The Electrical Worker online
October 2021

index.html Home    print Print    email Email

Go to
Peter Lombardozzi

Retired Eighth District International Representative Peter Lombardozzi, a son of Italian immigrants who became an influential labor leader in Big Sky Country, died on July 21 in his hometown of Billings, Mont. He was 89.

Brother Lombardozzi was initiated into Billings Local 532 in 1955 after attending the University of Portland and topped out four years later as an inside wireman. But he had a deep appreciation for labor and working families long before that, said his son, Jim, also a retired Local 532 member.

Gennard Lombardozzi, Peter's father and Jim's grandfather, was an Italian immigrant who settled in Montana, where he was a 40-year union employee of Northern Pacific Railway.

"Dad came from a fairly poor Italian community on the south side of Billings," Jim Lombardozzi said. "Those people had high regard for anyone who labored for a living.

"He was a union guy from the very beginning. It was kind of an obsession for him."

Peter Lombardozzi joined Local 532's Executive Board in 1964, became president in 1966 and was elected business manager later that year, beginning a nearly 18-year tenure in the position.

During that time, he developed a reputation as a tenacious negotiator who encouraged members to get involved in political issues. He often reminded them of the impact government policies had on their wages and family's quality of life, said Don Herzog, a Local 532 member who later became business manager and an international representative.

"On the floor of union meetings, he was always talking politics," Herzog said. "I didn't realize the importance of it at the time because I was so young, but he was right.

"He was not the tallest guy in the world but he was known to be a fighting bulldog when he got into negotiations with units. He was known as being extremely tough but fair."

Jim Lombardozzi, who is good friends with Herzog, laughed when he heard that description of his dad.

"When he started forward, he never backed off," Lombardozzi said. "That can get you in some scrapes but he always rebounded and did well for himself."

Jim Lombardozzi said his father took special pride in the quality of Local 532's apprenticeship education. The local built its own training facility during his time in leadership. Later, its curriculum was so respected that other Montana inside construction locals decided to use it to create one centralized statewide apprenticeship system, he said. Jim went on to serve as an instructor himself at Local 532's center.

The elder Lombardozzi served on several labor committees, including as chairman of the Southeastern Montana Building Trades Council and on the state's Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee. He also spent six years on the Council of Industrial Relations, which works to settle disputes between IBEW locals and NECA signatory contractors.

In 1984, he accepted an offer to join the Eighth District staff and moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho, then the home of the district office, where he worked under close friend and Eighth District International Vice President Jon Walters, who went on to serve as international secretary/treasurer. He serviced locals in Montana and Idaho before retiring in 1993 and returning to Billings.

Even in retirement, he stayed active in the community. Lombardozzi was instrumental in the founding of the Housing Authority of Billings, which works to help low-income individuals and families find housing, and served as its chairman. He also was known as an excellent cook, great storyteller, voracious reader and history buff.

Brother Lombardozzi is survived by his wife of 70 years, Suzanne, along with seven children, 18 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren. In addition to Jim, another son, Brian, is a Local 532 member.

Jim Lombardozzi said his father had many interests but he never lost the work ethic he learned as a child.

"His parents were both born and raised in Italy and came through Ellis Island," Jim said. "Those people had to stick together in this country. In those days, whatever you gained came through your own labor. That's pretty much all you had to sell."

The officers and staff send their condolences to Brother Lombardozzi's many friends and family.


Peter Lombardozzi

Glenn E. Nunn

Glenn Nunn, a retired Seventh District international representative who earlier led 3,600 Oklahoma City members in a nationwide strike against Western Electric, died July 18. He was 77.

An Oklahoma City native, Nunn went to work as a computer technician at the Bell-owned manufacturing plant after graduating high school in 1962. He quickly became an active member of Local 2021 in his hometown.

"Glenn could get people fired up," said retired Seventh District International Vice President Orville Tate, who met Nunn in 1964, when both young men were Local 2021 stewards. "He could get people to follow him like the Pied Piper."

Nunn served on numerous committees from his early days with the local, tackling wage incentives, job grades, safety and political action. By 1965 he was on the executive board and became president in 1977, serving in that role and as acting business manager before coming aboard the district staff in 1984.

That was one year after Local 2021 members and 40,000 more at Western Electric facilities across the country joined the Communications Workers of America's strike against parent company AT&T on the eve of the Bell behemoth's breakup.

"Western Electric will be the one that will make the computer systems AT&T plans to use to compete with IBM, and we're already building computers for the open market now at the Oklahoma City plant," Nunn told The Oklahoman as members met in a convention center and overwhelmingly voted to join the week-old walkout.

Pointing to billions in AT&T profits and raises for the corporate board, Nunn said there was no reason for the IBEW's highly skilled workers to settle for the company's weak offer.

"I think what we're seeing is a classic case of corporate greed," he said in the Aug. 15, 1983, story. Both the IBEW and CWA prevailed two weeks later.

On staff, Nunn organized and served manufacturing locals in Texas and Oklahoma, including workers at Westinghouse, Philips Lighting, and Western Electric, which became AT&T Technologies and then Lucent during his tenure.

Tate said Nunn's "people skills" were the key to his success, from winning trust in organizing campaigns and contract talks to his special knack for training union officers.

