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  • IBEW 44 Newsletters

    The Communicator

    Published by Local 44 of The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, located in Butte, Montana

    our craftsmanship and our knowledge of the trade that we have chosen

    May 23, 2019


    We have ten calls in the Hall at this time, with lots of work coming in the next few weeks.  We still have a lot of our members working out of state, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.  While at a LAMPAC Meeting in Idaho we heard there is going to be work all across the nation.  The subsistence now being paid in California, used to be what daily wage was, nearly $73,000 a year.  It looks like to get our work done here at home companies and contractors are going to have to get creative.  Let’s face it Lineman love their work, but they do it to support their families and their dreams.  It would only make sense to make the place they work part of what they love.  They need to be respected for the professionals they are so it ain’t all about the wages.  Another thing at the conference that stuck with me was a safety presentation.  There a wife of an injured lineman told us to close our eyes and think of the five people you would do anything in order to keep safe.  Then she asked, “were you on that list?”  If not, think again because all those people count on you.  Their lives change drastically if you get hurt.  They then become care givers, bread winners, kids instantly grow up when you can’t be dad.  Don’t do that to them.  Take care of yourself every day for them.

    I went to the Utility Conference in Detroit.  That city is changing for the better in dramatic ways.  Construction is going on all over the downtown area.  Detroit Edison is planning on spending 1 billion a year for the next 10 years upgrading their system.  We heard a lot about changing types of generation.  From my hotel window I could see three coal fire plants and huge wind farms off in the distance.  We heard about a great program, the Carbon Capture sequestration program at Boundary Dam project in Canada, new technology, if we can get it in place will really help.  I found out currently we have 98 clean nuclear plants in the US, and some are scheduled to be moth balled while 4 new units are being built in Georgia.  Of the 867 million mega watts we use, the most is natural gas, then coal, then oil, nukes, hydro, wind, wood, biomass, then solar.  As of this time, the green new deal is impossible to do; we just don’t have the technology or money.  They also had an interesting panel talking about politics.  It’s not all bad, but where we have been hurt most is in appointments to the NLRB.  It is designed to be a go between for labor and management, but the past four years a lawyer, who previously represented our President in his business dealings, was appointed to head it and the results have been harsh.  But the fight is never over; they will never beat us, for we are right.  The fun fact of the day was that there are currently 719 people who have filed for President of the United States this cycle!  213 Democrats, 89 Republicans, and the rest are Libertarians or Independents.  Gives me hope!  Got to be a good one in there somewhere!

    Everybody, have a good summer, stay safe and enjoy Montana!  

    Bill Ryan

    Rob’s Report: Rob says “Golf has started up in the Billings area and I broke 120.  I hit the little ball with the driver, then I hit with a hybrid, then a wedge, then a putter, and then it fell into the little hole!  It was Great!”  (this message will repeat from now until golf season gives way to hunting, sincerely your outdoor editor Rob Buhl).  As was mentioned in last month’s letter, we may need guest contributors for the outdoor news.  This month guest contributor Ronny Davis called in, (via the phone tree), to report on the walleye fishing in North Central Montana.  It seems that while fishing on Lake Frances his boys encountered a couple of grizzly bears swimming past the boat!  If you are headed anywhere on the east slope of the Rockies take precautions, those big boys don’t care whose lunch it is, they’re gonna eat it!  (I’m talking about the Davis boys not the bears.)  In other areas of the State, rivers are starting to recede and fishing is getting good, the Mo at Craig dropped from about 12,000 cfs to around 8,000 just this last week.  Warm weather could bring it back up, but fishing should remain good.  If you get out in the woods or on the water, let the Hall know, or tell Jerry or Chicken and I will hear about it.


    Bargaining class is scheduled for July 23rd – 25th, in Helena at the new Stan I Dupree Training Center.  The next contracts to negotiate will be Hill County Electric, Missoula Electric and NorthWestern Energy.  If you are interested in being on your Negotiating Committee this class is invaluable insight into negotiations.  Contact me at 406-459-3548, dwight@ibew44.org or the Office 406-723-3203.  Please let us know also if you need a hotel room.  Donuts, refreshments and lunch will be provided.  Bargaining training class is a 3-day class.  Negotiating books will be there for the class for any necessary adjustments.

