Phone: 541-664-0800

IBEW Local 659
Sleeping quarters for the 23 LU 659 LCTT members working on the Camp Fire in Paradise, CA.
Wright Tree Service sent 23 LU 659 LCTT members plus one GF down to Paradise to work the Camp Fire
EWEB crews on their way to help restore and rebuild the electric system in northern California.
NV Energy door knocking "Vote NO on 3"
John O'Rourke, President of NV Energy, Gilbert Baker, Mathew McEntire, Lonnie Stephenson & Liz Schul
Chris Ford, Randy Campos and Craig Daly being sworn in @ the Medford Unit Meeting
Luke Moran
Eugene Utility Career Fair
Aaron Eisele, Brandon Eddie and Chris Valentine
Kameron Foglio and a student
Sub Apprentice, Ross A. and Kevin B.
Ed Walley with SUB
Contestant Jesse Livingston @ the Western States Electrical Contest
2018 Unit Conference
Jeff Brown, Mike Scarminach, Robert Atkinson and Kathy Joy
Dan Parrish, Anthony Adkinson, Matt Eilenberger and Craig Woods
Gordon Lafer, LERC Instructor
Discussed ALEC, Janus and Right to Work
2018 Lineman's Rodeo Opening Ceremony

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8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Closed from 12:00-1:00 for lunch

Posted On: Mar 27, 2019

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Wednesday March 27, 2019

In the current Steward Update newsletter
Agency's Long Practice of Cutting Pay Nixed
For more than 20 years, an employer miscalculated retiree separation pay, in violation of the union contract, an arbitrator ruled. When the union belatedly learned of the violation, it filed a grievance on behalf of two retiring workers, claiming the workers deserved their separation pay to be based on their “current rate of pay” that would include their base pay rates, plus any other supplemental payments. The employer, however, had been basing the payment on only a worker’s base rate, plus longevity pay. The employer argued that a “past practice” had been established and the process should be continued. The arbitrator ruled, however, that a “past practice” cannot be established unless the union had been made aware of the action; he explained the union’s lack of knowledge of the process on the complicated information on the check stubs and the fact there was no proof the company ever informed the union about its process. He ordered that separation pay be calculated under the contract in the future and that the two grievants be given back pay for any loss.

Labor Quote
Classic Quote
"Labor is not fighting for a larger slice of the national pie—labor is fighting for a larger pie."
—Walter Reuther, American labor union leader.

Labor Cartoon
Debbie Wilson

Steward Tip
Strategic Grievance Handling
Imagine a doctor who tells every patient to take aspirin no matter what the aliment, or a carpenter whose only tool is a hammer. Rather than “prescribe” a written grievance for every problem your co-workers encounter on the job, or view every workplace issue as a “nail” that needs pounding, you can be more thoughtful and strategic – and strengthen your union and its ability to fight for the workers – by asking and answering questions like this:
    What is the source of the problem? Let’s say you are about to file your umpteenth grievance over an incident where a member curses out a supervisor – a supervisor who routinely provokes these incidents by “forgetting” to talk to employees with the proper respect. Does one more grievance challenging the discipline do anything to attack the source of the problem? A more strategic approach might be a group grievance about the supervisors’ unacceptable behavior.

—Excerpted from The Union Steward’s Complete Guide (2nd Edition, Updated)

Today in Labor History

March 27
Mother Jones is ordered to leave Colorado, where state authorities accuse her of “stirring up” striking coal miners - 1904
(The Autobiography of Mother Jones: A founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World and a fearless and tireless advocate for working people, Mary Harris Jones—“Mother Jones”—was the most dynamic woman ever to grace the American labor movement. Employers and politicians called her “the most dangerous woman in America” and rebellious working men and women loved her as they never loved anyone else.)

U.S. Supreme Court rules that undocumented workers do not have the same rights as Americans when they are wrongly fired - 2002

March 28 

Members of Gas House Workers’ Union Local 18799 begin what is to become a 4-month recognition strike against the Laclede Gas Light Co. in St. Louis. The union later said the strike was the first ever against a public utility in the U.S. - 1935

Martin Luther King, Jr., leads a march of striking sanitation workers, members of AFSCME Local 1733, in Memphis, Tenn. Violence during the march persuades him to return the following week to Memphis, where he was assassinated – 1968

March 29 

Ohio makes it illegal for children under 18 and women to work more than 10 hours a day - 1852

Sam Walton, founder of the huge and bitterly anti-union Walmart empire, born in Kingfisher, Okla. He once said that his priority was to “Buy American,” but Walmart is now the largest U.S. importer of foreign-made goods—often produced under sweatshop conditions - 1918 

“Battle of Wall Street,” police charge members of the United Financial Employees’ Union, striking against the New York Stock Exchange and New York Curb Exchange (now known as the American Stock Exchange).  Forty-three workers are arrested in what was to be the first and only strike in the history of either exchange - 1948

National Maritime Union of America merges with National Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association - 1988

—Compiled and edited by David Prosten. Click here to view this week's labor history.

Steward Update Weekly is brought to you by your union and Union Communication Services - Worker Institute at Cornell ILR, publisher of the Steward Update print edition newsletter, which provides union stewards with helpful information and advice. We hope the Steward Update Weekly will be a helpful tool in your important work as a steward for your union; if you have questions or suggestions on how the Weekly can be more useful, please email us at

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