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The Relay - November 2017

December 11th, 2017

The Relay

The IBEW Local Union 175 Newsletter

Vol.1, No.11 November 2017

"It is one of the characteristics of a free and democratic nation that it have free and independent labor unions." Franklin D. Roosevelt

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 IBEW Sisters and Brothers,

As the old joke goes, "Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana." Wow, where did 2017 go? It seems like yesterday we were looking for a break from the heat and now winter is just days away. So what did we accomplish in November?

  • We managed to get Construction Stewards, Professional & Industrial Stewards and Officers, and TVA Stewards trained to provide a better, safer, and all around more positive workplace
  • We managed to make connections with members that we didnt have connections with
  • We managed to raise awareness of Brothers and Sisters in need, to those who can help
  • We managed to fill each job call that has come in during November
  • We managed to find multiple reasons to be Thankful: Life, Family, Friends, Health, and Careers

Need I go on? I think we've had a pretty successful month.

As we move thru December, many hearts soften and we tend to help our fellow man a bit more. It is my hope that being part of the IBEW will cause each of us to see a different side of the coin every day of the year, not just at Christmas.

The IBEW Constitution begins by declaring that "Our cause is the cause of human justice, human rights, human security." When people question, "Why join the Union", you should be able to tell them immediately some of the most basic reasons.

  1. Right of representation on the job
  2. Safe workplace
  3. Benefits won by Unions: Life and Health Insurance, pensions, working conditions, etc. 

Stop and think about the things that we often take for granted about having a Union job. Whether you work in construction or manufacturing, maintenance, at utilities, in power production or transmission, voice/data/videos, or tree trimming the benefits that we enjoy were fought for by many who came before us. We must carry on the banner and spread the good word.

Our work continues moving forward in the Units of Local 175. Following the training sessions last month, we are putting our best foot forward and attending the newly established monthly meetings. PLEASE, PLEASE, if you are in a Unit that has begun meeting, PLEASE support this effort. Only YOU can make your Union strong and only YOU can keep it strong by taking care of its business. Union meetings should be a great opportunity for Sisters and Brothers to discuss items that are going on in the workplace. We also get to know each other better outside the workplace. Families grow closer and Unions grow strong. Please know that IBEW Local 175 is not MY Local: It is OUR Local. Whatever it says or does is what we say or do collectively. Let's tell our stories about how we support our communities in times of disaster, storms, good times and bad, at ball games, and in many other great ways. I look forward to seeing you soon.


Gary Watkins

Letter From IBEW Local 175 President Winfred Gearrin

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

As always, I hope this writing finds everyone in good health and doing well. Thanksgiving is behind us and we certainly have had a lot to be thankful for as we look toward the upcoming Christmas Holiday. The regular Union Meetings this month will be Dec. 4th and Dec. 18th. On the 4th, the meeting will start at 7:00 PM. We will be swearing in 70 first year apprentices. Our annual "eating meeting" will be the 18th at 6:30 PM. There will be plenty of door prizes, food, and fellowship. The Local 175/NECA Christmas Holiday will be observed on Monday, Dec. 25th and Tuesday, Dec. 26th.

If you aren't already involved and/or active with the Local in some way, this would be a good time to get engaged with several areas to serve and give back to the labor community. Coats for Kids and Toys for Tots are things anyone can help with.

The holidays keep us very busy. Don't let your guard down when it comes to safety. Always be mindful of you surroundings and provide your children, family, home, working environment the protection they need when out shopping or traveling.

Don't forget to keep your dues paid up and current in order to remain a member in good standing. Please remember re-sign week is always between the 10th and 16th of each month. We have a lot of brothers and sister on the road so remind each other to re-sign. It is always good to hear from our brothers and sisters on the road. Local 175 needs this "first-hand" report of this country's work picture, the best practices out there, and some of the obstacles our members encounter so we can make improvements to our Local. I look forward to having our local men and women back home. 

Change is the Law of Life. As we reflect on some of the events of this past year, it is very important that we keep our eyes fixed to the future of Local 175.

To all of our outside, utility, co-op, and all units of IBEW Local 175, the staff wishes all of the Members a happy, blessed, and merry Christmas.

May God bless each of you.

With the best regards I am,

Winfred Gearrin

IBEW Local 175 Conducts Steward Training for TVA Annual Employees, Professional & Industrial, and Inside Construction Units 

This November, Local 175 began a week-long effort to provide training to Local 175's union stewards.  The goal of the training is to better equip Stewards and those who may one day be a Steward with the tools necessary to handle business in an effective and professional manner. The training, provided by IBEW International staff members, focused on grievance procedures, workplace rights, handling different and various personality types, and growing problem solving skills.

Local 175 will be offering additional training classes during December and into 2018.

Posted by IBEW Admin | Topic: 2017  | Category: Newsletter