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September 2021

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Congratulations to New Director of
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

L.U. 1 (as,c,ees,ei,em,es,et,fm,i,mt,ptc,rts,s,se,spa,st&ws), ST. LOUIS, MO — Our own Sylvester Taylor has been named director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection. Taylor, a member for 31 years and our current recording secretary, is very active: He is a school board member of the fifth largest school district in the state, Hazelwood School District , and the president of the local's Electrical Workers Minority Caucus. We salute you, Brother Taylor, with best wishes as he continues to give his all for the IBEW.

In other news, the Local 1 chapter of RENEW had a great summer float trip. Many members enjoyed the chance to socialize and cool off in the river away from the confines of work.

We also wish to extend a hearty thank you to the traveling brothers and sisters who helped with the GM summer shutdown.

Kyle Hunter, P.S.


Local 1 member Sylvester Taylor has been named director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection.

(Photo courtesy of Local 1.)

The Veterans' Club Marches Forward

L.U. 3 (catv,em,govt,i,lctt,mo,o,ptc,t&u), NEW YORK, NY — The Veterans' Club has been officially incorporated as an affiliated club of our local. On the morning of Sat., June 19, at the Electrical Industry Center, the Veterans Club held their first open meeting since the start of the pandemic. Fortunately, the club was able to induct officers in a small ceremony in September and marched in the Memorial Day Parade in Lynbrook, N.Y., on May 31.

The room was full for the meeting, which started with the color guard and initiation of Corporal of the Guard Taariq McField. Business Manager Chris Erikson delivered remarks, highlighting the sacrifices made by military veterans and Americans throughout our history. The club's bylaws were voted on and adopted and its constitution was signed by the business manager; President Tom Cleary; club advisors Raymond Melville and Derek Jordan; and club officers Gregory Smith (president), Patrick Glennon (vice president), Rich Kiley (treasurer), Lina Lopez (recording secretary), Artie Neri (correspondence secretary), Brian Doherty (sergeant at arms), John McByrne (apprentice advocate) and Brother McField.

Gregory Smith, Pres. (Veterans' Club)


The Veterans' Club has been officially incorporated as an affiliated club of Local 3 in New York, NY.

Energizing the Southland

L.U. 11 (i,rts&spa), LOS ANGELES, CA — With an understanding that our local's electricians are essential to the very existence of Los Angeles, we never stopped bending pipe, pulling wire, upgrading communications or energizing the Southland. While many across America were sidelined, we endeavored to persevere. Over the last year we did just that, with our inside wiremen generating over 8.8-million-man hours, our Sound & Communications unit putting in more than 1.6-million-man hours and our CE/CWs supplying more than 600K man hours.

We have opened a new South Bay office for Districts 2 and 3 and, at press time, we are nearing completion of our new District 6 offices, allowing secured video conferencing between all district offices covering the 4,500 square miles that make up Local 11's jurisdiction. The membership has shown their appreciation for the leadership of Local 11 with the landslide re-election victory of Business Manager Joël Barton and President Rusty Roten. They have worked together tirelessly to keep Local 11 moving forward. With a pandemic-less future, the sun is truly shining brightly in Southern California.

Chuck Webb, R.S.

Local 17 Partners with DTE Energy on
Detroit's Tree Trim Academy

L.U. 17 (catv,em,lctt,o&u), DETROIT, MI — In partnership with DTE Energy, our local launched the Detroit-based Tree Trim Academy in April. This collaboration combines Local 17 and DTE Energy's commitment to growing and developing local talent while meeting and maintaining the needs of safe and reliable energy services, including line-clearance tree trimming (LCTT). The Tree Trim Academy will offer an unparalleled, six-week line-clearance tree trimming training program designed to equip graduates with career readiness, safety training and the skills needed to advance to Local 17's LCTT woodsman/apprenticeship program.

In tandem with the city of Detroit Mayor's Office, and in collaboration with Focus: HOPE and Detroit At Work, the Tree Trim Academy will recruit eager applicants from metro Detroit's diverse workforce and train 60 graduates in 2021 to fill the area's ever-growing demand for line-clearance tree trimmers.

James A. Shaw B.M./F.S.

Editor's Note: See our story on the Detroit Tree Trim Academy in the August issue of the Electrical Worker.

Kind Hearts. Fierce Minds. Brave Spirits.

L.U. 37 (c,o,ptc,rtb&u), FREDERICTON, NB — Helping and encouraging the women who need it most is near and dear to the hearts of the members of our local's Women's Committee. Therefore, the committee was thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate 50 New Brunswick women who are bravely forging a new path for themselves and their children. These strong, brave women have experienced and fled abusive relationships. They are now safely residing with their children in supportive, affordable second-stage housing where they are working hard toward personal and economic independence and a future free of violence and abuse.

