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May 2024

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Just Say No to Term Limits

L.U. 1 (as,c,ees,ei,em,es,et,fm,i,mt,rts,s,se,spa,st,ws&ptc), ST. LOUIS, MO — By the time this article reaches you, Missouri's Legislature will have considered bills that would reduce unemployment benefits to eight weeks; allow each county to vote on becoming a right-to-work (for less) county; and greatly increase the threshold of our state's initiative petition process, making it harder (if not impossible) for voters to have a voice in the legislative process.

In 2018, with the assistance of the rank-and-file membership of every union in the state, organized labor was successful in getting enough signatures during the initiative process to force a statewide vote on the unpopular right-to-work law passed in 2017. I remember when my state used to have 26 weeks of unemployment. I shudder to think about making a dollar stretch if unemployment assistance is slashed to eight weeks.

How could this happen? One reason is that our state voted in term limits for state House and Senate members, and we are now stuck with lobbyist-controlled drones. Any elected member showing a willingness to work with the opposition or find compromise and common ground is cut off from monetary support, stripped of committee assignments and demonized in the primary, leaving only elected members who parrot the lobbyists' wishes to the detriment of their citizens.

If your state is talking about or trying to enact term limits, my recommendation is to just say no! This way, each time you vote in primaries or general elections, you can make the incumbents' terms limited by choosing one of the other candidates.

Kyle Hunter, P.S.

Local 7 Apprentices' Last Class

L.U. 7 (i), SPRINGFIELD, MA — Our local's graduating fifth-year apprentices recently attended their last class at their JATC in Springfield. We wish all of these graduates bright, brilliant futures in the electrical industry!

Blair Gimma, P.S.


Local 7's graduating fifth-year apprentices attend their last class at the JATC in Springfield, Mass.

Local 15 Celebrates 30 Years

L.U. 15 (u), DOWNERS GROVE, IL — System Council U-25 was faced with the monumental task in the fall of 1993 of consolidating Locals 1359, 1361, 1366, 1367, 1399, 1427, 1441, 1459, 1460, 1461, 1469, 1479, 1515, 1530, 1539, 1540 and 1557 into the new Local 15.

New leadership was put in place by the International Office and the Sixth District to start looking for a new local office, interviewing for new business representative jobs and creating new bylaws, all the while keeping the operations of 17 locals up and running. Setting May 1 as the inauguration date for Local 15, each of the locals started to identify processes that would be needed for the new local.

Under the directive of International President J.J. Barry, these 17 local unions were amalgamated on May 1, 1994, and Local 15 was established.

Happy anniversary to the hard-working brothers and sisters of Local 15!

John Richards, Bus. Rep.


Happy 30th anniversary to Local 15!

Michigan's Right-to-Work Repeal
Leads to Membership Gains

L.U. 17 (catv,em,lctt,o&u), DETROIT, MI — Michigan's right-to-work repeal became effective Feb. 13, and it had an immediately positive impact on our local and its membership.

Our collective bargaining agreement with Traffic Management Inc. was established in 2016, after Michigan's right-to-work laws were implemented. Local 17 represents about 140 traffic controllers at TMI, only half of whom were union members.

Directly because of the right-to-work repeal, we successfully negotiated with TMI to sign a memorandum of understanding that added a union security clause to the collective bargaining agreement. This new contract language requires all TMI traffic-control employees to join the union to be employed. The repeal of right-to-work and the subsequent implementation of a union shop has allowed us to gain 70 new Local 17 members at TMI.

We have assisted Local 876 in organizing workers at TMI locations in its jurisdiction, which should allow them to add 70 to 80 new members. As a result, these workers will enjoy improved wages, benefits and working conditions.

The bottom line? Political successes can lead to real workplace gains for our members!

James Shaw, B.M.

What's New at Local 41

L.U. 41 (em,es,govt,i,se&spa), BUFFALO, NY — Our local had its first women's meeting Feb. 27 at our meeting hall. We met up to begin our celebration of Women in Construction Week.

Everyone in attendance received one of our new Rosie the Riveter-themed shirts. We had a great mix from new members to 20-year seasoned veterans. As the conversation began, so did the planning for future meetings and group outings. We are very much looking forward to what the future holds for the sisters of Local 41.

