The IBEW Local Union 175 Newsletter
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: firstname.lastname@example.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,
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.