job information
news
calendar
member login

2022

The Relay - February 2022

March 1st, 2022

The Relay

The IBEW Local Union 175 Newsletter

Vol.2, No.2 February 2022



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.


For the Membership: A Letter From Gary Watkins, Business Manager-IBEW Local Union 175

Greetings IBEW Local 175 Sisters and Brothers,

I hope this message finds you all well and prosperous! By now you all realize that time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana. Spring is just around the corner and there is an ice storm just northwest of Memphis, TN. These are unusual days, indeed.

I'll be brief this month. I want to share our calendar for the foreseeable future.

  • On Thursday March 17th (St. Patrick's Day), we will have a Retirees Breakfast at the IBEW Local 175 Union Hall beginning at 9:00 AM. While we won't have the regular spread from Wally's Buffet, we will have plenty food to enjoy, fellowship, and breaking bread together after such a long drought.
  • On Monday April 4th, nominations for Officers at IBEW Local 175 will be held during the regular Union meeting.
  • On Monday May 9th, the 40th IBEW International Convention will begin in Chicago, IL. Local 175 has 10 delegates elected to represent us at this event.
  • On Monday June 6th, election of Officers will be held during the day. Results will be posted on the ibew175.org website as soon as they are certified.
  • On Monday July 18th, newly elected Officers of IBEW Local 175 will be sworn in at the regular Union meeting.

I hope to see you at many of these opportunities for fellowship.

Fraternally and sincerely,

Gary M. Watkins, Business Manager/Financial Secretary-IBEW Local Union 175


For the Membership: A Letter From Danny Painter, President-IBEW Local Union 175

Welcome IBEW 175 Sisters and Brothers,

Last month I went over IBEW 175 Death Benefits, since then we picked up a few new members to the fund, could use more, hopefully it will grow.

This month I'm going to write about some of our other funds.

Let's start with International Death Benefit Fund. You must have been a members in continuous and active, good standing for 6 months to be eligible. Also, you can be no more than 2 months behind on your dues. Your beneficiary would receive a sum of $6,250 for any natural causes of death, and $12,500 for any accidental means. This information can be found in your Constitution under Article 11, section 4 (a).

We have another accidental death benefit with American Income Life. $4,000 for just having your dues paid up.

Family Medical Care Plan has a death benefit of $10,000 plus an accidental death benefit of $10,000 for all the inside wireman classifications. The accidental death doubles if work related.

Lineco has a death benefit of $10,000 plus an accidental death benefit of $20,000 for all the outside lineman classifications.

Last month I told you that the NECA contractors work was picking up. Since then we have had nearly 20 calls for our NECA contractors, on top of the numerous TVA calls. What I'm hearing is that there may be more calls coming.

Fraternally.

Danny Painter, President-IBEW Local Union 175


For the Membership: A Letter From Caleb Long, Dispatcher/Recording Secretary-IBEW Local Union 175

Dear IBEW Local 175 Brothers and Sisters,

My cell/home phone number is 423.602.1010. Offering a cell number may not be a typical way to open a newsletter but I have a story and a plan that will help explain. 

Before we get to the story, think about what previous generations of IBEW Journeyman experienced when they pulled out of their driveway looking for work. Start by inventorying the resources we have now that wasn't available to the previous generations. Cell phones were non-existent or, in the best case, used by very few. Social media wasn't available to share information about work or to get feedback about living conditions. Imagine going on a book-signing tour, trying to locate mail-box locals or navigate on a tight timeline with no MapQuest, Google Earth, or Siri whispering directions in your ear. We can all agree these old-school Brothers and Sisters, with limited resources available, were true trailblazers.

Now to the story.

My dad, Eddie Long, retired from IBEW Local 175 in 2013. He primarily worked his 42-year IBEW career from Book II. His family enjoyed benefits and union-money flowing back home for work in IBEW locals such as Local 1547 (Alaska), Local 3 (New York City), Local 153 (South Bend, IN), Local 164 (Paramus, NJ), Local 317 (Huntington, WV), and a dozen others that had the work and took care of IBEW business.

Back in the mid-1990s, Brother Long had a good run in the Chicago area. A Journeyman Wireman could work and stay busy between Local 134-Chicago and the neighboring Local 697-Gary/Hammond suburbs on both long and short calls. As the story goes, Brother Long was stranded outside the Local 697 union hall making $.25 calls from a pay phone. He was calling Local 175 needing information so he could take a Book II referral. The city of Gary/Hammond, Indiana did not have the best reputation and was the last place a country-boy from Tennessee 1) without a referral and 2) low on quarters wanted to be as close-of-business was approaching. He had no other resources and all he wanted was information from his home Local. 

When Brother Long came home a few months later he went to talk to Assistant Business Manager/Dispatcher Barry Key. I'm sure Brother Long brought about 1,000 lbs. of frustrated torque to that meeting because of not getting in contact with a Local 175 representative. His frustration ended when Brother Key offered, "Eddie, here's my home number so this won't happen again." Brother Key didn't attempt to explain away the past, he simply provided a resource and a tool for future use. 