Local 41's hockey team competed in an eight-team building-trades charity tournament in January. Our team played hard and narrowly lost the semifinal to finish in third place. We were excited to welcome some new members to the group this season as we hope to put a fall team together.

This year, the money raised by the tournament was donated to Save the Michaels of the World, Inc. Save the Michaels is an organization started by Local 41 Brother Avi Israel after he tragically lost his son at the age of 20. Their mission is to raise awareness of abuse and misuse of prescription and other drugs. If you or a loved one are in need of help, please reach out to

Matthew M. Gaiser, A.B.M.


Local 41's hockey team competed in a building trades charity tournament in January.

Local 43 Veterans Committee

L.U. 43 (em,i&rts), SYRACUSE, NY — Our local's Veterans Committee members and family volunteered to lay wreaths this year to honor our veterans. Additionally, these volunteers helped the community by cleaning up wreaths at the Onondaga County Veterans Memorial Cemetery. Thank you for honoring our veterans during the holiday season.

Thank you, brothers and sisters!

Jeff Cassano, P.S.


Local 43 members and family helped the community by cleaning up wreaths at the Onondaga County Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

Local 47 Brightline West Update

L.U. 47 (lctt,mo,o,u&uow), DIAMOND BAR, CA — Greetings, brothers and sisters. Business Manager/Financial Secretary Colin Lavin updated the local on the Brightline West high-speed rail project. The line will run from Las Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., in the center median of the I-15 freeway. It is scheduled to take 15 to 18 months, and it will put 200 brothers and sisters to work.

The following updates round out Local 47's bargaining news:

  • Southern California Edison: Two days of bargaining to establish a contract with newly certified real time operators took place Jan. 29-30. A new agreement was ratified by 69% for production specialists.
  • City of Riverside: Bargaining to begin April 15 for new contract for the wastewater management group.
  • City of Anaheim: Meeting for the general contract and the part-time customer service contract for follow-up proposals not finalized in the contract.
  • City of Long Beach: Membership development for the city.

Local 47's upcoming events are the family picnic May 4 and the Stewards & Safety Conference June 6-8. We hope to see you there.

We're sad to report the deaths of Jose Barajas, Michael Bueno, Hugh Chandler, Vincent Fanty, Jesus Guzman, Manuel Lopez, Allen Roberts, Thomas Thilges and Harold Wilson. Our condolences and prayers are with their loved ones.

Work safe and buy union!

Mitch Smith, P.S.

Illinois Push for ROFR Legislation

L.U. 51 (catv,lctt,o,ptc,rtb,t,u&uow), SPRINGFIELD, IL — Due to unprecedented actions taken by the Illinois Commerce Commission in December, construction work in the jurisdiction has come to a stop. Approximately 80% of ongoing and upcoming projects have been delayed or canceled. Members are seeking employment in other states and from inside locals that need manpower. The local is appreciative of the inside locals that have offered to help.

The IBEW in Illinois continues to push for the passage of "right of first refusal" legislation. This would allow the local utilities and the IBEW to continue building much-needed transmission lines. The local will continue to engage legislators, the governor's office and the ICC to try to correct the issues.

Brother David Loveless raced last summer in the Racer X Senior Motocross Series, which was held in Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. Out of 50 racers per class, Dave finished fourth in 45+B and seventh in 50+B classes. He still races with his son, David, and his wife, Kathy, is the pit crew. Dave stated, "There is nothing like going into the first turn with 40 other bikes chasing you." Congratulations!

We would like to welcome IFP Land Services to Local 51. These line-clearance tree trimmers voted to unionize, and we are proud to now call them our brothers and sisters.

Karlene Knisley, Bus. Rep.


Local 51's David Loveless raced (and placed) in the Racer X Senior Motocross Series last summer. Congratulations!

Good Work Forecast

L.U. 55 (lctt,o,u&c), DES MOINES, IA — Hello, brothers and sisters. We recently negotiated a new contract for our construction members. Many other units are finishing up as of this writing.

