The IBEW Local Union 175 Newsletter
Vol.2, No.2 February 2019
Brother Caleb Long, Editor
The parties to the labor contract must be nearly equal in strength if justice is to be worked out, and this means that the workers must be organized. Louis D. Brandeis
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 175 Business Manager Gary Watkins
Letter From IBEW Local 175 President Winfred Gearrin
Greetings Brothers and Sisters,
Spring is on the horizon, we still have some cold and rainy days, but sunshine and warmer days are just around the corner. Even though the weather changes, our commitment to safety and excellent craftsmanship is unwavering. I want to thank all our members and travelers for the good job you do and for doing it safely. Every day we put our boots on and go to work in order to make the lives of our families better. Also, by keeping your dues paid current you are showing you care about them. The benefits that you receive by being a member in good standing is also a benefit for your loved ones. As a reminder, if you have a change in your phone number, address or beneficiary please let the ladies in the front office know. They can update your file and let the international's beneficiary office know so records will be current.
I am pleased and proud of the increased attendance at our regular union meetings. Please help get the word out to come on the 1st and 3rd Monday at 7:00 PM. The business of this Local is conducted at these meetings. Be a part of conducting OUR business.
Our organizing department is doing a great job, We have aquired some excellent electricians from the non-union sector. We are proud to have these brothers and sisters that have made the right choice to go UNION. Let's never forget we are all organizers.
In closing, I would like to encourage evrery member to get involved with some aspect of this Local. Always do the right thing by knowing together we stand, devided we fall. There is strength in numbers. As always, thank you for what you do and may God Bless each of you and yours.
With best regards I am,
President, IBEW Local 175
Brother Jim White Retires
"Jim was always organized and handled his business as a professional. He held the respect of the room during Labor/Management meetings. Jim began giving me access to voicemails as he neared his retirement date and as I was taking his job responsibilities. There were many voicemails wishing him off to retirement and ones that just called because of the type of person Jim is. That says something." Grant Rains, IBEW Local 175 Assistant Business Manager
Brother Jim White has taken his 46 year career into retirement. Brother White retires having served Local 175 as a Journeyman Lineman and Assistant Business Manager.
Brother White, Local 175 thanks you for your service to this Local. Enjoy retirement.
RENEW Brings Challenge to Chattanooga JATC
One of the best ways to communicate a message is to do it to someone with a full belly. That's why members of Local 175's RENEW Committee recently visited the Chattanooga JATC and grilled hamburgers with several apprentices.
During the Q & A session, a simple communication was put in front of the group: KNOW YOU HAVE THE POWER TO EFFECT CHANGE IN YOUR LOCAL. The conversations focused on making sure apprentices and young workers have the knowledge of using this ability through just showing up, by direct action like community service or by assuming leadership roles in RENEW.
It's frankly a time for the next generation to start taking what soon will be completely theirs. To join RENEW contact Matt McCoy.
Local 175 Unit Profile: Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Cooperative
Local 175 was established as MTEMC's Bargaining Unit Representative in 1953. The bargaining unit was initially established as Journeyman Lineman, Apprentice Lineman, Groundmen and Operators. After a recent organizing win, IBEW Local 175 has now added System Control Operators as card-carrying union members.
According to Assistant Business Manager Matt McCoy, "The relationship with Middle Tennessee's management has always been a good one." It's often the case in organizing that employees seek union representation when management promises fail to follow through. System Control Operators began to see the value of Local 175 representation in existing Unit business.
For the first time in IBEW's 10th District, the management of an employer recognized the Voluntary Card Signs of the MTEMC System Control Operators. This was a big win for the Bargaining Unit and for IBEW Local 175.
Congratulations to the new IBEW Local 175 members at Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Cooperative. For organizing information in Outside Construction or Co-Ops, contact Matt McCoy or Grant Raines.
Chattanooga JATC Announces JW Continuing Education
The Chattanooga JATC is currently offering Continuing Education to the first 100 Journeyman Wireman that register. Call the JATC at 423.894.9053 to reserve your spot.