The moral of the story is "Be a Service to the Members". It's Brother Key's example of leadership and service that leads me to offer my cell/home number.

I've thought about the importance of that story as I move to the dispatch responsibility. Questions have come up like: How to be available? How to be  resourceful in this new role? How can the dispatcher best support Book I and Book II? I'll start with the cell/home number, but please know IBEW Local 175 stands in support to our working Brothers and Sisters.

Thank you for your work.

Fraternally,

Caleb Long, Dispatcher/Recording Secretary-IBEW Local Union 175


Posted by IBEW Admin | Topic: 2022  | Category: Newsletter | 0 Comments | Leave a Comment

The Relay - January 2022

January 31st, 2022

The Relay

The IBEW Local Union 175 Newsletter

Vol.2, No.1 January 2022



No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. Martin Luther King Jr.


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.


For the Membership: A Letter From Gary Watkins, Business Manager-IBEW Local Union 175

IBEW Local 175 Brothers and Sisters,

I hope this finds each of you well and prosperous. Time seems to pass more quickly every year. It's already mid-January. We've heard so many stories of bad things that I want to start the year off with good news. For many reasons, 2021 seemed to be the never-ending story, and I know many of you suffered sickness and loss. It's 2022 and it's going to be a great, busy year at IBEW Local 175.

IBEW Local 175 Open House for Christmas

As with many other organizations, we worked to keep the Hall open all of 2021 successfully. We wanted to be able to include as many members as possible in the final event of the year and felt that an Open House would offer the safest opportunity for members to visit, eat a bite, and celebrate the Season. We had a good turnout during the 12 PM - 7 PM period of the event and would like to thank everyone who came by.

IBEW 40th International Convention

It's Convention year! IBEW International Conventions are typically held every five years. In May (9th-13th), the IBEW 40th International Convention will be held in Chicago, Illinois. This Convention was initially scheduled for September 2021. COVID forced a reschedule to May 2022. The next Convention will be held in approximately 4 1/2 years to get back on the five-year schedule regulated by the US Department of Labor. Members of the IBEW Local 175 delegation were elected during the 2019 election.

Local Election of Officers

In June 2022, we elect Local Union Officers. We usually have nominations in May. However, due to COVID's impact on the IBEW International Convention, nominations will be held in April. This date change was approved by the International President and is happening in several Local Unions. Don't worry; you'll receive an official election notice with details before nominations happen. 

You will receive a ballot in the mail after nominations. To be eligible to run for office, you must have been a member in good standing when the election committee reviews the membership list before mailing ballots. If your dues aren't current, now is an excellent time to get them current.

The counting of ballots will take place in June. The installation of officers will be on July 18th, 2022. Again, all of this information will be mailed to you via the U.S. Postal Service before it happens.

Please make sure the Local 175 business office has your current mailing address. Local Union elections are always exciting. We get to choose who leads the Local Union forward.

Retiree Breakfasts

We hope to restart our retiree breakfasts early in 2022. We haven't selected a date yet. We'll let you know as soon as we do.

Finally, I am changing some work assignments within the Local 175 office. Toby Shelton will begin to work with Danny Painter in his duties, while Caleb Long assumes the Dispatcher's duties. This transition will be official on Monday, February 28th, 2022.

That's all for now. Local Union 175 meetings are on the First and Third Mondays at 7:00 PM. I hope to see you there!

Fraternally,

Gary M. Watkins, Business Manager/Financial Secretary-IBEW Local Union 175


For the Membership: A Letter From Danny Painter, President-IBEW Local Union 175 

Dear IBEW 175 Sisters and Brothers,

I'm wishing everyone a healthy and prosperous 2022. 2021 was tough, but finally most everything has opened back up. As I write this note, things are starting to get a little crazy again with the Omicron variant. Please be careful out there and be respectful of others. Hopefully, this spike will turnaround and things can get back to as normal as can be.

Since this is the first of the year it would be a good time to try and build our Death Benefit up. We have 4000, retired and active that could be members of the benefit, but as of this note we have 772 participants. The benefit pays out $3650.00 based on 772 members, but for every 10 additional participants, we add $50.00 more. The Executive Board determines when to lower the payout if we have members drop. That is done yearly. What's good about our death benefit is it pays out quick, once we receive the death certificate the check is generated the following Wednesday. This is a good way to help a Sister or Brother's family. All it takes is $5.00 to join. To read more about it, look in your By-laws (Article XV). Please join.

Hopefully some of these projects coming out of the ground will start putting our members out so they can come home to work.

Fraternally,

Danny Painter, President-IBEW Local Union 175

Posted by IBEW Admin | Topic: 2022  | Category: Newsletter | 0 Comments | Leave a Comment