We are so blessed to have had one of the warmest winters on record. We had our Christmas party in December with more than 150 people attending. There were lots of prizes and face painting for the kids. Thanks to everyone who put it together. We had some great food and talked a lot to members we hadn't seen for a while. It seems like time flies by so fast.

We have a great group of officers, as well as a great group of retirees who arrive for breakfast each month. We salute them for all their hard work making our union what it is today. We meet at Perkins Restaurant on East Euclid Avenue the first Monday of each month at 9 a.m., and everyone is welcome.

Myron Green, P.S.

Winter Fun in the Sun

L.U. 103 (cs,i&ptc), BOSTON, MA — Our local headed to Naples, Fla., in February to enjoy the 10th annual retirees' winter luncheon at the Naples Grande Beach Resort. Sixty retirees met up for a friendly, yet competitive, round of golf, and 250 retired members and guests enjoyed the luncheon as they caught up with old friends and tool partners. Business Manager Lou Antonellis updated the retirees on what Local 103 was up to back home.

Local 103 is proud to announce a new partnership with the 17-time NBA champion Boston Celtics. As part of this partnership, the Local 103 journeymen's and apprentices' basketball teams played a game on the hallowed parquet floor at TD Garden.

At every home game, Local 103 sponsors the Heroes Among Us Award, which is given to local people who have made exceptional contributions to our community.

James Fleming, P.S.


Local 103 retirees on their annual trip to Naples, Fla.

IBEW Strong, Tools and Trades Expo
Make a Busy Spring

L.U. 131 (I,rtb,rts,se&spa), KALAMAZOO, MI — The work outlook is steady in Kalamazoo, with several projects that should start this summer. The Palisades nuclear plant is beginning to hire for recommissioning. The local sponsored a tools and trades expo, and several contractors, venders, building trades locals, high schools and tech centers participated. Thank you to Jon Current and Ryan Lewis for all your hard work on this project.

An IBEW Strong class was presented by Lisa Page and Joe Davis in February, with good information and great insights. Now we need to start accepting change and work toward a new IBEW.

Negotiations are continuing, and committee members Terry Clark, Leroy Crabtree, Jon Current, Tim Haydon and myself are working hard to get the best contract that serves the membership. The committee has shown creativity in its problem-solving during the negotiating process.

Our local website,, has a new tab dedicated to retirees, and I encourage those who are retired to check it out — there's a lot of good information just for you.

The local picnic is scheduled for July 27, and I hope to see you there.

Morris A. Applebey, B.M.

Local 141 Celebrates New Journeyman Wiremen

L.U. 141 (ees,i,o&u), WHEELING, WV — Greetings, brothers and sisters. Work has slowed a bit in our jurisdiction, with 33 members on Book 1 as of this writing.

The Wheeling JATC held a completion dinner for our newest journeyman wiremen in January at the Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack. Brothers Derek Borsos, Cole Crow, Kevin Johnson, Jordan Mehlman, Jason Reed, Tyler Robinson and Josh Sabinski received their completion certificates and enjoyed an evening of great food, terrific guest speakers and brotherhood. May they each have a very successful career in the IBEW!

The political scene is ramping up, and Local 141 is proud to announce that President Dave Cantrell and executive board member Cody Cumpston have filed to run for the West Virginia House of Delegates in two separate districts of the northern panhandle. There's no doubt that, if elected, these brothers will fight tirelessly for the working people of West Virginia. The local wishes them both the best of luck with their campaigns!

Local 141 is deeply saddened to report the passing of John M. Antlake, Joseph H. Bauduin, Paul Kartman Sr., Robert A. Kubovicz, retired Local 141 secretary Lynn McKee and Edwin A. Timberlake. Notably, Brother Kubovicz was the owner of signatory contractor United Electric of Wheeling, served on the contractor's side of the apprenticeship committee and was a member of Local 141 since 1974. All will be greatly missed.

Kurt "Bug" Reed, P.S.


Local 141's newest journeyman linemen, first row from left: Josh Sabinski, Cole Crow, Tyler Robinson, Derek Borsos; back row, from left: Kevin Johnson, Jordan Mehlman, Jason Reed and JATC Director Mark Dunfee.

