your voices are heard by voting at election time.

At the time of this writing, our local has 51 on Book 1, and 192 on Book 2. Nine apprentices are out of work as of press time.

Dan Hatter, P.S.


Local 601 retired members and guests enjoy a breakfast get-together hosted by the local.

Tribute to Service;
Standing in Solidarity

L.U. 611 (catv,es,govt,i,lctt,o,spa,t&u), ALBUQUERQUE, NM — In an unprecedented tribute, Pres. Ruben Romero turned over the gavel to then-Vice Pres. Richard Sandoval to run our union meeting in February for one last time. Richard, who recently retired, served as our president on and off since 1993, was an assistant business manager/organizer, Executive Board member, vice president, and a tireless volunteer throughout his 43-year IBEW career. Ruben felt it would be an honor to have Richard preside over a meeting one more time. Thank you, Richard, for all your hard work and dedication.

This year's 30-day New Mexico legislative session went well — but not without the hard work of Local 611 Asst. Bus. Mgr. Brian Condit and all the union members who showed up to take a stand against so-called "right-to-work" legislation. Working people helped derail some of the worst bills introduced during the legislative session.

SB 296, the so-called "right-to-work" bill, died in committee. HB 200, the bill to repeal prevailing wage, known as the "Paycheck Reduction Act," died in the Senate. HB 211 Employee Preemption Bill — known as the "Anti-Local Control Act," making it illegal for New Mexico cities to set their own wage and labor rules — was stopped in the Senate.

Thanks again to all the members who rallied at "the Roundhouse" to make their voices heard when these anti-worker bills were being debated.

Local 611 extends condolences to the families of recently deceased members Donald A. Guarienti, Oscar W. "Bud" Hoselton and Thomas E. Martinez Sr.

Remember: union meetings are held the third Saturday of each month.

Darrell J. Blair, P.S.


Recently retired Local 611 Bro. Richard Sandoval (left) receives "Recognition of Service" plaque presented by Pres. Ruben Romero.

Ironman Tournament in June;
'Join the Fun & Festivities'

L.U. 627 (u), FORT PIERCE, FL — The motorcycle run in February was a good success. Thank you to all the members who participated. Special thanks to Bros. Matt Jenkins, Rob Fennell and Dan Stocks for all the behind-the-scenes work to make this a successful event. I hope to see you all at next year's bike run.

The Ironman Tournament is June 11 this year. I encourage members at each shop, yard, substation and department represented by our local to participate in this event. If you can throw a dart, shoot a pool ball, or chase a golf ball, then you are all set to play. This tournament raises the majority of the money we use to support the local's events for children. If you are unable to attend, you can still help. Ask each member you work with to chip in a few dollars for the fundraiser, and your group name will be displayed on a sign. Please stop for a moment and think how important this event is, and what you can do to contribute.

Work safe, look out for your partner, and tell everyone about the upcoming Ironman Tournament.

Ray Vos, P.S.


Participating riders line up for Local 627 motorcycle run.

Service Award Recipients

L.U. 667 (u), PUEBLO, CO — IBEW Local 667 members recently recognized with service awards include: retired former IBEW Safety Dept. Dir. Jim Ozzello – 65 years of service; retired journeyman lineman Delmar Roley – 65 years of service; Storekeeper Arthur Trujillo – 40 years; Eighth District Int. Vice Pres. Jerry Bellah – 25 years; Apprenticeship Committee member Manuel Castillo – 15 years; E- Board member Bill Stefanich Jr. – 30 years; Int. Rep. Guy P. Runco – 40 years; and Pres. Sheldon Reeves – 30 years. Bro. Stefanich was also recently recognized for his longtime (25+ years) service to the local in numerous capacities ranging from steward to president. We wish him well in his retirement.

Local 667 members enjoyed our annual bowling party to kick off the new year. Everyone had a great time and it was an opportunity for our members and families across different units to get to know one another. We look forward to next year's event being even better.

With all the retirements we've seen over the past year, we want to welcome all of our new members and invite them to get involved and to check out the Local 667 website at

Richard Koetting, B.M./F.S.


Local 667 service awards presentation. From left: former I.O. safety director Jim Ozello, Delmar Roley, Arthur Trujillo, Int. Vice Pres. Jerry Bellah, Manuel Castillo, E-Board member Bill Stefanich Jr., Int. Rep. Rep. Guy P. Runco, Pres. Sheldon Reeves and Bus. Mgr. Richard Koetting.