    The career fair season is over, it has been busy this past year for IBEW 44/Mountain States Line Constructors; we have been getting the word out about the apprenticeship program as well as IBEW 44 membership.  I would like to personally thank Tim Newman the Instructor/Assistant Director at the newly finished Helena facility.  It is a great looking training center!  Scott Klungland for taking the time to answer my questions about linework, tools, parts, techniques, and the why it is done this way questions, thank you for your patience!  Lastly to Mike Glueckert for as long as I have known you, you have always treated me fairly, answered my questions, given me insight, your passion for linework and the history has made learning about linework an inspiration.  I thank all 3 of you Brothers for taking your time to help me to learn and understand the Linework Trade.  Thank You!

    If you hear of any career fairs out there that we should be in, let me know and IBEW 44 members will be there!


    Dwight Rose     D988003

    406-459-3548    dwight@ibew44.org   


    RENEW T-shirts and hats are at the Office.  You can view them on the web page under the RENEW module.  We are still in need of representatives for RENEW, Outside Line Construction is represented as is the Great Falls area.  If you are interested in getting involved, or have questions feel free to contact Shane Bykonen at 406-750-0511.


    Local 44 would like to congratulate the following members for achieving Journeyman status:

    Logan Mendenhall – Journeyman Lineman        Curtis Thresher – Gas Tech Operator

    Great job and best wishes for a great career!


    Local 44 would like to congratulate the following members who have retired from the trade:

    Patrick Leary                          James Yates

    Best wishes for a long and happy retirement!


    Local 44 mourns the loss of retired member Erick “Del” Erickson who passed away on 4/19/19.  Our sincere condolences go out to his family and friends.


    Following is the list of Years of Service Pins for 2019.  We will once again have a pin presentation at the Montana Lineman’s Rodeo on July 20th at the Butte Vigilante Saddle Club.  Please RSVP to the Hall at 406-723-3203 if you would like to receive your pin at the rodeo.  If you do not RSVP for the rodeo, then your pin will be mailed to the address that is currently on file in the Hall.  If you think you have a pin coming and you are not on the list, please contact the Hall and we will look into it for you.  Thank you for your cooperation and congratulations to all of you.

    25 Years                                                           30 Years                                                    35 Years                                                                              

    Michael Gillespie                                              Richard Anderson                                      Steven Bartels

    Lynn Heggen                                                     Richard Curry                                             William Beckman

    Pat Kanta                                                           Dale Lillejord                                             James Leding

    Lance Kidder                                                     Mathew Mahan                                          Bryon Stillwagon

    James Leary                                                      Duane Mellinger                                        Kerry Thorson 

    James Lee                                                          Delwyn Moe

    Tater Shows                                                       Charles Romerio

    George Tregear                                                 Brian Schweigert

    Marvin Vaughn                                                 John Zacha

    40 Years                                                           45 Years                                                    50 Years                                                                              

    James Babst                                                       Douglas Amos                                           Charles Arbizzani

    Larry Clinton                                                     Rocky Clark                                               Bill Banfield

    Kimball Cook                                                    Mark Dickhausen                                      Clarence Eide

    Don Craig                                                           Chuck Dixon                                              Dennis Gibbs

    Daniel Crismore                                                Kenneth Estep                                          Neil Horne

    Steve Daer                                                         Kenneth Ferguson                                     James Isaacs

    Terry Doble                                                       John Finn                                                   Donald Kude

    Bryan Finkbeiner                                              Francis Fisher                                            Ronald Mitchell

    Timothy Glueckert                                            Robert Florea                                             Terry Richardson

    Doug Hayes                                                       Leslie George                                            Richard Soha

    Leo Haynes                                                        Gordon Guffey                                           Larry Steuben

    Dan Johnerson                                                   Jerry Hystad                                               Richard Williamson

    James Krick                                                       Kenneth Kaufman

    Calvin Long                                                       John Kougioulis

    Richard Martin                                                  Dean Lawson 

    Tim Parcel                                                         Richard Maynard

    Michael Semmens                                             Harry Miller

    Gary Stearns                                                      Joseph Piazzola

    Trace Sweeney                                                  William Russell

    George Tolliver

    John Westby

    John Whitaker

    Craig Yost

    55 Years                                                           60 Years                                                    65 Years                                                                 

    Robert Bergstrom                                             Ronald Guisti                                             Jack Altimus Sr.

    Frank Campbell

    William Warnke               


    Lewistown                  June 5, 2019                5:30 PM          NWE Service Center

    Page Last Updated: May 23, 2019 (13:23:00)
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