Congratulations, New Officers and Members

L.U. 245 (govt,lctt,o,rtb&u), TOLEDO, OH — In November, our local held its election, and we congratulate those elected and reelected as officers.

Local 245 hopes everyone is ready for spring and the warmer weather ahead. We also hope everyone who attended our annual Toledo Walleye family night had a great time and enjoyed the blowout win.

Local 245 is pleased to report that our newly organized members at the city of Bryan's Street Department have ratified their first collective bargaining agreement. Welcome to the IBEW and the protection and benefits of an IBEW contract!

We are also pleased to report that Local 245 was successful in securing an arbitration award for our members at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station. That award will put millions of dollars into our members' 401(k) accounts owed to them per the collective bargaining agreement.

Outside construction is slow in our jurisdiction.

Local 245 would like to stress the importance of following all safety rules and policies so that you and your brothers and sisters can go home safely every day.

Brian Gendaszek, R.S.

Many Benefits of ROFR

L.U. 309 (i,lctt,mo,mt,o,rts,spa&u), COLLINSVILLE, IL — Our outside construction group has experienced over 70% unemployment on Ameren Illinois property since January due to an unfavorable Illinois Commerce Commission decision. The ICC rejected proposed rate hikes and grid plans from both Ameren Illinois and Commonwealth Edison, resulting in mass unemployment for linemen across the state.

To better comply with the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, the state needs a revised proposal to meet decarbonization requirements while ensuring that electric rates remain affordable for low-income communities. As Illinois is the least profitable state in the country for a utility company, it is uncertain what an acceptable return on equity will be. Negotiations are ongoing.

The IBEW in Illinois is advocating a new proposal that would grant a permanent "right of first refusal," or ROFR. This measure would give incumbent utilities the option of controlling transmission line projects before other companies can bid on them. ROFR allows for construction to begin sooner and would ensure that projects are competitively bid with local contractors and union workers. All affected locals are coordinating their efforts to convince the governor of the many benefits of the measure.

Carlos S. Perez, A.B.M.

Our Founding, Our Future

L.U. 343 (i,spa&st), LE SUEUR, MN — Last month, our local reached a milestone of 45 years as an IBEW-chartered local union.

Local 343 has grown in membership and influence over the years. The hall moved from a rented office in a shopping mall in Le Sueur to a retrofitted Quonset hut in Rochester, Minn., and, in 2006, to the current location.

Where were you in 1979? If you answered, "Working with the tools as an electrician," you should be retired by now. In the mid-1970s, the tool list consisted of a knife, a 6-foot wooden rule, a pencil, two pairs of channel locks, five screwdrivers, a hammer, a center punch, a hacksaw frame, side cutters, diagonal pliers, a small level, a plumb bob and a small square.

Labor unions will continue to change with the times. One thing is constant: Union membership delivers dignity on the job and a higher standard of living at home.

The Sparky Fishing Opener on the Mississippi River will be June 8, with food, prizes and stories of "the one that got away." Check for details.

Invest in America, Buy Made In USA.

Tom Small, P.S.

Local 357's Bowling for Brotherhood

L.U. 357 (c,i,mt&se), LAS VEGAS, NV — On March 2, our local held its 13th annual Bowling for Brotherhood charity to benefit the Brotherhood Welfare Fund and Safe House. This event was founded by Business Manager Richie Work and has continued through the efforts of Brotherhood Welfare Committee Chairman Dan McDow, who has been the champion of this event for three years in a row. More than 100 brothers, sisters, friends and family members shared in this day of fun and competition.

Brother Matthew Baeza won the adult top score Business Managers' Award (209), the No-Tap High Score (262) and the Chairman's High Series Championship (3-game series total score 609). All the top score winners (of both the adult and youth divisions) won cash prizes. Matthew also received a custom-made tool pouch crafted by Brother Mike Trousdale.

We received donations to our Dusty Tool Drive for apprentices in need and raffled off numerous prizes for the adults and kids in attendance. It was another fantastic Local 357 event helping others and fostering brotherhood.

Julie-Ann Peeples, P.S.


Dan McDow, left, chairman of the Local 357 Brotherhood Welfare Committee, with Bowling for Brotherhood champion Matthew Baeza.