To show their deep admiration, members of the committee coordinated and sponsored the purchase of 50 beautiful gift boxes delivered in time for Mother's Day. Each box was filled with made-in-New Brunswick goodies from The NB Box, a local, female-owned company providing high-quality and locally-made products. Placed inside each gift box was a card printed with the words "Kind Heart. Fierce Mind. Brave Spirit." These words truly exemplify the incredible courage, strength and character of these amazing women and their families.

Mary J. Williamson, A.B.M.


Local 37 Women's Committee member Shilee Little (left) delivering Mother's Day gifts to the executive director of Carol Ann's Second Stage Housing.

Congrats, Apprentices!

L.U. 41 (i,se,es,em&spa), BUFFALO, NY — We have had a busy summer in 2021, culminating with more building upgrades, including the paving/repaving and striping of our parking lots and a new glass entrance to our union office. Our parking lot work may delay the start of apprenticeship classes for a week or two, but it will be worth it.

Speaking of apprenticeship school, congratulations to all our apprentices. Last session they put in the hard work and finished this difficult year strong by passing and moving up to the next step of their careers. Thank you all for your patience and diligence!

We expect to have a strong work outlook for the rest of this year and next and will continue to work with politicians on getting projects to our area. We are ready to begin booking events so we can get together next year to laugh and tell stories.

Lastly, congratulations to Liz Shepard on being appointed to the Examining Board. We look forward to having Sister Shepard involved in our local for many years to come!

Gregory R. Inglut, P.S.


President Matt Hilmey swears in Local 41's Sister Liz Shepard for her place on the Examining Board.

Negotiations and Trip Plans Underway

L.U. 47 (lctt,mo,o,u&uow), DIAMOND BAR, CA — Greetings, brothers and sisters. We have several bargaining updates to report: With SCE, we are currently bargaining for two new positions, dispatch trainer and operator trainer, at the dispatch center; for air operation mechanics, bargaining started in July. With the city of Anaheim, negotiations continue; with the city of Colton, water/waste-water negotiations also are continuing. On the electric side, we had meetings scheduled in July to begin negotiations for the contract for calendar year 2021. For the city of Banning, negotiations continue with utility and general units.

Local 47 did host the veterans' fishing trip on July 30; we are looking forward to planning more fishing trips and golf tournaments, with dates to be announced.

We're sad to report the deaths of Jonathan Cabrera, Ronald Duff, Darrell Jackson, Richard Lua, Clay Teters, Art Wilson and Richard Wilson. Our condolences and prayers are with their loved ones.

Work safe & buy union!

Mitch Smith, P.S.


Ninth District IVP John O'Rourke swearing in new Business Managers Colin Lavin (Local 47) and Bob Dean (Local 1245) at the California State Association of Electrical Workers conference.

Ten Scholarships Awarded

L.U. 51 (catv,lctt,o,ptc,rtb,t,u&uow), SPRINGFIELD, IL — Our annual golf scholarship outing held in June was a great success. The first-place team was Colton Beams, Joe Bianco, Mark Miller and Walter Westfall. The second-place team was Matt Cannon, Kevin Hill, Kyle Hill and John Lindsay. Champaign Signal & Light won the coveted toilet bowl (last-place) award.

Due to the generosity of the IBEW, our members and the companies they work for, we were able to award ten scholarships this year. The winners were as follows: Erin Biccochi (daughter of Beth Biccochi); Tre' Corley (son of Bill Corley); Logan Dirr (son of Jill Dirr); Nathan Gilmore (grandson of Robert Reed); Kara Hyde (granddaughter of Robert Reed); Kelsey Rivara (son of Michael Rivara); Serenity Salinas (daughter of Jennifer Watson); Karen Schaffer (wife of Jeff Schaffer); Caden Shearlock (son of Kristin Shearlock); and Chesleigh Shreves (daughter of Scott Shreves).

Mark your calendar for Sept. 25, the date of our annual picnic at the hall. Stay safe, brothers and sisters.

Karlene Knisley, B.R.


The team of (left to right) Colton Beams, Joe Bianco, Mark Miller and Walter Westfall took first place at Local 51's golf tournament in June.

Quality Work Needed More Than Ever

L.U. 55 (c,lctt,o&u), DES MOINES, IA — Hello, brothers and sisters. I'm sad to report to you that we lost a member of our local. His name was Don Huston, and he was a journeyman lineman. He will be missed by all!

It's been around 18 months since the coronavirus pandemic hit the country and brought most things to a standstill. But it never slowed our work down much: We were needed more than ever. In many ways, it was people like you — our brothers and sisters at the IBEW — who helped to save our country.

I am blessed to be retired, and when I drive around the countryside, I see many union contractors doing very good work. I stopped and complimented the crew that is in the picture this month. I had been watching them for over a week and saw they were doing some very nice work. They were meticulous and left each jobsite better than they found it.