Political Action is Key —
'Your Vote & Your Livelihood'

L.U. 673 (catv,i,rts,spa,t&u), PAINESVILLE, OH — Recently, with another union friendly state, West Virginia, falling to so called "right-to-work" legislation, this is just another reminder of how your political involvement shapes your paycheck.

No matter if it's voting for a senator, governor or mayor, all of these are vital to the labor movement and keeping brotherhood strong. As I have heard in past elections, "this is the most important election of our lives." This could not be any truer than it is right now.

I ask you to let's please put any personal agenda aside and vote for labor-friendly candidates. Please vote for friends of working people for the sake of our children's future and the future of the United States, so that our country can remain the prosperous nation that we have known for years.

With political involvement from every IBEW member, along with our grassroots program set in place by the International, it has been shown that we can prevail. Brothers and sisters, I ask you all to stand united and keep our IBEW strong!

Dave Phillips, P.S.

2016 Election Year —
'We Must Stand Together'

L.U. 683 (em&i), COLUMBUS, OH — With the close of winter and the arrival of spring, we look forward to new jobs getting underway and for work to pick up in the Columbus and surrounding area.

As work picks up it is easy to forget about the lean times, and in an election year it is especially important that we do not forget. We as union members must stand together and vote for those candidates who will protect union members' rights and the ability of working people to make a living wage to support their families.

Congratulations to Bro. Joe Stahl for being awarded the 2015 BX Craftsmanship Award.

Anyone who went to Local 683's union hall over the last 39 years probably met Doris Jones, who worked in our office. Once Doris met you, she always remembered your name. Sadly, Doris passed away in January at the age of 90. She will be missed by many.

Tracy Starcher, V.P./P.S.

Legislative Attacks on Labor

L.U. 697 (c,es,i,mt&se), GARY AND HAMMOND, IN — Here in Indiana, labor has been under siege by big-money influences at the state Capitol. Because of publication deadlines, I cannot report here on the most recent legislative session — but attacks on labor, union and nonunion, have been many.

Unfortunately, we are not alone. State by state we see cookie-cutter legislation that mirrors actions being taken across the nation. Does anyone really believe that dozens of legislators from different parts of the nation just happened to dream up exactly similar legislation?

While the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — an ultra-right-wing policy organization that lobbies for anti-worker bills — has taken a more secretive approach, its core mission of supporting big multinational corporations, opposing labor, shifting tax burdens from corporations to the citizens, and dismantling the EPA is still in full effect.

One only has to look to Flint, Michigan, to see how the philosophy of un-scrutinized privatization can negatively affect unsuspecting Americans.

Apparently some people are enjoying the circus atmosphere in the presidential race. We need public servants who will protect our way of life through action — not politicians who only speak to our emotions.

Dan Waldrop, B.M.

Training Center Renovation

L.U. 743 (em&i), READING, PA — Greetings, brothers and sisters. We have been busy with renovations to our training center and we are very proud of our newly upgraded hands-on lab rooms. One of the new labs is a totally renovated Motor Control Lab featuring new programmable controllers, variable frequency drives, and other solid state and magnetic control devices. We also have constructed a brand new Tele/Data lab, Fire Alarm lab, General Wiring lab and Conduit lab. Additional labs will be operational shortly to include a HVAC Controls lab and a Rigging and Hoisting lab. I want to give a special thank-you to retiree Bro. David Fix and Bro. David Paskowski for all their help with the renovations.

The work picture has been good and looks to remain that way for some time due largely to several large construction projects at several medical facilities in our area.

Finally, all had a good time for a great cause as over 150 members and their families attended the Reading Royals' (our local minor league hockey team) "Pink in the Rink" hockey game. The event raised over $14,000 for the American Cancer Society and Breast Cancer Support Services of Berks County.

Mark Pinkasavage, P.S.

IBEW Community Outreach

L.U. 915 (i&mt), TAMPA, FL — We held our annual Local 915 work party in February and although the attendance was small, a tremendous amount of work was done. From changing out lighting fixtures at the hall to cleaning the grounds outside, there were enough tasks to keep everyone busy. Thanks to those who volunteered their time on a Saturday to come out and help. The spirit of brotherhood and, of course, the food were awesome.