Solidarity Serves Local 483 Members

L.U. 483 (catv,lctt,o&u), TACOMA, WA — Our local's Tacoma Water members showed their union colors and solidarity at their employee appreciation barbecue. At the time, they were engaged in prolonged contract negotiations that were not favorable. Rather than refusing to attend the employer-sponsored event, our members came in their Local 483 T-shirts and showed their solidarity. The contract was settled soon after.

Union solidarity is continuing to grow in our ranks! Way to go!

Rianne Cornelison, P.S.


Local 483 members showed their union colors and solidarity at their employee appreciation barbecue.

Local 601's Brotherhood Night

L.U. 601 (i&rtb), CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, IL — Our brothers in the northern jurisdiction held a brotherhood night for all those working in the area. We'd like to thank members from Locals 34 and 176 for being present to celebrate with us. A big thanks to Brother Andy Svoboda for putting on the event.

Luther Baker, P.S.


Members from Local 601 joined those from Locals 34 and 176 for a brotherhood night.

Outside Line Construction/NECA Agreement

L.U. 659 (c,catv,em,i,lctt,o,st,t&u), MEDFORD, OR — Alongside Locals 77, 125 and 483, our local negotiated with its outside line NECA chapter. The negotiating committees' combined efforts have achieved a contract that is beneficial to our members' wages and benefits package:

  • Wage increases: 6% in 2024, 5% in 2025, 5% in 2026, 6.5% in 2027 and 6.5% in 2028 (total 29%).
  • NEAP contributions for JL, foreman, GF and operator/URD operator: 25 cents in 2024, 75 cents in 2025, 85 cents in 2026, $1.50 in 2027 and $1.65 in 2028 (total $5).
  • NEAP contributions for apprentice lineman and below: 25 cents for each year (total $1.25).
  • HRA increase: Starting in 2025, 10 cents for the remainder of the contract (total 40 cents).
  • LINECO increases will be covered through the term of the agreement.

For the term of the agreement, our journeyman linemen will be making $80.25 in wages, a $19.15 hourly NEAP contribution and $1.40 an hour into their HRA, with the total cost of LINECO covered by the employer.

James Davidson, A.B.M.

Local 915 Women's Committee Chartered

L.U. 915 (i&mt), TAMPA, FL — Business Manager Randall King is pleased to report that work continues to pick up in the Tampa Bay area. With two stadiums breaking ground over the next year, there will be opportunities for our northern brothers and sisters to head south and enjoy the Florida sunshine.

Local 915 held its annual Christmas party Dec. 9. More than 250 members and their families were hosted at the hall. Donations of unwrapped gifts were accepted on behalf of local charities. Santa made an appearance, and a good time was had by all.

The sisters of the Local 915 Women's Committee were presented with their official charter by Brother King at our January meeting. Sisters Tabitha Hunter and Christine Handley have done an exemplary job in building on the foundation laid by Sister Theresa King. We look forward to seeing all the great work the Local 915 Women's Committee has planned.

The first annual Local 915 chili cook-off was held Feb. 3. This event was put on by Brothers Andrew Rodriguez and Tyler Crawford. Brother Brian Nathan took home the first-place trophy, a cast-iron skillet with the Local 915 bug engraved on the bottom.

Brian Nathan, A.B.M.

Lake Forest Offers Valuable Service to Locals

L.U. 1347 (ees,em,u&ptc), CINCINNATI, OH — A positive result of our organizing drive in 2023 was the addition of Lake Forest Financial Advisors to our local. Lake Forest is a member of the Principal Financial Group, a pro-union company that has for years provided valuable advice and service to Local 1347 and its members. Now, as IBEW brothers and sisters, they are expanding their commitment to serve throughout Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Local 82 Assistant Business Agent David Bruce said: "Our mentor program has developed a partnership with advisors Keith and Art. Through them, Lake Forest Financial has been able to better educate our younger apprentices about financial responsibility. I believe, with this education, we can give our apprentices a better start earlier in their career. I am grateful to have met Keith and Art — I am better able to help our younger members."

This group of union professional financial advisers works hard to understand the financial challenges of our brotherhood and our locals. Be sure to reach out ( to see how they can help your local.

Andrew Kirk, B.M.


