Archive for the ‘News’ Category

IBEW NextGen … the next generation of Electricians

Monday, September 26th, 2016

The next generation of IBEW members needs to be ready to take the helm.

Click on the video to watch …


The Birthplace of a Union to Be Reborn as a Museum

Monday, September 19th, 2016

The man who sparked a movement is getting a museum to honor his memory.miller

At a time of terrifyingly high mortality rates and paltry pay in the new field of electrical work, Henry Miller knew what needed to be done, and he dedicated his life to making it happen. From the St. Louis boarding house where he lived almost 125 years ago, the lineman founded the National Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which would later become the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Now that modest brick house is being turned into a museum, thanks to St. Louis Local 1, the flagship local union of the IBEW.

The quest to purchase and restore the Henry Miller house began in 2009 with a video produced by the International Office’s Media Department on the IBEW’s origins. The six-minute video tells the story of Miller and the Brotherhood’s early days in St. Louis. It also discusses the role of the boarding house and, perhaps more importantly for Local 1, that it was still standing just six miles from their office, at 2726-2728 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive. Realizing that this structure was one of very few tangible items left from the Brotherhood’s birth, Local 1 leaders set out to bring the building home.

“If this is the home that our founding fathers met in to form the National Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, then we have to save it,” said Local 1 Business Manager Frank Jacobs, also a fourth generation IBEW member and grandson of the district’s first international vice president.

In August of 2014, Local 1 leaders embarked on their mission to buy the house. They finalized the purchase less than a year later for $53,680.

While the building bears the marks of its previous incarnations, like weather-worn signs betraying its past as a corner market, little is known of the building’s history since Miller’s time, or how it evaded demolition when everything else on the block has since been torn down. While some of these answers may be lost to history, Local 1 leaders have been digging into the past to determine what the building looked like at the turn of the last century, and restore it for posterity.

Reviving the Past

Local 1 leaders are committed to returning the building to its original style as much as possible so visitors will see what Miller saw in his day. The first floor, then a saloon, will be converted into the museum, with display cases showing pieces from Local 1’s collection, including some personal items of the founding fathers and a copy of the original minutes from the AFL affiliation. Miller’s room, located on the second floor, will also be restored. Modern touches will be included where necessary, such as an elevator to ensure the building meets Americans with Disabilities Act standards. There will also be space for meetings and events.

“We’re going to bring the building back to the way it was,” said Local 1 Recording Secretary John Kahrhoff, who also directs membership development.

Once Jacobs gave the official go-ahead last year, Local 1 leaders began evaluating the house to determine its condition and whether it would survive a restoration. Any fears they had were quickly alleviated. A mechanical engineer found the structure to be in surprisingly good shape.

Old photos show the block, called Franklin Avenue back then, crowded with buildings in the late 1800s. When the adjacent buildings were demolished — the building now stands alone on the stretch of road — the brick sides were left exposed. A protective coat that was applied to prevent leaking during that time also saved the brick. The façade however, was replaced in the 1920s and will need to be redone to reflect that of Miller’s era.

While the foundation is in good shape, the interior, having been abandoned for decades, requires extensive work. The long-vacant property came with a leaky roof that rotted the entire interior wood structure. It will need to be completely removed, as will the back wall, to allow access and restoration.

According to Kahrhoff, a single lamp bulb still hangs from a four-foot long rag-wire Edison base socket in the middle of the room where the founding fathers met, suggesting the level of neglect this section of the building has endured since early last century. Surrounding this artifact of electrical history are dilapidated walls and ceilings, chunks of plaster and wood and random remains from the building’s past. Metal headboards lie rusting on the floor while aging wood boards hang from the ceiling like stalactites.

A Local 1 contractor will act as a general contractor on the project. Local 1 will also do the wiring.

millerfund_houseThe boarding house is located in a neighborhood called JeffVanderLou. Once a poor and neglected area, it is now experiencing a revitalization. The house sits 300 yards from the Scott Joplin House, an official historic site. A contemporary of Henry Miller, Joplin was an African-American composer and pianist known largely for ragtime compositions, many of which he produced while living there in the early 1900s, according to the Division of State Parks website.

Honoring Our Origins

In addition to renovating the boarding house, Local 1 has purchased an adjacent empty lot and plans to include a Founders’ Park with 10 utility poles, each with a statue of a lineman to represent the 10 founding fathers. Granite benches and commemorative stones are in the plans, surrounded by a wrought-iron fence.

The entire project is expected to cost approximately $6 million. Local 1 will be turning over the project to the newly formed Electrical Workers Historical Society, which is soliciting donations to cover the cost of the renovation as well as ongoing maintenance.

If all goes as planned and the construction is completed in time, the Society will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony around the time of the international convention next year, Sept. 19-23, 2016, which is the 125th anniversary of that fateful meeting in St. Louis.

“We hope that all IBEW members will be inspired by the house and the history it holds, and see it as a home for everyone in the Brotherhood,” Jacobs said.

IBEW local union #1003 Annual Picnic was fun and there was lots of food.

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Thank you to everyone that showed up for the IBEW 1003 Annual Picnic !!

Thank you especially to those that helped out,

Logan Lynn and Tim Lucas the chefs extraodinaire, Ray Keen, Dale Anderson, Mike Kinaken.