Let's all continue to work safely and always think of each other and ask questions if you don't understand something. Never make fun of someone for asking a question! I hope we get to have a Labor Day parade this year!

Myron Green, P.S.


(Left to right) Dylan Tumer, Steve Devoss and Greg Macumber work for Liberty Line Builders, a newer contractor with Local 55 in Iowa.

Outside Construction Shows Positive Growth

L.U. 70 (lctt&o), WASHINGTON, DC — It's been over a year since new Business Manager James Horton and President Roland Carter were sworn in. Local 70 members are moving in a positive direction in the Outside Construction arena. Thanks to all staff, including Jenny Diggs, Georganna Naglieri and Hannah Williamson (office staff); Gary Helton (Membership Development); Robert Hendricks (treasurer); Levin Jamerson (recording secretary); Mika Penvose (business representative); Mike Powers (safety coordinator); Mark Raines (vice president); and Shawn Scott (business representative). Thanks also to the Executive and Examining Boards.

Roland Carter, Pres.


Due to the collective efforts of Local 70's staff and members, the local is moving in a positive direction in Outside Construction.

Celebrating Excellence This Labor Day

L.U. 71 (lctt,o&rtb), COLUMBUS, OH — I would personally like to thank all our members and travelers working out of our hall and all those in the IBEW working across the nation and facing head on one of the greatest global health challenges of our lifetimes. You should all be applauded for adapting to and adopting new state and federally mandated safety procedures while maintaining the highest safety standards and not missing work throughout the pandemic.

Local 71 was able to conduct our 2020 elections, since we are using mail-in ballots, with the following new officers: Business Manager/Financial Secretary Bryan Stage; President Larry Moore; Vice President Todd Kessler; Treasurer Kurt Williams; Recording Secretary Chris Corney; and Executive Board Members Matt Bruggeman, Jason Doran, Dirk Dozer, Walter Gribble, Todd Kessler, Larry Moore and Jay Roessner. We also anticipate sending eight delegates to the International Convention next year.

Brother Richard "Brownie" Helman has helped establish a non-profit organization called Kamp George for Wounded Heroes. Funded by donations, the organization invites families of military, police, fire fighters, first responders, line workers and tree trimmers who have become disabled due to work incidents to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for an all-expenses-paid family vacation. Visit for ways to help out.

Have a safe and happy Labor Day.

Bryan Stage, B.M./F.S.

Strength in the Face of Adversity

L.U. 97 (ptc&u), SYRACUSE, NY — As this article is being written in early summer and many COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, now is the time to look both back and forward.

None of us had lived through a global pandemic before and no one was prepared for it. The resilience and adaptability that our members showed through it all was impressive. Whether an inside worker learning to work remotely under new challenges or our field and plant workers who remained on the job through it all despite the new hazards it presented: The officers and staff are truly proud to call you our brothers and sisters.

Looking ahead, we are eager to meet again in person with the full membership. We all learned new ways of meeting, be it Webex, MS Teams, Zoom and even old-fashioned conference calls. But nothing replaces in-person meetings, and by the time that you are reading this, absent an unforeseen reversal, our meetings will have been scheduled, if we haven't already held some.

Please continue to work safely; and if you haven't been vaccinated yet, please consider doing so.

Dan Machold, P.S./B.R.

Welcoming 350 New Members in Boston

L.U. 103 (cs&i), BOSTON, MA — June was a very busy month at our local. We held our annual Fenway Family Day on Sat., June 12. The weather was perfect. Members enjoyed a complimentary BBQ on the Vineyard Vines Deck prior to the game. Business Manager Lou Antonellis threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Our beloved Red Sox went on to lose 7-2 to the Toronto Blue Jays, but 800 Local 103 members and their families were the clear winners of another great day at Fenway Park.

On June 17, Local 103 welcomed 350 new members. First-year apprentices and CWs were sworn into membership at a ceremony in front of a packed house, including new Mayor of Boston Kim Janey, who greeted the new members and wished them all well in their new careers.

On June 19, we held our Brotherhood Golf Tourney. Another picture-perfect summer day for members to enjoy a little brotherhood over a round of golf. Many thanks to all our sponsors that helped make it happen.

And on June 29, we held Pin Night for over 330 members receiving years of service pins, including 78-year member William Cormay.

It really feels great to be back at it without masks in a post-coronavirus world now that we are fully open. #LetsGetToWork

Jimmy Fleming, P.S.

Staff Changes and Helping Community Resources

L.U. 125 (lctt,o,t&u), PORTLAND, OR — Our local has had another staff change since the last Local Lines. We've said goodbye to Assistant Business Manager Jake Carter. Bill Jepsen has joined the staff as Jake's replacement, noting, "I'm loyal to the IBEW and look forward to representing my brothers and sisters."

We thank Jake for his years of service and wish him the best of luck in his new role as director of Operations at Grays Harbor PUD.

