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Local 13 hosts OSHA 500 course

LOCAL LODGE 13 (Philadelphia) hosted its first-ever OSHA 500 trainer course the week of January 15. L-13 BM-ST James Banford Jr. said 30 members and contractor representatives attended. The MOST (Mobilization, Optimization, Safety, and Training) fund sponsors several OSHA 500 courses annually. Graduates of the course are qualified to teach any of the safety classes offered by MOST, including the 10-hour and 30-hour safety classes, and the scaffolding class.

Locals  L-13

Local 5’s Viafara runs with Boilermaker pride

L-5 journeyman Francisco Viafara, a native of Venezuela, shows off his medal after completing the ING New York City Marathon last November.

Marathoner from Venezuela sees dream come true

“MAYBE ONE DAY we will go to New York City,” Francisco Viafara told his wife and daughter in the mid 1980s. It was a dream he thought about often while working as a field welder in Venezuela, repairing sanitation trucks and pipelines. Viafara hoped to build a better life and have the free time to do some of the things he enjoyed, like running.

Twenty years later, Viafara says with glee, “My dream has come true!”

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Locals  L-5

L-374 presents university president, new contractor with honorary memberships

Local 374 BM-ST Paul Maday (at podium) presents an honorary union membership to retiring Purdue University President Dr. Martin C. Jischke.

Indiana school shares history with Boilermakers union

The Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., is home to the “fighting Boilermakers.” The first use of the term “Boilermaker” in connection with the Purdue football team was made in a newspaper report in 1891, and has stayed with the university to this date. It is a symbol of a tireless work ethic — a roll-up-your-sleeves, get-the-job-done attitude that remains true today.

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Locals  L-374

Local S8 and Peabody Energies make community donation

Members of Local S8, Equality, Ill., donate Thanksgiving Baskets to WADI, a Head Start program in Saline County. L. to r., Natalie Fox, Greg Fort, (in front) DeAnna Day, Lena Hankins, Tony Young, Ella Young, Rachel Hunt, and (in front) Brandy Rector.

Union and company put contract differences aside to help those in need

WORKING A MONTH without a contract can cause tension to build between workers and employers. But Boilermakers and company reps at the Willow Lake Mine were able to set their contract differences aside long enough to make a joint contribution to their community.

Members of Local S8, Equality, Ill., and representatives of the Peabody Energies-owned mine in Harrisburg, Ill., donated food and Thanksgiving baskets to Wabash Area Development Inc. (WADI), a member of the Illinois Head Start Association.

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Locals  L-S8

Local S8 ratifies contract at Willow Lake Mine

Intl. Rep Len Gunderson (center with laptop) conducts a training program for Local S8 members. Consultant Mike Murphy is pictured second from left.

Members can be proud of four-year agreement that was two years in the making

WHAT BEGAN IN Feb. 2005 as early negotiations, finally ended some 25 months later with ratification of a four-year agreement for members of Local S8 (Equality, Ill.) at the Willow Lake Mine.

The contract with the Peabody Energies-owned mine in Harrisburg, Ill., expired Oct. 18, 2006. Despite a 175-to-1 vote to take strike action if necessary, the strike option was never utilized. Instead, members were able to secure an agreement, effective April 16, 2007, to April 15, 2011.

Locals  L-S8

Unions throw wedding for L-693 member

It’s a picket line wedding for Local 693’s Kenneth Hill as he places a wedding ring on the finger of Sonya McGruffin while fellow strikers and supporters look on.  Christy Pritchett/AP.

Wedding moves to picket line when Ingalls’ workers go on strike

LOCAL 693 MEMBER Kenneth Hill (Pascagoula, Miss.) voted “Yes” to strike, then said “I do“ on the picket line.

He and Sonya McGruffin were married March 23 on the picket line outside the main gate of Northrop Grumman’s Ingalls shipyard, where Hill works as a welder.

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Locals  L-693

L-455 celebrates Labor Day in Alabama, Tennessee

Local 455 members raised $1,245 for LEF by selling tickets for a chance to win this hand-made quilt by Theresa Frost, wife of L-455 BM-ST Jack Frost. A raffle for another of her quilts the year before raised $1,900 for LEF.

Members participate in parade and political rallies; raise money for LEF

Members of Local 455, Sheffield, Ala., were busy the week of Labor Day. On Monday, Sept. 4, they participated in a parade in Tuscumbia, Ala. They rode motorcycles, ATVs, and both classic and new vehicles, tossing candy to children as they cruised down Main Street. The parade ended in Spring Park, where Local 455 and other area unions and local political organizations set up tents to provide information, ideas, and support for politicians and candidates.

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Locals  L-455

Local 34 adds first apprentices in 20 years

Apprentice Justin McGilton, r., builds a locomotive snow plow under the watchful eye of journeyman Jeff Matzek.

Two enter three-year program at railroad lodge

AFTER 20 YEARS, Local 34, a Topeka, Kan., lodge that repairs heavy locomotives for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF), again has an apprentice program. Local 34 Pres. Anthony DaPrato said railroad mergers and consolidations, along with a large pool of available skilled workers, apparently convinced management to end the apprenticeship program two decades ago.

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Locals  L-34

Union Tools closes Frankfort, N.Y., plant

Local 1916 leaders pose at the Union Tools plant. L. to r. are Richard Bernier, president; Don Miles, recording secretary; and Larry Russell, treasurer.

Seventy-five Local 1916 members lose jobs

A 100-YEAR-OLD lawn and garden tool-making operation in Frankfort, N.Y., shut its doors permanently December 1, throwing 75 Boilermakers from Local 1916 out of work. Union Tools had produced shovels, hoes, and forks, under brand names like Razor-Back and UnionPro. In April 2006, Ames True Temper purchased Union Tools. It subsequently shut down the Frankfort plant and folded the operation into its more modern U.S. manufacturing facilities.

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Locals  L-1916

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