Whether he was instructing college-educated members in technical jobs or factory workers who hadn't finished school, "Glenn could relate to people in a way they could understand," Tate said. "He didn't talk down to anyone, ever."

Even through dry matters of bylaws and fiscal paperwork, Nunn held his students' attention.

"His approach was totally different than giving a bland statement about a company policy," Tate said. "He'd give practical examples that related directly to what he was talking about. He understood that people want to hear about their own jobs — 'How can you help me?' — rather than examples about a generic company."

Nunn also was famous as a stickler when it came to job classifications. Tate said he spent countless hours in factories simply observing and didn't let employers get away with anything.

"He'd watch someone to see if they were being pushed to do more than their job description," he said. "When he spotted something, he'd say, 'They're not paying you to do that. That belongs in a higher classification.'"

Workers and the union alike benefited from his diligence, Tate said. "When you get five or six people a promotion, a raise of 50 cents an hour, that goes through the plant like wildfire — 'Look what the union did for us!'"

He called Nunn "a true union man," always serious about union business but with a dry sense of humor that made him fun to be around.

He also was a union brother in more ways than one: While he helmed Local 2021, his brother, Everett Nunn, was president of the Meatpackers union, now part of UFCW.

Nunn retired in 2002 and moved to Ocala, Fla., with his wife, Sara. An avid fisherman and golfer, he was proud of several holes-in-one, his family noted in his obituary.

In addition to his wife and brother, Nunn is survived by two daughters, a son, eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and two sisters.

On behalf of officers, staff and members, the IBEW sends its sincere condolences to Brother Nunn's family with gratitude for his four decades of dedicated service.


Glenn E. Nunn

Michael J. Power

Retired First District International Representative Michael J. Power died on July 18. He was 71.

Power, the oldest of 10 children, was born on the northeastern coast of Newfoundland and Labrador's Great Northern Peninsula. After graduating from Sacred Heart High School in Conche, Power moved to St. John's, the province's capital, where he took a few college courses at what is now known as the Marine Institute. There, he also met Tina, who would become his wife of 50 years.

In 1969, Power enlisted full-time in the Royal Canadian Navy but transitioned to the Naval Reserve when he was initiated into St. John's Local 2330 not long afterward. Two years later, he accepted an electrical maintenance job at the electrical utility Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corporation, moving his young family northward and across the Gulf of St. Lawrence and transferring his IBEW membership to Churchill Falls Local 2351.

It was through working at CFLco that Power developed his passion for labor relations. He served on Local 2351's negotiations and labor-management committees as well as on its grievance and employee benefits committees. By 1976, his hard work had so impressed Local 2351's members that they elected him president and business manager.

"When it comes to Mike Power, there is nothing bad I can say about him," said current Local 2351 Business Manager Dean Harris, who had already known Power from around the Churchill Falls community when Harris was himself initiated into the IBEW in the late 1980s. "He was such an accomplished union leader."

"He was just a fantastic guy, a great family man, trade unionist and friend," said fellow First District International Representative Brian Matheson, who retired in April. "He always enjoyed what he was doing, and I'm sad to see him go."

Power remained Local 2351's top elected leader until 1992, when then-International President J.J. Barry appointed him as an international representative for the union's Canada-wide First District. Working out of an office in suburban St. John's, Power focused on servicing the union's locals within the province while becoming proficient in provincial and territorial labor laws. It was around this time that he also wrapped up his longtime Naval Reserve service.

"Mike was always there to offer assistance, and his knowledge of contractual language was an asset," said Harris. "For that reason, we used him as chief negotiator in our 2014 negotiations with CFLco." Harris recalled that, at the signing ceremony of that agreement, Power became a little emotional as he remembered his own experience as Local 2351 business manager, putting his name on similar agreements with the utility.

Reflecting on his nearly 50-year career when he retired in 2017, Power said that one achievement that stood out was the successfully negotiated, CA$8.5 billion Code of Excellence hydroelectric project that connected his home province with Nova Scotia via the island of Labrador. During peak construction, more than 3,000 IBEW members worked on the project's 800-megawatt generating station plus all of the electrical transmission, switchyard and support construction.

For Matheson, one of his favorite memories of his friend — such that it became a running joke between the two of them — was a time when Power lost his mobile phone. "We were at a convention down in the states," Matheson recalled. "Mike was on his cell phone, he laid it down, and then it was gone."

Matheson had the idea to try calling Power's cell phone to try to locate it by its ringing, but first Matheson had to reveal that he had jokingly nicknamed Power in his phone as "007," as in James Bond's code number. "And then, I had forgotten that '007' actually called Mike's home phone," Matheson said with a laugh. "When one of his sons answered, Mike said, 'You took my phone!' The son was so confused."

Power also was an accomplished musician, Matheson said. "He played accordion, and he could play the guitar and mouth organ at the same time," he said. "He never showed any stress. He was always ready with a joke."

In his spare time, Power was an avid hunter and fisherman who also enjoyed woodworking and other projects around his home. He also helped coach a recreational hockey team.

The IBEW sends its deepest condolences to Power's widow, Tina, and to their three children and five grandchildren.


Michael J. Power