Unfortunately, we were not able to host this year's Pacific Northwest Lineman's Rodeo. Still, both $20 and $1 raffle tickets are available. Contact a member of the Rodeo Committee or Local 125 staff for more information. Our support of the Oregon Burn Center never diminishes, and we need everyone's help in ensuring that necessary resources are available to serve our community.

We hope the summer has been good to you and your family. As the season winds down, please stay cut in and don't let any back-to-school activities or last vacations create distractions. In the words of Business Manager Travis Eri, stay safe: Your family is depending on you.

Marcy Grail, A.B.M.

Promoting Pro-Labor Legislation
and Celebrating Graduates

L.U. 141 (ees,i,o&u), WHEELING, WV — Greetings, brothers and sisters: As of this writing, the work picture remains slow, with 84 members on Book 1. Our local continues to rely on an abundance of work opportunities in surrounding locals to employ our out-of-work members.

Local 141 members have been very active in recent weeks supporting and promoting the PRO Act, along with other labor unions, local pro-labor politicians, and pro-labor organizations in our region. This much-needed legislation will strengthen the climate for working families for years to come, and reverse a lot of the anti-labor legislation passed in recent years.

We are proud to announce our latest graduating class of inside wireman apprentices. Congratulations to our newest journeyman wiremen: Glenn Bonar, Maddison Cumpston, Derek Donahue, Andrew Ellis, Matthew Gregorcic, Matt Hill, Dylan Johnson, Jayson LaRoche and Thomas Orth. May these young men and women have a long and successful career in the IBEW!

Local 141 is sad to report the passing of Brother Robert "Bob" McLaughlin. He will be sadly missed.

Please stay safe and healthy.

Kurt "Bug" Reed, P.S.


Local 141's newest journeyman wiremen with apprentice instructor Justin Klempa: (front, left to right) Justin Klempa, Matt Hill, Thomas Orth, Maddison Cumpston, Dylan Johnson, and Andrew Ellis; (back, left to right) Jayson LaRoche, Glenn Bonar, Matthew Gregorcic and Derek Donahue.

Business Manager Sue Blue Honored for Leadership

L.U. 159 (i), MADISON, WI — We are grateful that work has really picked up with summer. We now have open calls going into Book 2. We welcome a return to in-person union meetings, swearing in new members and conducting member orientations.

Spring was eventful. U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh made a quick stop in Madison on his May tour, and Business Manager Sue Blue was among those who met with him, pictured.

We held a June press conference, spotlighting and welcoming our three VEEP apprentices Jay Droessler, Courtney Tillman and Jackson Wildes. Sister Tillman began her apprenticeship in mid-July.

The Wisconsin Legislature has kept Governor Tony Evers busy with his veto pen, and he signed a budget very different from the one he had proposed. Evers is preparing for a redistricting battle. Under former Gov. Scott Walker, the last redistricting left Wisconsin infamously and heavily gerrymandered.

Congratulations to Business Manager Sue Blue on being recognized by the Daily Reporter for her leadership and for paving the way for other women as an outstanding Woman in Construction. Among her accomplishments, Blue is the only woman in the Sixth District ever to have been elected business manager of a construction local.

Lisa Goodman, P.S.

Editor's Note: See our story on Local 159's VEEP graduates in this issue.


Local 159 Business Manager Sue Blue (left) met with U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh (right) in Madison, WI, in May.

Electricians Needed in Washington State

L.U. 191 (c,i,mo,rtb&st), EVERETT, WA — Greetings, brothers, sisters and siblings! We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy! It's looking like we are almost through COVID-19 and opening to regular activities. Local 191 is going to be busy this summer and continuing well into next year. If you are looking for a beautiful state to visit and place to work, come on up and help us fill our calls! You do need a Washington State Electrical License.

If you do come on up, we have a bunch of our summer events scheduled. Come join our local members and fellowship in brother/sister/siblinghood. Wherever you land, we hope you have a blessed rest of 2021.

Help build American and promote solidarity and unity any time life gives you the opportunity! Blessings from IBEW LU 191!

Randy Curry, Pres.

Training Next-Gen Workers for Safety in the Field

L.U. 245 (govt,lctt,o,rtb,&u), TOLEDO, OH — Here's hoping that everyone is ready for some relief from the summer's heat and to welcome fall. It's great to say that things are finally getting back to normal. It's nice to see everyone back at the hall for our monthly union meetings. We're getting ready to participate in the annual Toledo Labor Day Parade as our members will walk the streets of the Glass City.

Work on the outside in our jurisdiction is slow. We continue to receive work from AEP, but all FirstEnergy work has come to a halt. We would like to congratulate the four ALBAT apprentices who recently just passed their journeyman lineman test and wish them the best in the future.

