Welcome to the IBEW 10th District

The 10th District of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers is comprised of proud union members in sixty-one Local Unions in Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Each Local is part of one of the most progressive unions in existence, the IBEW, representing some 750,000 members in the United States and Canada



Organizing

Are you or someone you know interested in joining the IBEW? One of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers main objectives: To organize all workers in the entire electrical industry in the United States and Canada, including all those in public utilities and electrical manufacturing into local unions. Click Here For More Information.

Biden to Nominate Retired IVP Klein to TVA Board

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Union labor built the TVA,” Klein said. “I’m very humbled and grateful for this opportunity. Certainly, I’m indebted to the IBEW for submitting my name for consideration.”

Retired Tenth District International Vice President Bobby Klein
is a member of Chattanooga, Tenn., Local 175.

There are four open positions on the Authority’s board, and both International President Lonnie R. Stephenson, who served as an adviser on Biden’s transition team, and current Tenth District International Vice President Brent E. Hall are delighted with Klein’s intended nomination by the Biden administration. “Bobby cares about people, the TVA and its mission, and I think it’s a great opportunity for him, for organized labor, and for TVA’s ratepayers,” Hall said.

A lifelong resident of Chattanooga, Tenn., Klein was initiated into Chattanooga Local 846 in 1974, and he topped out as a lineman in 1981. Working with the city’s Electric Power Board, Klein went on to become a line foreman, supervising the construction and maintenance of the power distribution system. Three years later, he was chosen to serve as the overhead line department’s chief steward.

Klein was elected president of Local 846 in 1988 and was re-elected in 1991. When Local 846 merged with Chattanooga Local 175, Klein left his EPB job and joined the local staff full-time.

In 1998, then-International President J. J. Barry appointed Klein as an international representative with the Tenth District, which covers Tennessee, Arkansas and the Carolinas. There, Klein took on the role as the service representative for the 17 IBEW locals with members employed by the TVA.

The Authority was established in 1933 under President Franklin Roosevelt, one of his many “New Deal” programs that helped put to work people who lost jobs during the Great Depression. It remains the nation’s largest government-owned power provider, a fully self-sustaining utility supported by the revenues it collects from the millions of ratepayers it serves.

“Any time you talk to Bobby about the TVA, first and foremost he’ll tell you TVA’s mission statement: To bring prosperity to the Valley,” Hall said. “He’s a perfect candidate for the board. He does not make knee-jerk decisions. He thinks things through.”

Today, the TVA employs about 2,500 IBEW members as permanent employees at nearly 60 nuclear, oil and gas, hydroelectric and solar worksites, with thousands more members performing short-term work for the utility each year upgrading infrastructure and performing regular maintenance.

While Klein worked in the district office, he also served on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Labor-Management Committee, and in 2001 he was elected president of the Tennessee Valley Trades and Labor Council, a position he held for 14 years.

In 2003, then-International President Edwin D. Hill appointed Klein to serve as the district’s international vice president; he was re-elected by delegates to the 37th and 38th International Conventions. In 2014, Klein led a successful fight against a draft federal budget plan to privatize the Authority. He retired from the IBEW the following year.

The TVA board position requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate. A hearing date to consider Klein’s nomination has not yet been set.

“I feel like having someone from labor will bring a different perspective to the board,” Klein said.

“For so many years, Bobby served with distinction as this union’s caretaker of our partnership with the TVA,” said Stephenson, who noted that, in 2018, the IBEW and the TVA forged a partnership to promote the values of the Code of Excellence and to inspire new levels of cooperation between labor and management.

“As far as anyone can tell, if he’s confirmed, he’ll be the first union member to hold a seat on the TVA’s board,” Stephenson said.

“This nomination is not about me,” Klein said. “It’s about bettering the future of the TVA, IBEW and all working-class people in the Tennessee Valley region.”

 


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Harris Calls for Investment in IBEW

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Kamberalis also introduced Harris before a crowd in which people wore masks and were socially distance due to COVID-19 protocols.

“If we’re going to build back better, we have to invest in skills development of the workforce,” Harris said. “To do that, if we are going to get the greatest return on our investment, let’s invest in the IBEW. Let’s invest in the building trades.

“Let’s invest in those apprenticeship programs that for as long as we can remember have been some of the best at passing along the skills that will build us back up.”

Hearing that was music to the ears of Local 490 Business Manager Marco Lacasse. Earlier that week, he and other Local 490 officials decided to admit two apprenticeship classes this year – which means about 40 apprentices -- instead of the usual one because of the growing demand.

Many of the incoming apprentices already have been working or attended college, he said. But they see the value of what the IBEW and Local 490 offers, especially with the Biden administration’s emphasis on improving America’s infrastructure.

“Let’s buckle up and get the American Jobs Plan passed so our infrastructure provides everything we deserve,” Lacasse said. “We’re too far behind. We need to put America first again and put Americans on the job with dignity and respect.”

The plan has received pushback from some members of Congress, mostly Republicans, who say the $2.3 trillion cost is too high – even though GOP-backed tax cuts for the wealthy during the Trump administration led to record federal deficits and did little to address the United States’ crumbling infrastructure.

Harris, however, said now is the time to think big, comparing it to when President Kennedy challenged the federal government to put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. American astronauts first walked on the lunar surface in 1969.

 “We said, ‘We are going to the moon’ and we planted a flag there,” she said.

The United States must have the same sense of urgency when it comes to improving infrastructure and rebuilding its domestic manufacturing base, she said.

“The very nature of who we are is we know how to aspire,” Harris said. “To see things that can be regardless of what has been. In our greatest moments, we have invested in that vision, where we agree we’re not going to be incremental in our approach.

“We’re not going to say we’re going to take it slow and one day at time. We say, ‘Let’s be big.’ When we set the bar high, the very nature of American aspiration is that we always jump for it and we do it.”

She also noted the plan’s emphasis on rural America, including the call to improve the country’s broadband capability. She also defended its call for additional funding for childcare, saying it will allow more American workers access to jobs that lead to economic security for their families.

“This is something that is going to give people a great sense of hope about what is possible,” she said. 

International President Lonnie R. Stephenson said Biden’s plan will “spur a renaissance in made-in-America manufacturing, bringing new jobs to American communities.”

“Every day the federal government does not act is another day we fall further behind our foreign competitors,” Stephenson added. “And the looming threat of climate change means we must move now to invest in clean energy technology that will slash carbon emissions and put millions to work.”

Others in attendance during Harris’ visit were New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen along with Chris Pappas and Annie Kuster, the Granite State’s two representatives in the House of Representatives.

Shaheen, a former New Hampshire governor, thanked Lacasse and Local 490 members for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also mentioned International Representative Joe Casey, who lives in New Hampshire and has been a leader for many years on initiatives involving the IBEW and all of labor in the state.

“It has been the men and women of 490 who helped keep the lights on and kept our homes heated,” she said. “When the weather patterns were bad, they went out in the storm. They weren’t able to work from home.”

Harris noted this was her second visit to an IBEW local union in recent months.

In September of last year, when she was still a senator from California and serving as Biden’s running mate on the Democratic ticket, she visited Milwaukee Local 494’s training center.

“It’s great to be in the house of labor,” she said while kicking off her remarks.

Added Lacasse: “It was a great honor for all of us to host her visit and her message about improving the infrastructure with good-paying American jobs was just what we needed and wanted to hear.

“I also want to thank Vice President Harris for spending time with Kelli and Haley and her interest in our training programs. Local 490 members are ready to do whatever is necessary to build America back better.”