As the result of Local 1347's organizing drive in 2023, Lake Forest Financial Advisors was added to the local.

Local 1547 Lobbies Alaska Legislature

L.U. 1547 (c,em,i,o,t,u,lctt&ptc), ANCHORAGE, AK — Apprentices Antonio Diaz and Ivan Malloy joined retirees Zack Coss, Steve Davis and Gene White in lobbying the Alaska Legislature at the Alaska AFL-CIO Legislative Fly-In. The team lobbied legislators on apprenticeship utilization, federal infrastructure money and local hires.

Melinda Taylor, Comm. Dir.


Local 1547 retirees and apprentices lobbied Alaska legislators on apprenticeship utilization, federal infrastructure money and local hires at the Alaska AFL-CIO Legislative Fly-In.

Local 1579 Graduations and Elections

L.U. 1579 (i&o), AUGUSTA, GA — Hello, brothers and sisters. By the time you receive this issue, we will have another graduating class of apprentices ready to take on the industry. To those graduates, let me be among the first to congratulate you on completing your arduous journey. It's now up to you to choose your path in our diverse field. I urge you all to participate in our continuing-education classes, which we offer free. I also encourage you to stay active in your local, as you are our future.

The work situation in Augusta is holding its own, and hopefully the construction will soon pick up at the Savannah River Plutonium Processing Facility. There are several data centers soon to break ground in our area. Business Manager J.R. Richardson continues to reach out to contractors, both in and out of our area, to bid on this work. We hope his diligence will soon come to fruition, as a general contractor has asked to address the Augusta Building Trades concerning at least one of these projects.

I recently attended registrar training with International Representatives G. William Salters and John Zapfel, which was very educational and supplied us with tools to help us elect labor-friendly legislators at both national and local levels. This is a very important election for labor, and your vote is essential in our chances to maintain our existence as the driving force of the middle class. Get involved, and vote.

"The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all."
– John F. Kennedy

Mike Greene, Pres.

Local 1701 Blessed With Opportunities

L.U. 1701 (catv,ees,i,o&u), OWENSBORO, KY — Last December, the local held its years-of-service recognition ceremony, with members receiving their service pins. Brother Dick Elder received a certificate recognizing 70 years of service. Recent retirees received USA-made clocks.

The JATC Committee has hired Brother Jason Sharp to be the full-time apprentice training director. Brother Sharp's office is set up at the training facility. Additionally, Brother Shad Chappel has been brought in to oversee the training labs at the facility. The JATC welcomes two new instructors, Brothers Chris Bartlett and Kevin Merimee, and Brother Jeff Barr is the apprentice craft certification administrator.

Retired Brother Allen Nall coordinates the monthly retirement lunch, and it typically serves 40 members and their spouses with a variety of meals.

Brother Joe Ballard leads the continuing education for required hours to maintain state licenses. All members are encouraged to work toward their state JW and master's licenses.

Our local is blessed with many opportunities in our jurisdiction, with members working with a number of contractors on a variety of commercial and industrial projects.

Rick Thurman, P.S.

Local 2359's David McChesney Retires

L.U. 2359 (u), CIRCLEVILLE, OH — Our local announces the retirement of Business Manager/President David McChesney as of January. David's leadership guided the local through tough and good times, and he will be remembered fondly for the service he provided during his tenure of nearly 13 years.

Brother McChesney's union career began in 1981 as a shop steward, and he transitioned to financial secretary in 1992. He continued at that position until 2011, when he took over as business manager/president following the retirement of the previous president. During that time, Dave also served on the board of the Ohio State Conference of the IBEW.

David has stated that, in addition to his service as business manager/president, his biggest union honor was serving as sergeant at arms at the 40th IBEW International Convention in Chicago.

Our sincere thanks and congratulations to David McChesney. We wish him and his wife, Kathy, a lengthy and enjoyable retirement!

David is succeeded by 16-year member Justin Waugh, who was sworn in as the new business manager/president of Local 2359. Congratulations to Brother Waugh! May he continue the successful legacy left by David for many years to come.

Lonnie Roberts, P.S.


Local 2359's former Business Manager/President David McChesney celebrates his retirement.