We would also like to congratulate the new lineman, substation and network employees at Toledo Edison on passing their journeyman tests. Starting this summer, we welcome the new class of 2022 that will be spending ten weeks in the field for their summer experience. This is a great way for these future members to learn how we work safely out in the field by observing the experienced and talented members of Local 245.

As of this writing, we wrapped up negotiations with Wolf Creek Federal Services at the NASA Glenn Research Center. Negotiations went well and we reached a tentative agreement that we are proud to take to the members for a ratification vote.

Negotiations with Energy Harbor at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Plant are still ongoing, and we hope to reach an agreement soon. We are preparing for additional negotiations on tele-data agreements and with Nelson Tree Service, the Walleye Power Bay Shore Plant and the Rossford Fire and Rescue Department with the city of Rossford.

Finally, all of us here at Local 245 want to thank everyone for continuing to be safe as we navigate out of the coronavirus pandemic. With respect to the up-and-coming younger generation, please take some extra time to train these new members and continue to work safely.

Brian Gendaszek, P.S.


Local 245 members working on storm restoration on Toledo Edison/First Energy property in Ohio.

Worth the Wait

L.U. 269 (i&o), TRENTON, NJ — The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has affected all of us in a variety of ways, ranging from the annoying to the life-altering. One of the groups so affected was the class of 2020 apprentices waiting to be sworn in as journeymen. Many in the class knew that their journey would be arduous, filled with trials and tribulation, but I don't think any of them foresaw the challenges that the pandemic would present when they signed their papers of service and took their original oath to the IBEW.

The apprentices were not alone, however, in their apprehension. Instructors and school staff spent many a restless night grappling with difficult decisions and ever-changing conditions concerning the school and the welfare of its occupants. School Director Jim Stover met the challenge head on and with the help of the teaching staff and administrative assistants, finally bringing the fifth-year class over the finish line. Hats off to all involved and congratulations and best of luck to all the newly-minted journeymen!

Brian Jacoppo, P.S.

Apprentice Lineman Helps Save a Life

L.U. 309 (i,lctt,mo,mt,o,rts,spa&u), COLLINSVILLE, IL — On the morning of May 30, our local's apprentice lineman Charles "Chip" Knocke was rattled out of bed to screams of distress from a next-door neighbor. The neighbor's husband had just suffered a severe heart attack. Without hesitation, Chip's wife called 911, and Chip responded by administering CPR for at least twenty minutes until the ambulance arrived. En route to the hospital, paramedics delivered two separate shocks from an AED to revive the man's heart. While this story is exceptional on its own, it is not uncommon among construction workers who are trained as first responders to help those in need. Local 309 is honored by Brother Knocke's example.

Local 309 is sad to report the passing of David Foree. Brother Foree started as an inside wireman and retired as business manager. Following his service in the U.S. Army, David joined the IBEW and worked tirelessly for the labor movement. A mentor to many and a friend to all, Brother Foree will be greatly missed.

As of this writing, we are delighted that the Labor Day parade and picnic will take place. Come one and all to represent your local union and to show your support for our movement.

Carlos S. Perez, R.S.

Keeping Labor in the Day

L.U. 343 (i,spa&st), LE SUEUR, MN — Happy Labor Day, brothers and sisters! The first Labor Day celebration was held in New York City in 1882. Minnesota first observed a labor-focused holiday in 1885. The Knights of Labor Assemblies arranged a picnic at White Bear Lake, and 3,000 people were reported attending.

The holiday was initially organized to celebrate labor unions and their contributions to the U.S. economy. As the movement grew for a national day off, Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894. Today, Labor Day is often seen as the last break before school starts, the unofficial end of summer or the last day of the state fair.

While celebrating Labor Day 2021, be proud of your IBEW membership. You are a part of the history of the working class. Unions are the "labor" in Labor Day.

Keep America Great — Spend It Where You Earn It.

Tom Small, P.S.

Local 441, Labor Secretary Meet for
Clean-Energy Discussion

L.U. 441 (as,i&rts), SANTA ANA, CA — In July, along with local politicians, U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh visited the UC Irvine campus as part of a clean-energy meeting, where he discussed the Biden administration's plan to invest in the nation's workforce through the development of sustainable transportation infrastructure. UCI's electric vehicle charging stations were proudly featured during Walsh's visit, which were built by IBEW electricians with EVITP training.

Neal H. Lauzon, B.M.


(Left to right) Local 441 Business Manager Neal Lauzon, U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, Local 441 Political Director Doug Mangione, Congressman Mike Levin and Congresswoman Katie Porter met in July for a meeting about clean energy.

Congratulations to a New Class of Journeymen Wiremen

L.U. 449 (catv,em,i,mt,o,rtb,rts,spa&u), POCATELLO, ID — I would like to start by congratulating our newest retirees: Randy Chapman, Daniel Remer, Mike Smith and Bryan VanOrden. May they each have a long and exciting retirement! I know all of them and had the opportunity to work with most of them.

