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The Relay - February 2017

February 1st, 2017

The Relay

The IBEW Local Union 175 Newsletter

Vol.1, No.2 February 2017


There is no greater calling than to serve your Brother. And, no greater satisfaction than to have done it well. Walter Reuther


Welcome to THE RELAY. Many years ago, the leadership of IBEW LU 175 published THE RELAY in an effort to strengthen the communication of information to LU 175's membership. The copy was in paper form, mailed via the United States Postal Service, and read in the hands of our Brothers and Sisters that built this Local into one of the finest in North America. The newest version of THE RELAY will now carry on that proud tradition to all generations of LU 175 membership via a 21st century internet.


Letter from IBEW Local Union 175 Business Manager Gary Watkins

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

Times flies when you're having fun. February has been so busy. Many of you were at the UTC Basketball games on February 4th...GO MOCS!

The RENEW Committee has started having regular meetings on the 1st Monday of each month at 6:00 PM. For those who aren’t familiar with RENEW, Reach out and Engage New Electrical Workers, it is the IBEW’s outreach to new members. Please contact Matt McCoy at the Local office or email him at matt@ibew175.org for more information about connecting with RENEW.

The Local has revived Steward Training classes for our current Inside Construction Stewards. We will expand the training as we move forward into 2017. Please thank those who serve as Stewards, as is it is not a glamorous position. Stewards are frequently called upon to share news or decisions that are not popular. Please remember that these Brothers and Sisters perform a service in the workplace that is necessary to protect workers and contracts.

On Tuesday February 21st, many were on hand to enjoy a Labor history program presented by the Shelby Bottom Duo. They are currently touring with their “Joe Hill Traveling Labor History Show”. We also enjoyed a “beans and greens” dinner of pinto and great northern beans, turnip and collard greens, cornbread, chow-chow, and lots of other peppers and onions. Dessert was fresh apple cobbler and banana pudding.

To be included in notices for future events, if you aren’t already signed up, simply text: IBEW175  to 31996. This will add you to our text messaging list.

The regular 1st and 3rd Monday meetings are always a great place to see folks and enjoy great fellowship. These meetings start at 7:30 pm. We will also begin Code of Excellence classes in March. Please watch our webpage for dates and registration information.

While we don’t have start dates or calls yet, our best information says both Google-Yellowhammer in Stevenson, AL and Bellefonte in Hollywood, AL are expected to make good announcements later this year.

I close with the notice that many of our Units are in contract negotiations at this time. The best way to support your Union is to attend meetings and participate. Supporting your leaders shows a stronger group. Remember:

 “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”  Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV)

Together we can accomplish much more that we can individually.

In Solidarity,

Gary M. Watkins


Letter from IBEW Local Union 175 President Winfred Gearrin

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I personally hope this writing finds everyone and their families in good health and doing well.

We have just received word of the passing of Brother Richard "Round Man" Turner. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family. Brother Turner was an excellent electrician and good brother to all who knew him. He will truly be missed and he has our prayers.

Looking forward, we have had several calls for the upcoming outage at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant and will be watching as Sequoyah Nuclear Plant gears up for a back to back outage as well. With several brothers working on the road, many have come home to support our efforts in manning our own work. Local 175 thanks our membership for this outstanding effort. We are still watching for information and specifics to come out on the Wacker, Bellefonte, and Google projects as they develop. There have been some fun events for our members and families to participate in and more to look forward to as Spring comes into bloom.

Safety has to be a lifestyle in all activities of life. Regardless, if it is a work or at the ball fields with our children. Safety and developing a strong Brotherhood is predicated on the involvement of all members of an organization. Everyone is always encouraged to get involved with your Local Union. This is the very thing that affords us the opportunities to enjoy all aspects of our lives. We all work with someone we can invite to our Local Union meetings. Remember, our union meetings are the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month. Please get involved.

In closing, I would like to thank everyone on staff at IBEW Local 175, the instructors at the apprenticeship school, as well as the journeyman and the apprentices for working together in helping to make Local 175 the greatest IBEW Local in the 10th District. We do the work that makes our great country strong. Thank you and may God bless each of you and your family.   

With best regards I am,

Winfred Gearrin


Bonds of Brotherhood: IBEW Local 175 RENEW Committee begins its monthly meetings

The Local 175 RENEW Committee has started the new year off right. After sponsoring Local 175's Inaugural Fall Motorcycle Ride, the brothers and sisters of RENEW got back to business by holding its first strategy meeting of the year.   

According to RENEW's mission statement: "Greater involvement by local union members of all ages is critical to the growth of the IBEW. RENEW is an IBEW-wide initiative dedicated to creating opportunities for members ages 35 years and younger and helping them develop the skills necessary to become active in the local union and play a role in shaping its future."

