An award honoring a successful labor-management effort to save jobs and fight for a clean energy future in Illinois was presented in March to Dean Apple, business manager at Downers Grove, Ill., Local 15, and to Exelon CEO Chris Crane.
| From left: Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan; International Secretary-Treasurer Kenneth W. Cooper, Exelon CEO Chris Crane, Local 15 Business Manager Dean Apple and EEI President Thomas Kuhn. Dingell presented the award, which is named for her husband. John Dingell served 60 years in Congress, half of them as a leader of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The John D. Dingell Award is presented annually to leaders “who exemplify and promote labor-management cooperation.” It is given by the National Labor Management Public Affairs Committee, created 10 years ago by IBEW and the Edison Electric Institute.
“The collaboration between Chris and Dean to find solutions to help protect jobs and increase clean energy in Illinois is a terrific example of the importance of working together for the benefit of customers and our communities," EEI President Tom Kuhn said, calling the men “tremendous leaders who have made significant contributions to the electric power industry.”
Working together, IBEW and EEI’s Commonwealth Edison persuaded the Illinois Legislature to pass the Future Energy Jobs Act in December 2016. The law expands energy efficiency and low-income programs, protects 4,200 jobs, provides job training and keeps Illinois' nuclear facilities open, preserving 1.2 billion in economic activity.
Apple said he and Exelon ‘worked both sides of the aisle, a real collaborative effort” to get the bill passed. “It was a long process, but, in the end, it was about saving those nuclear plants and the good-paying jobs for our members.”
One of the sites the bill saved was the Quad Cities Nuclear Plant, where Apple was a business representative from 1995 to 2007. “I know a lot of those members well,” he said, “so this whole effort was very personal.”
Apple said he’s always had a respectful relationship with Exelon. “I try to listen, and I hope they try to do the same for me,” he said. “I don’t like pounding on the table, although sometimes you have to do it. In this instance, it was nice to be working toward the same goal. We were able to get it done at the last minute before the legislative session ended.”
Their achievement embodies National LAMPAC’s goals of cooperation and partnership among energy company executives and IBEW leaders to address U.S. energy challenges and achieve the common goals of a well-managed, efficient business with a safe and highly skilled workforce.
“What Dean and Chris accomplished is exactly what LAMPAC strives for – an outcome that is good for our members, good for the industry and good for the communities we serve,” International President Lonnie Stephenson said.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan presented the award, named for her husband, to Apple and Crane at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.John Dingell retired from Congress in 2015 after 60 years of service, including 30 years as chair or ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.