We mourn the loss of retired brothers Neils Christensen, Paul Peak and Gary Prestwich. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families.

We have a new class of journeymen wiremen that have just turned out: Tim Breland, Chris Hardy, Talor Lundstrom, Ethan Robinson, Sye Sweat and Adam Sunderland. I had the opportunity to teach their first-year class and have worked with several of them. They are a great bunch of brothers.

As of this submission, we planned to have our annual picnic, with some of the COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, July 17. Our new journeymen will be getting their certificates there. Aug. 7 was our annual Chukars baseball night.

Chris Lochridge, Pres.

Local 481 Hosts Labor Secretary

L.U. 481 (ees,em,i,mt,rts,s&spa), INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Our local continues to be a leader in the central Indiana-area labor movement and that was put on display recently. In June, Local 481 had the honor and privilege of hosting U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh for a roundtable discussion. Secretary Walsh came to discuss the American Jobs Plan and the commitment by the Biden administration in making sure that the jobs being discussed and touted are good union jobs. Business Manager Jeff Wheeler, Sixth District International Vice President Ruhmkorff and other labor leaders in central Indiana all gathered at Local 481. They took full advantage of the opportunity to ask questions and discuss any concerns that union members are experiencing. Secretary Walsh assured those present that everything that can be done to ensure that unions are heard and have a seat at the table is a top priority, and no stone will be left unturned. Local 481 would like to thank Secretary Walsh for the opportunity to host such an event!

Stay safe out there, brothers and sisters!

Blake A. Andrews, B.R.


In June, Local 481 hosted U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh for a roundtable discussion about the American Jobs Plan.

PG&E Agreement Improves VM Work Conditions

L.U. 1245 (o,u,t,em,catv,lctt,govt&pet), VACAVILLE, CA — Our local negotiated an agreement with PG&E to require all non-signatory contractors performing PG&E vegetation management (VM) work to become signatory to Local 1245 in order to continue getting this work. As members of Local 1245, the vegetation management inspectors will see a significant and immediate pay raise anywhere from 50 — 100% over their current wage. The agreement also comes with training and enhanced oversight, providing for increased public and member safety in the field. The VM inspectors who are currently employed directly with PG&E will also see a pay increase, and the agreement additionally mandates that the company directly hire an additional 150 employees into these VM classifications.

Work outlook for outside line (OSL) in Local 1245's jurisdiction remains very strong. We don't anticipate any slowdown in this work over the next several years. The new Cal/Nev JATC facility in Woodland, Calif., is now open and classes have begun. A formal grand-opening celebration is being planned for later this year.

Local 1245 is mourning the loss of two travelers who died on the job while working in our jurisdiction. Journeyman lineman John Ostroski from Local 222 in Florida was killed in a vehicle accident, and groundman Jonathan Cabrera of Local 47 died in a mini-excavator accident. We also lost longtime Business Rep. Landis Marttila, who retired from the union last year and passed away from natural causes.

Rebecca Band, Communications Dir.


Apprentice climbing class at the new Cal/Nev JATC facility in Woodland, CA, on June 30, 2021. (Photo courtesy of John Storey.)

Local 1347 Continues Partnership with Blackout Tees

L.U. 1347 (ees,em,ptc&u), CINCINNATI, OH — In 2010, Jamie Madden entered into the world of screen printing by selling funny shirts. Blackout Tees was born and virtually exploded overnight, and it has dominated the local screen-print business over the last eleven years. As the company expanded and moved into a retail space, Jamie wanted to branch out with other products. With funny tees, fundraisers, uniforms and mobile events, coupled with a successful internet presence, Blackout Tees became the premier screen-print shop in Cincinnati.

Fast forward to 2017. Jamie wanted a way to improve his business for his employees while getting Blackout name exposure nationwide. (You can read about the organizing efforts in "An Organizing Drive That Is A Perfect Fit" in the September 2017 Electrical Worker). After a very successful campaign, Blackout Tees has accomplished what they set out to do: Since organizing, there has been an average of 18.5% raise in wages, with additional benefits that include healthcare, retirement, vacation and bonuses, just to name a few.

On May 12, we ratified another agreement, moving from a three-year to a five-year contract. After the signing, Jamie spoke with Local 1347 members: "I'm proud of where we've been, and I'm so excited for where we are going. We have the best USA-made, union-made products out there!"

We look forward to a very bright future for the folks at Blackout Tees and encourage all the locals around the country to contact them and try their products.

Andrew Kirk, B.M.


(Left to right) Local 1347 members John Carpenter, Jacob Mundy, Sean Murphy, Pat Flaherty, Kayla Mullins and Business Manager Andrew Kirk look forward to a bright future with Blackout Tees in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Elected Officers

L.U. 1579 (i&o), AUGUSTA, GA — Our election of officers was held on June 26, with the officers sworn in at our July 19 meeting.

