Breast Cancer walk a success

By Karen Krshul Long, Administrative Assistant

IBEW walkers turned out for hope in 2015

Way back on a lovely Saturday morning in late October, IBEW members, their families and friends graciously made charitable history. 2015 was a year in which we went all-out to raise funds in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk.

We invited all IBEW locals in St. Louis and the Metro-East to join Team IBEW by donating to meet our $5,000 goal. We had a nice group walk, and everyone went above and beyond my expectations in donations.

Team IBEW’s online dashboard with the ACS Making Strides shows $8,155.59. We had the incredible honor this year of having our very own “Real Men Wear Pink” designee, Ron Kohring, Business Representative of IBEW Local 1455. Ron also led in our fundraising by surpassing his personal goal.

I would be remiss if I didn’t personally thank LaDawn Ostmann, Ameren Labor Relations Director, for assisting in our “Headquarter Challenge.” I know we will no longer be able to continue this part of our fundraising, but her intervention clearly helped make our 2015 overwhelming donation. Her efforts are sincerely appreciated, not only by Team IBEW, but me personally.

It’s been five years since my diagnosis, and through the help of Making Strides, treatments have improved, research continues to find answers, and lives are being saved. One of every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. Let’s help change these odds.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, at 8 a.m. in Forest Park. We’ll see you there!

Times goes quarterly

By Mike Walter, Business Manager

     1439 Times are changing

     The 1439 Times was established in 1994 as a way to increase communication with the membership, to educate and as a means to unite.
     The paper has taken on several appearances as the paper quality and imaging have improved. It has always been distributed on a bi-monthly basis (six issues per year).
     At this time, we have decided to reduce the paper quality and change the distribution of the 1439 Times to a quarterly basis, beginning with the January-March 2016 issue. The main reason is to reduce costs. However, on the flip side, we now have multiple means of communication with the use of what we term “social media” and/or technology.
     Throughout 2016, Local 1439 will be moving toward a more advanced method of communication. We will better utilize Facebook, add Twitter, improve methods to electronically read the 1439 Times (smart phones, for instance), and redesign our website.
     I must admit I have been delaying the inevitable. Yes, I am at times a bit old-fashioned. Although I recognize the importance of good communication, we must make the necessary efforts to communicate with all generations of our bargaining unit.
     We must prepare for the future. That is, if we want to be around another 70 years.
     Your comments and suggestions are always welcome

From the desk of Billy Howle

By Billy Howle, President

Organizing takes top priority for IBEW

Billy     I would like to follow up on last month’s article. By the time you read this, you should have your new electric lux gloves. There was a misprint in the last article. It was supposed to say the new glove didn’t begin to break down until 120,000 cycles, but the article said 12,000 cycles. This is important because our old gloves break down at 10,000 cycles. That’s kind of a big deal.

     In September, Mike and I went to Membership Development Conference. This conference is mainly about organizing. There were many positives.      

     One is that union density in the IBEW has increased in the past two years. This is due to the aggressive organizing effort of the IBEW. The IBEW constitution states that we must organize every electrical worker in the United States and Canada.

     Here at 1439, we have been doing some internal organizing in our Entergy contract, and Representative Doug Mueller has picked up four new members. Business Manager Mike Walter is working on a very significant target that looks very promising.

     Please call if you have or know of a good target that we can start looking at. We all have friends and family who would love to be in a union and have some job security with a negotiated contract.


     Another big part of the convention was health care and the IBEW health plan. If you read Mike’s article, this could not have come at a better time, since we are in the middle of negotiations with Ameren about insurance.

     The IBEW plan is solid and growing. They added four Fortune Five Hundred companies in the past year. Hopefully Ameren will take a serious look at the IBEW plan next year.

     The Membership Development conference was the biggest by far. Everyone in the IBEW is taking organizing to the next level. There have been some major wins this year, organizing everyone from lawyers to nurses to dispatchers.