During the meeting, Brother Matt McCoy and Brother Cody Walker presented an agenda associated to developing a leadership effort comprised of Local 175's younger workers. RENEW emphasizes a priority in strengthening the bonds of brotherhood and introducing the young workers to the history and values of Local 175's traditions. "The goals of this program are to educate the next generation of workers about the benefits of the IBEW, to provide a space for younger members to discuss issues relevant to their workplace and community, and to encourage their participation in programs that are focused on strengthening the local union and the labor movement."

IBEW Local 175's RENEW Committee encourages participation from all members who want to strengthen our Local. RENEW meetings are held on the 1st Monday of every month at 6:00 PM. Contact Matt McCoy matt@ibew175.org for ways to get involved. 

Above photo (L-R): Brothers Tim Wright, Matt McCoy, Daniel Whiteside, Zack Ballard, Logan Haynes, Dennis Curry, Cody Walker, Zac Painter, Mchael Dixon, Ernest Pieve, Dave Roberts, and Ronnie Casey. Not pictured: Eli Watkins, Michael Lyons, Jeremy McClain, and Daniel Buckmaster.



IBEW Local 175 Retirees' Breakfast

On January 19th, Local 175 had the distinct honor and pleasure to host the IBEW Local 175 Retirees' Breakfast. The 93 brothers and sisters in attendance represent some of the finest craftsman and Union representatives this country has to offer. The quarterly Breakfast is an excellent opportunity for retired members to fellowship and reminisce. 

Local 175 expresses great appreciation for those who were in attendance. Let it be known, Local 175 is the Local it is today because of the effort, dedication, and craftsmanship of these great brothers and sisters. Thank you so very much.

The next Retirees' Breakfast will be in the Spring. We look forward to it.


Membership Profile: IBEW Local 175 and Resolute Paper Products

IBEW Local 175 is more than just inside and outside construction. The brothers in the Electrical & Instrumentation division at Resolute Paper Products is one example of Local 175's various business units. Historically, the men and women of IBEW Local 175 have worked a tremendous amount of man-hours in construction and maintenance at Bowater and Resolute. 

Unit Chairman Roy Parsons has brought a significant amount of leadership and dedication to the job. Brother Parsons is excited about the growing business at Resolute Paper Products with its new tissue line and hopes to grow more opportunities for IBEW Local 175. 

The membership at Resolute recently celebrated the retirements of Brothers Mike Bishop, Bobby Thompson, and Dwight Tinsley. After years of service, Local 175 wishes these brothers a happy retirement.

Above Photo (L-R): Unit Chairman Roy Parsons, Brother Mike Bishop, Brother Jeff Eldridge, Brother Steve Serago, and Brother Gerald Lunsford.



Posted by IBEW Admin | Topic: 2017  | Category: Newsletter

The Relay - January 2017

January 1st, 2017

The Relay

The IBEW Local Union 175 Newsletter

Vol.1, No.1 January 2017


As iron sharpens iron, so does one man sharpen another. Proverbs 27:17


Welcome to THE RELAY. Many years ago, the leadership of IBEW LU 175 published THE RELAY in an effort to strengthen the communication of information to LU 175's membership. The copy was in paper form, mailed via the United States Postal Service, and read in the hands of our Brothers and Sisters that built this Local into one of the finest in North America. The newest version of THE RELAY will now carry on that proud tradition to all generations of LU 175 membership via a 21st century internet.


Letter from IBEW Local Union 175 Business Manager Gary Watkins

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings to all members of IBEW Local 175.

It is my honor and privilege to serve as Business  Manager/Financial Secretary of IBEW Local 175 at this great juncture in our history. The IBEW Local 175 membership is comprised of twenty-one counties including eleven in Southeast Tennessee: Bledsoe, Bradley, Franklin, Grundy, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, and Sequatchie. Local 175 also serves members in eight counties in North Georgia: Catoosa, Dade, Fannin, Gilmer, Gordon, Murray, Walker and Whitfield and two counties in Northeast Alabama: Dekalb and Jackson. We serve various electrical cooperatives, utilities and one municipality in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.

We are proud to announce the transition from printed newspaper to the digital domain. We hope you find THE RELAY useful, worthy of your time, and entertaining. Check the newsletter each month to learn more about our business units and our membership. 

THE RELAY will highlight who we are, where we are, who we serve, and present informative stories from our brothers and sisters.  We plan to use this newsletter to bring news of current events, work and job reports, notices of training, and other items that provide a direct benefit to Local 175 membership. Additionally, Local 175 uses Facebook to disseminate items that are more time sensitive. Look for the IBEW Local 175 Facebook page. If  you see or have news items that you wish to have considered for inclusion, please submit them to: news@ibew175.org.

Many of Local 175's membership have requested Steward training, Code of Excellence, and other training. I will begin teaching Code of Excellence classes in February. Other classes will follow, with dates and enrollment instructions posted on Facebook.

We are are excited to host a "Beans & Greens" night at Local 175 on Tuesday, February 21st from 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm. For our entertainment, the Shelby Bottom Duo will be performing songs of the musical history of Joe Hill and the early labor movement. We will have 200 tickets available for this evening. Tickets are $5 with proceeds to benefit the Chattanooga Area Food Bank. You can reserve tickets by calling the hall at 423.894.3557. Join us for good food, good music, and great fellowship.

