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The Relay - March 2019

April 25th, 2019

The Relay

The IBEW Local Union 175 Newsletter

Vol.2, No.3 March 2019

Brother Caleb Long, Editor

"The most important word in the language of the working class is SOLIDARITY." Harry Bridges

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

Greetings to all my Brothers and Sisters in IBEW Local 175,

I hope this note finds you all well and prosperous. In the past I have written columns to address situations, issues, problems and things going on in our jurisdiction. Today, I am going in a different direction. Today I'm going to write about a couple of really great websites.

The IBEW is using to reach out to all electrical workers. The reason is simple. The Objects of the IBEW direct us to reach out and organize everyone working in the electrical industry. HourPower shows many different facets of our industry. We're not just construction workers, Inside or Outside. We have literally thousands of classifications of workers within the ranks of the IBEW.

Another site that I'm referencing today is Here you will find stories about industry happenings, training, new programs and a host of other great information.

For the Sportsmen out there, check out Union Sportsmen Alliance at They offer great benefits and many giveaways to Union members. This site covers hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities for Union members and their families. They also sell calendars that give you 2 chances a week to win a gun.

I urge you to check out the sites listed here today to broaden your knowledge of your Union.

I ask you to keep one another on your toes by checking tickets. Be sure to check your own ticket first...

In the electrical industry, we ARE our Brothers' (and Sisters') keeper. Regardless of your station in the industry, the most important thing we do every day is return home, safe and sound. Please, rise above the politics of your workplace and be a leader for the IBEW. When we perform our best work, we are unmatched in quality and quantity. We must perform our best work every day to remain at the top of our game.

Thank you, each of you, for everything you do to make this IBEW the great family that it is.

Sincerely and fraternally,

Gary M. Watkins

Bussiness Manager/Financial Secretary, IBEW Local 175

Local 175 Unit Profile: Resolute Forest Products-Calhoun, TN

Resolute Forest Products-Calhoun, TN is one of  IBEW Local 175's longest standing business units. Formerly known as Bowater, the manufacturing facility produces specialty paper products, bathroom tissue, wood products, market-grade pulp and newsprint. As Resolute-Calhoun has grown and transitioned itself within the paper industry, IBEW Local 175 members have enjoyed many years of construction, outage and direct hire employment opportunities at the plant.

The 420 employee Bargaining Unit is represented by both the United Steelworkers (USW) and IBEW. IBEW Local 175 currently maintains 100% representation of the 40 Electrical & Instrumentation Techs within Resolute's maintenance Department.

In late March, the Resolute Council entered into contract negotiations for all unionized North American facilities. The bargaining sessions were held in Atlanta, GA with Resolute representatives coming from Montreal, Canada and Council members coming from the various Resolute mills in the Southern United States. 

IBEW Local 175 Unit Chairman Brian French, Unit Vice Chairman Bobby Brooks and Local 175 Assistant Business Manager Caleb Long represented Local 175 during these negotiations. Both sides were able to finalize a long term agreement that will provide stability for Resolute within international paper, pulp and tissue markets while also providing the bargaining unit with yearly 2.5% pay increases and protected benefits.

Posted by IBEW Admin | Topic: 2019  | Category: Newsletter