Elected officers are: Business Manager/Financial Secretary Will Salters, President Mike Greene, Vice President Alonzo Ingram, Recording Secretary Maggie Senters, Treasurer Sterling Mantlow; and Executive Board members Lee Buoy, Tommie Crabb, Chandra Fussell, Brian Giles, Michelle "Boogie" Kay, Eric Murphey and James Smith. There will also be four delegates that will attend the International Convention with Business Manager Will Salters: Mike Greene, Alonzo Ingram, Wayne Irby and J.R. Richardson.

I would also like to thank the Election Committee for their service and hard work and professionalism in this process: Bruce Gibson (Judge), James Lynch, Toby Mackendree and Patrick McGowan.

As I look at this slate of newly and re-elected officers, I feel confident that Local 1579 will continue to prosper and move forward.

Until next time, God Bless!

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


Be Safe and Enjoy Life

RETIREES CLUB OF L.U. 3, NEW YORK, NY, WESTCHESTER/PUTNAM CHAPTER — On May 19, the South Jersey chapter held our first meeting since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. It was great to see everyone. On June 16, we held our summer luncheon at the Local 400 meeting hall, where we enjoyed good food and lots of laughs. The rest of the summer we will be planning fishing trips, baseball games, racetrack trips and the Atlantic City Air Show. Be safe out there, and sit back and enjoy life.

Anthony Savarese, Pres.


On June 16, the members of the Local 3 South Jersey retirees met for their summer luncheon.

Remembering Two Brothers Lost

RETIREES CLUB OF L.U. 35, HARTFORD, CT — Sadly, we have to report the passing of two noted members of our Retirees Club. Gershon Sosin passed away on May 24. He retired in February 1990, and at that time he became president of the Retirees Club and served in that position until 2015. We're very grateful to him for leading the Retirees Club over the years. When he retired, he started a tradition where he would buy pizza for the whole crowd at the monthly membership meeting every 10 years. It was his way of showing his appreciation of being a member of the IBEW.

We also lost Tito DiBenedetto, a very well-respected member of Local 35 who passed away on July 2. Tito served on the Executive Board and as president from 1983 through 1989. He was a general foreman and a project manager on several large projects prior to his retirement in August 2005. He was a true gentleman and will be missed by all.

Our condolences go out to the Sosin and DiBenedetto families.

We look forward to resuming our annual outing this year in August. We hope it will be well attended and look forward to seeing everyone again.

The Retirees Club has begun our monthly meetings again on the second Wednesday of each month at the Elks Lodge in Rocky Hill. We hope to see more retirees joining us!

Kenneth R. White, P.S.

Annual Retirees Dinner to be Held
in Newly Renovated Hall

RETIREES CLUB OF L.U. 53, KANSAS CITY, MO — Time for another article, though we don't have much to report on at this time. It is our hope that all are doing well.

Local 53 had their annual Crappie Tournament, which reported a good turnout. Everyone had a good time, with lots of good food, great visiting and laughter.

Some of our retirees went on a motorcycle run to Colorado and part of New Mexico. There were eight of them, and they reported that they had a good time and lots of fun. The weather was hot, but no humidity, and they got into a little rain coming home.

Local 53 is going to have our annual retirees' dinner at the union hall on Sept. 23. We sure hope all of you can make it. Back in our newly remodeled digs, it should be a good time.

Our prayers go out for our members and their families who are sick and maybe not doing so well. Our prayers also go out to members who have lost someone in their family.

Sadly, we lost three more retirees: Kenny McMillin, Wendel Morris and Ron Schock. May they rest in peace, having gone home to our Lord and will never be forgotten.

Duane Pearce, P.S.

Easing Back to Regular Meetings

RETIREES CLUB OF L.U. 58, DETROIT, MI — As we move through COVID-19 and vaccinations, our retirees group is easing back into our regular schedule of monthly board meetings, which resumed in July. We are working to put together a picnic in September, and we are doing the work necessary to resume our monthly luncheons, which switch back and forth from the east side to the west side.

Let's continue to be diligent in our support of our elected public servants. While casting our vote is one part of the process, we also need to keep an open dialogue with those we have elected. It's appropriate to make donations to those groups who are working to keep our democracy intact. During these times, let's remember that Social Security is a benefit (not an entitlement) that retired Americans rely on to maintain their standard of living. Reach out and have conversations with friends and family; it's our similarities, not our differences, that can and will bring us together. Let the work continue!

Pat Nuznov, P.S.

A Welcome Return & Joyful Reunion

RETIREES CLUB OF L.U. 134, CHICAGO, IL — Welcome back! Our club held its first member meeting since March of 2020 on July 14. It was a joy to see everyone again after 16 months. Our meeting was held at the IBEW/NECA Technical Institute in Alsip, Ill. An attendance of 40 members, including six new members, was an above-average turnout. Having all meetings and activities shut down was like having this time stolen from our lives and those of all people around the world.

