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The Relay - July 2017

August 7th, 2017

The Relay

The IBEW Local Union 175 Newsletter

Vol.1, No.7 July 2017

"The problem with unions today is there aren't enough of them." Martin Johns

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 Brothers and Sisters,

It's good to be able to end July on a GREAT note. Sister Marilyn Graham received a donor liver over the weekend. She has suffered much for the past few years and has finally reached the top of the donor list. We are grateful that others during their time of loss display the gracious gift of life by being an Organ Donor. Marilyn has just begun a new chapter in her life. I know she is grateful. You can follow her progress via facebook or her GoFundme account. Please keep her in your hearts and prayers.

With that kind of great news, I'm going to move ahead and say that Assistant Business Manager Jim White and 10th District International Representative Jim Springfield have brokered a tentative agreement with North Alabama Electrical Cooperative. Both parties have displayed their commitment to excellence and professionalism throughout this process. We believe this partnership will be a long-lasting, profitable venture for everyone involved.

In this issue, I would like to take a minute to inform or remind everyone of our "Obituaries" link. We try to remain current with this page, although sometimes we aren't informed of a death until after the funeral.

For those who visit the webpage regularly, we are attempting to make this a more user-friendly environment. We maintain the Jobs Board on a daily basis and the other pages on an "as necessary" basis. Currently we are using FaceBook alongside as a means to share information. We are trying to increase the reach of our TEXT system to use for important announcements. If you are not subscribed, please sign up by texting IBEW175 to 31996

As many of you know, our work is somewhat slow. We are grateful to our Sister Locals for providing work for many of our members.

Whenever Local 175 members travel into another jurisdiction, please, always remember that you are a guest there. Our members should always abide by their rules, display the Code of Excellence in everything, and practice jurisdictional courtesy. If you aren't familiar with that phrase, please feel free to contact me at the local office.

Working in the construction field brings many dangers. Working outside during July and August increases those dangers significantly. Keep an eye on those working around you for signs of overheating. You may save lives by simply being observant. We must watch out for each other.

While there are very few calls coming in currently, we anticipate work returning in the not too distant future. As you are all well aware, there are several projects on the table that are waiting for someone to say GO! We look forward to the day when all of our brothers and sisters have full employment at home, whenever that may be. Until that time, we remain grateful for those who help keep IBEW members on the job.

When we discuss keeping IBEW members working, we are directly speaking in the construction industry of IBEW signatory contractors. There are many contractors in the world who only know the "Take" part of "Give and Take". The IBEW and our NECA contractor partners practice both parts of that equation.

I wrap this letter with a request to all our members. If you know or are working with someone who is not a member, but is enjoying the benefits of IBEW 175's work, pension, insurance, etc., begin to follow the example of those who went before us. Talk to them about IBEW. ORGANIZE. You don't have to be confrontational, just ask if they understand the benefits of being a member of the best UNION in the world. If you know someone who is a non-union worker, review the IBEW Objects given to us by our Founding Fathers:


The object of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers are:

  • To organize all workers in the entire electrical industry in the United States and Canada, including all those in public utilities and electrical manufacturing, into local unions
  • To promote reasonable methods of work
  • To cultivate feelings of friendship among those in our industry
  • To settle all disputes between employers and employees by arbitration (if possible)
  • To assist each other in sickness or distress
  • To secure employment
  • To reduce the hours of daily labor
  • To secure adequate pay for our work
  • To seek a higher and higher standard of living
  • To seek security for the individual
  • And by legal and proper means to elevate the moral, intellectual, and social conditions of our members, their families and dependents, in the interest of a higher standard of citizenship.

Then decide how to begin the conversation. If we don't organize our competition, it will be our fault when our competition organizes against us. We were all organized into the IBEW and we are all organizers.

Remember: Doing the right thing may not always be easy, but it is still always the right thing.

"From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things, and the work of their hands brings them reward." Proverbs 12:14 (NIV)


Gary Watkins

Letter From IBEW Local 175 President Winfred Gearrin

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

The members of any organization are the core of its strength. I am proud of our members in every aspect. Work goes in cycles within the construction and skilled craft trades. While it is slow here, it is busy in a lot of other places. We are again looking forward to the time of prosperity when our people are home and travelers are coming here for the opportunity to make a good living.

Summer is in full swing, I want to remind everyone to remain safe traveling for vacation and while working on the road.

Local 175's union meetings are on the first and third Mondays this month which fall on the 7th and 21st. Don't forget to keep your dues paid current and remember resign week is the 10th through the 16th. We look forward to seeing you at the local union meetings. 

In closing, John F. Kennedy once said, "let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past, let us accept our own responsibility for the future."

With best regards I am,

Winfred Gearrin

The Second Annual Fall Ride 

IBEW Local 175 is excited to announce that the Second Annual Fall Motorcycle Ride has been scheduled. This year there is a new twist! Many of our membership have been asking to include a "family aspect" to some of the brotherhood events that we've recently enjoyed. On October 7th, IBEW Local 175 will introduce the 2017 Fall Festival

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. This year, the Fall Festival will combine the motorcycle poker run with IBEW Local 175 Credit Union's car show and inflatable park for the kids. The 2017 Fall Festival will have the brotherhood motorcycle ride, great food, fellowship,  and the opportunity to involve kids and loved ones in the union brotherhood experience.

Click the 2017 Fall Festival link to register. Join us for the Brotherhood.

IBEW Local 175 joins the Kiwanis to Build the Howard Academy ROTC Fitness Trail

IBEW Local 175 volunteers have again shown our community the strength and value of the IBEW. The Chattanooga Kiwanis, having recently witnessed Local 175's volunteer strength at the Tyner Playground Build, asked Local 175 to take an active role in helping the Howard Academy ROTC Fitness Trail become a reality. 

Local 175 volunteers gave their valuable personal time on July 22nd, 29th, and August 5th to man the demanding work scope. Ironworkers Local 704 joined the 25 Local 175 volunteers on these hot summer days to clear brush, put down mulch, move dirt, and install drainage lines.

On August 5th a ribbon cutting ceremony was held. Community leaders from Chattanooga City Council, Hamilton County Board of Education, Miller & Martin Law Firm, and the Lieutenant Governor listened as IBEW Local 175 was thanked as the main source of volunteer labor for the project. It was a proud moment and a great opportunity the Local 175 volunteers used to advertise the IBEW.

If anyone is interested in being a part of IBEW Local 175's volunteer committee, call the hall at 423.894.3557.  

Posted by IBEW Admin  | Category: Newsletter