Local 915 has partnered with the University of South Florida to promote the IBEW brand. Over 100 members and their families attended the Feb. 20 USF basketball game, where IBEW Local 915 was game sponsor. The game ball was presented to Local 915 Bus. Mgr. Randall King and his assistants, and there was marquee signage to convey the message about the value of qualified, skilled tradesmen. This partnership is a way to build relationships in our community and helps send out the message that IBEW is the right choice for all of Tampa's electrical needs.

In the upcoming election season, keep labor and the future of our trades foremost in mind as you make your decision at the ballot box. Please VOTE. Our trades and your jobs are dependent on electing friends of working people.

Theresa King, P.S.


Local 915 work party volunteers assemble at local union hall.

'Coming Back Strong' —
Strategic Organizing Success

L.U. 969 (i,o&u), GRAND JUNCTION, CO — Things looked bleak for our survival back in 2012. In 2016, with the membership's grit, savvy decisions by the executive board and strong leadership of Bus. Mgr./Fin. Sec. James Milligan, Local 979 is coming back stronger than ever!

A major part of our turnaround has been all-out organizing. A strategic organizing plan was implemented in 2015. With constant evaluations and tweaks, it has shown superb performance. Our contractors have accepted the construction electrician/construction wireman (CE/CW) program, and the Construction Wireman Education Program (CWEP) is proving beneficial. Membership Development Agent Jon Stevens and Business Development Agent Ron Hall shake the bushes night and day organizing new members and contractors, and tracking upcoming projects.

In other news, Local 969 hosted the quarterly Eighth District organizing meeting March 1-3 and held a job fair March 3. Line work has been steady throughout our jurisdiction and our utilities work picture has been stable. Local elections began with nominations in April, ballots were mailed in May, and elections are in June. We have been through a lot and the membership will not accept anything less than excellence throughout the local moving forward.

Work safe always. See you in St. Louis at the International Convention in September to celebrate our great union.

Mike Gardner, Pres.


A Local 969 Steward Training session on Feb. 11-12 was conducted by Int. Rep. Guy P. Runco. Back row, Steve Cejka (left), Linda Deavers, Bus. Mgr./Fin. Sec. James Milligan, Agent Ron Hall, Agent Jon Stevens and Perry Rupp; front row, Clint Blaylock, Int. Rep. Guy Runco and Brett Crouse.

'Organizing Steward' Program

L.U. 1245 (catv,em,govt,lctt,o,pet,t&u), VACAVILLE, CA — On March 1, Local 1245 welcomed 221 members from the City of Vallejo into our ranks, following the merger of former Local 2376 with Local 1245.

Local 1245's innovative "Organizing Steward" program continues to grow. Seventy organizing stewards were sworn in earlier this year, and they have already hit the ground running. A team of organizing stewards recently returned from Indiana, where they helped Local 1424 conduct a membership drive to boost their numbers at the Faurecia manufacturing plant.

The local is doubling down in its efforts to keep the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant open. Diablo Canyon is the largest generator of clean, zero-emissions energy in the state of California, and Local 1245 represents 600 of the 1,500 workers employed at the plant. Last year, IBEW 1245 succeeded in fending off a legal effort seeking to close the plant, but the threats to Diablo Canyon's continued operation have continued to mount, and IBEW Local 1245 remains steadfastly committed to do everything in its power to keep the plant up and running.

In Nevada, the local is prepared to combat a proposed ballot measure that would open the door to energy deregulation and job loss in Nevada. The measure seeks to amend the Nevada state constitution in order to allow energy consumers to procure energy from other sources besides IBEW-represented NV Energy.

In outside construction, the work outlook remains strong and steady.

Rebecca Band, P.S.


IBEW Local 1245 organizing stewards. Photo by John Storey.

Major 2016 Utility Projects;
Coal-Fired Plant Closures

L.U. 1393 (catv,lctt,o,t&u), INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Changes to EPA rules have had an impact on our local with Duke Energy closing coal-fired power plants at Wabash River Station, which is also the site of the Wabash River Coal Gasification Repowering Project. This closure affects more than 50 Local 1393 members. The coal-fired Gallagher Station is also scheduled to close in 2022. Local 1393 has been working with Duke Energy to provide severance packages and a relocation agreement for the power plant employees to protect our membership. The 2016 election cycle will be very important, so please remember to vote for labor-friendly politicians to protect our standard of living.