I've talked to several people refusing to get vaccinated who say this is all political and the government is making us do this. I do not understand — it doesn't matter who the mayors are, who the governors are or who is president. This is a health crisis, and it's not over yet. Please, if you haven't been vaccinated, think of your family and friends and just do it. It doesn't hurt!

Our annual luncheon meeting honoring our members with 50 to 70 years of service for 2020 and 2021, and usually held in June, will be held Sept. 8. This will hopefully put us back on track. Drury Lane Theater in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., will be back open to kick off their fall season in September with the play "Forever Plaid," and we look forward to a fun outing there on Sept. 30. I sincerely hope everyone stays safe and healthy.

Sue Kleczka, P.S.


Local 134 retirees attended a "welcome back" meeting on July 14, with 40 members in attendance.

Perspective and Gratitude

RETIREES CLUB OF L.U, 212, CINCINNATI, OHIO — Our Retirees Club has resumed normalcy thanks to COVID-19 vaccines. As of May 2021, we are meeting on the first Wednesday every month at the union hall and have also reinstated our annual July picnic at Fernbank Park on the Ohio River. In August, the annual Local 212 family picnic was held at Stricker's Grove in Ross, Ohio. It is good to see the brotherhood gathering together again!

COVID-19 has had an impact on all our lives; but, thankfully, the newly developed vaccines have proven to be very effective against this dreaded virus that has taken the so many of our fellow citizens' lives and is a scourge upon the entire world. Our deepest sympathy is extended to everyone who has suffered a loss of a loved one during this time.

As survivors of this virus, we have a lot for which to be thankful. One thing to be thankful for is Medicare and supplemental health insurance, which helps our families stay healthy without going broke. Life-saving modern medicine does not mean very much if we cannot afford to pay for it. We wish everyone the best of health and blessings.

Bob Schaefer, P.S.

Making Plans for Our Future

RETIREES CLUB OF L.U. 257, JEFFERSON CITY, MO — Our first monthly meeting since COVID-19 hit was held on May 25 at Reinhardt Circle — The Legacy Room in Jefferson City, Mo. It was great to see everyone.

It was a long 2020. We are glad it is over and hope the rest of 2021 will be better. We also hope everyone has gotten their vaccines by now; but if you haven't, please get them so that everyone can be safe.

Unfortunately, during this time, we lost a few of our members. They are: David Brunk, Patricia Brunk, Wilma Grothoff and Doyle Maupin. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, and they will be missed.

Our club has started making plans for the future, such as what trips we want to take. One trip will be to the Lyceum Theatre. Also, on Sat., Aug. 14, Local 257 will host their annual BBQ/picnic.

Delores Melloway, P.S.

We Love to See Your Smiles

RETIREES CLUB OF L.U. 292, MINNEAPOLIS, MN — After a year-plus of living in a bubble, and with a sense of normalcy returning to us, we are finally holding monthly union meetings. We began in May with COVID-19 safety protocols in place. Now, with all having access to the vaccine and protocols being lifted, it's nice to be able to see a person's face and familiar smile. Retirees are always smiling! We now have a new union hall, and we look forward to meetings and union functions in the new facility. Plans have been made for our summer picnic, which is scheduled for Aug. 12, also at our new hall. Additionally, we have a casino trip planned to Treasure Island in September. I look forward to seeing you all!

Paul Klesmit, Pres.

Celebrating Retirees' Years of Service

RETIREES CLUB OF L.U. 317, HUNTINGTON, WV — At the first retirees' luncheon since March, members received service pins to celebrate years of brotherhood. Among our members who received pins were Jerry Booth, with 65 years of service, and James A. Smith, with 50 years. There are more service pins to be awarded in the coming months, and we will update our progress in forthcoming Local Lines.

Jerry Booth, Pres.


Local 317 retiree members Jerry Booth (left) holding his certificate for 65-years of service, and James A. Smith (right) holds his 50-years of service award.

Election of Officers as Meetings Resume

RETIREES CLUB OF L.U. 649, ALTON, IL — The outlook for our Retirees Club was impacted by COVID-19, but we commenced meeting at 9:00 a.m. on the last Thursday of each month for breakfast at the Eagles Nest in Bethalto, Ill.

The first order of business was the election of new officers for Local 649's Retirees Club. The following are the results of the election:

George Stumpee remains in position as president; William Gotlib remains in position of vice president; John Wagner has been elected secretary/ treasurer; Marlin Wagner stepped down from the position with our sincere thanks for his duties over the years and many thanks to John for assuming duties; John Fitzgerald, John Uzzell and Harold Whipple remain in their respective Executive Board positions; and Jim Heinneman remains in his term as sergeant of arms for the group.

Thank you and congratulations to our remaining and new officers of the club.

Let's keep memories of members who have passed alive!

Terry Wilhite, P.S.