Finally, this is truly a new age. January 20th, 2017 saw the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the Untied States of America. Whether or not you supported President Trump, I believe that it is our duty to pray for our leaders. During this new time, we should ask that all leaders are blessed with guidance and wisdom to lead our nation forward  to peace and prosperity. 

Thank you for all you do!

Fraternally and sincerely,

Gary M. Watkins


Letter from IBEW Local Union 175 President Winfred Gearrin

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I would like to begin with thanks and appreciation to the membership for allowing me to serve as your President. I can assure you the officers you have chosen and those who have been appointed are brothers and sisters of the highest integrity and are committed to serving with an unwavering determination to make our Local the best it can be.

This is a transition time in our Local due, in part, to our work outlook and the completion of the Watts Bar Unit 2 Construction Project. It is encouraging to know we have a lot to look forward to in the next year with the upcoming February outage at Watts Bar and then the March outage at Sequoyah Nuclear. Wacker Chemie AG is also planning $150,000,000 investment in plant expansion projects to its Charleston, TN facility. Later in this year, there will be opportunities in the developing projects at Bellefonte Nuclear and Google-Yellow Hammer. These projects will aid in getting some of our membership back home and working in Local 175's jurisdiction again.

In closing, I would like to encourage everyone to get involved with Local 175. You can start by attending the union meetings. It is there, your voice can be heard and put into action. We will have many events coming up this year that will be good for you to be a part of in some way. I wish for a prosperous and blessed year for all.

With best regards I am,

Winfred Gearrin


Bonds of Brotherhood: IBEW LU 175 Strengthens the Brotherhood with The Inaugural Fall Ride

This past October, IBEW LU 175 held an Inaugural Fall Motorcycle Ride. Over forty LU 175 brothers and sisters braved the cool fall morning to share in the bonds of brotherhood during the 4 hour ride. 

The beginning point of the poker run began at Crockett PowerSports-Chattanooga with stops at Big Daddy's Fireworks in Powell's Crossroads, Sequachee Valley Electrical Co-Op in South Pittsburg, and Charlie's Lounge in Soddy Daisy with the ride culminating back at the LU 175 Union Hall.

“In the initial planning stages, we wanted to reintroduces fellowship outside of work,” said Asst. Bus. Mgr. Matt McCoy, co-coordinator of the Fall Ride. “We tried to plan for all worst-case scenarios in order to provide a good ride, excluding one flat tire and one blown fuse we were able to have an awesome event.”

Riders and their families of the Fall Ride enjoyed the warmer afternoon with a catered BBQ lunch, a coronation of the poker run winner, and tables of door prizes. IBEW LU 175 partnered with multiple vendors such as Milwaukee Tools, IBEW LU 175 Credit Union, Thunder Creek Harley Davidson, InLine Electric Supply Company, Crockett PowerSports, ALTEC, and Costco which provided resources and prizes to show appreciation of the members that attended. 

IBEW LU 175 hopes that the success of this year's Fall Ride leads to a bigger event next year. Look for it again in 2017.


Brother Seth Brown leading the pack.

Brothers Zac Painter and Dennis Curry with their better halves.

Brothers Gary Watkins, Seth Brown, Ray Stillwell, Brian Hunter, and Eddie Long.

BBQ and brotherhood after the ride.

Brothers Kevin Taunton, Bob Hopper, Eddie Long, Caleb Long, Ernest Pieve, and Zac Painter.

Brothers Scott Moore, Lonnie Stephenson, Darren Brown, and Randy Day.


Membership Profile: Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative

IBEW Local 175 is more than just inside and outside construction. Meriwether Lewis is one example of our various business units. Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative is comprised of twenty one IBEW Local 175 lineman that services Perry, Hickman, Humphreys, Houston, and Lewis counties. These Local 175 lineman work hard to insure that 34,000 Middle Tennessee homes and businesses have reliable electrical service.

Brother David Qualls represents Local 175's members as Unit Chairman at Meriwether Lewis. These brothers recently celebrated their annual Christmas meeting with 20 out of 21 members in attendance. 

This Summer, Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative and IBEW Local 175 enter into contract negotiations. Show support to these members. Their success is our success.


Posted by IBEW Admin | Topic: 2017  | Category: Newsletter

Click HERE for Inside Electrician Apprenticeship information

Click HERE for Outside Lineman Apprenticeship information

Posted by IBEW Admin

Posted by IBEW Admin

Scholarship Page

March 7th, 2016

Scholarship Information PageBelow you will find links to information pertaining to scholarships offered by Unions and Union friendly groups. We will add links as we receive other information.

IBEW Founders Scholarship
Tennessee AFL-CIO Scholarship page
Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers/Chattanooga Area Labor Council Scholarship

Posted by IBEW Admin