The outside construction branch looks good for 2016 with more projects planned than in 2015, which was a record year for job referrals. All of the big utilities in the state have major projects planned to update their aging infrastructure.

IBEW Local 1393 has had a very busy RENEW committee this year! RENEW — which stands for Reach out and Engage Next-gen Electrical Workers — has been raising funds for the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis. Many communities throughout Indiana send their most severely burned patients to this facility because of its outstanding reputation and central geographic location. IBEW members have also been treated at the Fairbanks Burn Center. The fundraising efforts have included a motorcycle ride, held earlier this spring.

Robert C. Fox, B.M./F.S.

Political Challenges

L.U. 1439 (u), ST. LOUIS, MO — With the 2016 Missouri legislative session under way, Republican lawmakers have once again set their sights on the hard-working men and women of organized labor. A number of anti-labor bills, such as so called "right-to-work" and "paycheck protection" measures, are making their way through the Missouri House and Senate. At the time this article was written, a "paycheck protection" bill (more accurately known as "paycheck deception") had passed in the Senate and was headed back to the House for further debate.

We encourage our members to stay engaged in local politics. Express your opposition to anti-worker laws with your state representatives. Stay informed by attending your union meetings and find opportunities to educate people you know regarding the benefits of being a union member.

Wet snow and high winds caused power outages in late February, and once again our members rose to the occasion and restored power to those affected by the storm. We thank our brothers and sisters in all job classifications who were a part of the restoration efforts.

Matt Curry, R.S., P.S.

65-Year Service Award

L.U. 1523 (u), WICHITA, KS — Local 1523 would like to congratulate longtime member Jerry Pennington, retired line foreman/supervisor, on his 65 years as an IBEW member.

Bus. Mgr. Duane Nordick recently had the honor of presenting Bro. Pennington with his 65-year service award.

Cassie Headding, P.S.


Local 1523 Bus. Mgr./Fin. Sec. Duane Nordick (right) presents award to retired member Jerry Pennington.

Organizing & Market Share

L.U. 1579 (i&o), AUGUSTA, GA — Currently at Local 1579, all of our members are working. Most are making an abundance of overtime and that trend should continue for the next few years.

Although we dominate the large projects, we are still lacking market share in the commercial world. These are the commercial jobs where we compete with the nonunion contractors, who usually pay their employees only about one-half the wages that our members earn.

What is a nonunion contractor? A contractor who has not yet been convinced that union is the way to go. How are we going to change nonunion contractors' minds? We can tell them all day long that we are the best, but until we prove it, they will never believe us. The only way to prove it is to take a few of the best members we have in the IBEW and let them work for that contractor for a week. I believe that the nonunion contractor would sign up on the spot.

I think we know that union members should be able to work circles around the nonunion employees. If we can't do that, then why should a nonunion contractor sign up?

This is something that we should all think about. Yes, we are fully employed right now. What about five years from now. Wouldn't it be nice to not only control the large projects but also the small ones as well?

Until next time, God bless.

Will Salters, B.M./F.S.

IBEW Volunteers Step Up —
'Kids for Christmas' Campaign

L.U. 2113 (it&mo) TULLAHOMA, TN — Our Kids for Christmas campaign just continues to grow year after year, with donations from our members and friends totaling over $10,000 last year. We were able to sponsor 50 foster children for a shopping spree to purchase Christmas gifts for their family members last year. After our volunteers took the children shopping, participants returned to the union hall where the kids wrapped their gifts and were treated to pizza and refreshments. Our heartfelt thanks go out to all who helped make this effort a special blessing for these wonderful children.

Our work continues to hold pretty strong at present at the Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) at Arnold Air Force Base, even though the Air Force has once again split the contract among several contractors, each with a part of the contract. Testing continues to hold strong with hiring steady!

At our December 2015 meeting, numerous service pins were handed out. We are indebted to those who have gone before, ensuring our wages and benefits.

Until next time, remember to look for the union label and buy "Made in America"! God bless!

Bob Smith, P.S.


Local 2113 Bus. Mgr./Fin. Sec. Gerald Stone (standing at far right) congratulates service pin recipients at December 2015 meeting.