Bill Elrod (center), Local 263 (Memphis, Tennessee), who retired as an International Rep, Construction Division Rep and Special Assistant to the International President, receives his 50-year pin from International President Newton B. Jones (right). Elrod worked with IP Jones and IST Bill Creeden (left) as part of the original Fight Back strategy in the 1980s that won back millions of dollars for union Boilermakers.
Brother Bill Elrod, Local 263 (Memphis, Tennessee), marked half a century as a Boilermaker by receiving his 50-year pin from International President Newton B. Jones in April 2021.
Elrod, who retired in 2013, became a journeyman in 1974 and worked on the tools as well as holding local lodge offices before being appointed as an International Rep, Construction Division Rep and later Special Assistant to the International President. After retiring, Elrod enjoyed judging apprenticeship competitions in the Southeast Area and serving as a test administrator for the National Apprenticeship Program.
He describes as a career highlight: “When I got my advancement from apprentice to journeyman and my classification changed—when I got my book.”
Another highlight he notes is the work he did in the 1980s alongside (now) International President Jones and (now) International Secretary-Treasurer Bill Creeden as part one of the original Fight Back program organizers.
“We made a lot of progress and got the Boilermakers decades of viable existence through our work,” he recalls.
The Fight Back strategy, which placed union organizers on jobs run by non-union contractors, is credited with winning back millions of dollars for union Boilermakers and cementing future work.
“It was a great experience to work with Brother Elrod in the Fight Back program and throughout his career as a Boilermaker,” says International President Jones. “His retirement was well earned, and it was a personal honor to visit with him and present his 50-year pin.”