Also thanks to Ruth Anderson for some direction when we were wandering around bumping into walls.

Thanks also to Colton Crockett-Cragg for his awesome guitar playing and singing.

The 50/50 draw raised $112.50 which will go to local food banks.

Y’All come back again next year ya hear !!

Does it Pay to Work Union? Yes. And Here’s Proof.

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

A new study says union construction members in Minnesota get $5.59 back in income for every $1 they pay in union dues.

The findings come in a new analysis from the Midwest Economic Policy Institute, which found that union construction members paid a yearly average of $1,381 in union dues and fees, but that they made an extra $7,720 after taxes over their nonunion counterparts. That was even before factoring in other benefits such as improved health care, pensions and the extra job satisfaction that comes with having a voice at work.happyUnionworker

The figures reflect the broad range of union construction jobs and a highly variable pay scale that takes in data from all levels of skilled and unskilled trades, from electricians to laborers, journeymen to apprentices.

“These figures out of Minnesota reflect the sort of wage gap we see all over the U.S. and Canada,” said IBEW Director of Construction Organizing Virgil Hamilton. “Every union electrician ought to be aware of the benefits their membership brings them, but it’s useful to see the numbers laid out so clearly for people.”

And it’s not just union construction members who benefit from the strength of unions. The MEPI study points to more than 9,000 jobs in the state of Minnesota that are directly attributable either to labor organizations or to the higher spending power of the state’s union families.

In all, MEPI finds an additional $808.6 million boost to Minnesota’s economy and another $99.5 million in extra state tax revenue that would not exist without the union construction industry.

Not addressed by the study is the fact that IBEW electricians tend to do even better against their nonunion competition than members of many other building trades. “There’s typically more of a difference between union and nonunion wages as you move higher up into the skilled trades,” Hamilton said, “so it’s likely that our members are actually making even more than $5.59 extra for every dollar in dues.”

Nationally in 2015, union members in the construction industry made an average of $356 more every week than their nonunion counterparts, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That works out to nearly $19,000 more per year or a 47 percent pay difference over construction workers who don’t belong to a union

“It’s really rewarding to see these kind of studies,” said International President Lonnie R. Stephenson. “We’re out there working hard every day for our members, and to be able to show them that their membership in the IBEW is an investment that pays off many times over tells us we’re winning the battles that are important to their bottom line.”


*taken from


IBEW What About the Non-Union

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

Canadian electricians talk about their experiences before coming to the IBEW.

Click on the video to watch …

IBEW: The Henry Miller Story

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

Henry Miller, who died more than 110-years ago, was the founder, first president and driving force behind the first union of electrical workers in North America the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Click on the video to watch …

(sorry it’s a bit quiet)

Safety – Always wear your Safety Glasses on the job

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Safety eyewear for workers who wear glasses or contact lenses sglasses4

If your work exposes your eyes to hazards such as dust or chemicals, or to the risk of impact with tools, materials,
or flying debris, you must wear safety eyewear. This requirement also applies to workers who wear prescription
glasses or contact lenses. Regular prescription glasses or contact lenses are not a substitute for safety eyewear.
Eyewear options.
The two main choices for workers who wear prescription glasses or contact lenses are
• Wearing non-prescription safety eyewear (glasses or goggles) over your own prescription glasses or contact lenses
• Wearing prescription safety eyewear
In order to determine which options are appropriate for you, your employer
must assess the hazards of your workplace and your job. Here are some key
factors for consideration:
• If you are exposed to hazards from the side, your safety eyewear mustsglasses3
have side shields or wraparound arms.
• If there is a risk of impact to your eyes, your safety eyewear must have
polycarbonate or plastic lenses.
• If you are exposed to high temperatures or corrosive chemicals,
polycarbonate or plastic lenses may not be practical. In such cases, lenses made of treated safety glass may be acceptable, as long as there is no risk of impact to your eyes.
• If there is a risk of injury to other parts of your face, you must wear a
face shield over your safety eyewear.
• If you work in dry, dusty, or chemically charged environments, contact
lenses may not be suitable, even when worn with safety eyewear.
Standards for eye and face protection
Check that your safety eyewear and face protection has markings indicating
that it meets CSA or ANSI requirements.
• On non-prescription safety eyewear or face shields, look for these markings: CSA or ANSI Z87. For protection
from high impact, choose eyewear marked CSA or ANSI Z87+.
• On prescription safety eyewear made of polycarbonate or plastic look for CSA. On prescription lenses made of
treated safety glass, look for ANSI Z87-2. Note: Wearing lenses made of treated safety glass is acceptable only
when polycarbonate or plastic lenses are not practical and there is no risk of impact to your eyes.
Who pays for safety eyewear?
• Employers must provide and pay for non-prescription safety eyewear.
• Employers are not required to pay for prescription safety eyewear. Workers who prefer wearing prescription
safety eyewear may have to pay for it themselves.sglasses2

Remember: Safety eyewear can’t protect you unless you wear it.

For more information, go to, Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, 8.14 to 8.18 (Eye and Face Protection).

Lineman Gloves and How They Are Made – IBEW HourPower

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Click on the video to start it playing …

IBEW Hour Power – Rope eyelet

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

How to make a rope eyelet for pulling. Present by Jim Knotts (really).

IBEW Hour Power – Job Tip

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Save your hands when pulling in nylon pull string …