Local lodge leaders attend summer training institute

2008 School for Workers Basic Class

Venue moves as university converts Friedrick Center to dorm

FORTY-SEVEN LOCAL lodge leaders attended classes at the 51st annual Summer Training Institute at the University of Wisconsin’s School for Workers held July 13-25, 2008, in Madison, Wis. Over a two-week period, the institute offered basic and advanced courses.

The Boilermakers have been holding these summer seminars at the School for Workers since 1957. They are an integral part of the Brotherhood’s training and leadership development program. This year, the courses were held at the Madison Concourse Hotel near the state capitol. The venerable Friedrick Center, site of previous institutes, is being converted to college dorms.

The basic course addressed contract administration, labor and IBB history, collective bargaining, membership mobilization, workers and the global economy, political action, safety and health, FMLA, communication skills, and the Boilermaker organization.

Coursework for the advanced class is designed for those who have completed the basic training. Advanced participants study common sense economics, communication skills, problem solving and grievance handling, grievance arbitration, workers and the global economy, health care bargaining, labor and IBB history, building the union and membership mobilization, and framing and delivering the message. The advanced class also heard from David Newby, president of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. Newby spoke about the importance of the upcoming elections and how the AFL-CIO is mobilizing to elect pro-worker candidates.

As with previous institutes, members took advantage of their time together to share experiences from across the spectrum of Boilermaker industries: from coal mining to fabricating windmills, from field construction to manufacturing piston sleeves for automobiles, from shipbuilding to railroad work, and from making cement to maintaining aircraft for the U.S. Navy.

In addition to participating in a focused learning environment, members enjoyed opportunities to socialize after hours, build friendships, and explore the state capital city of Madison, home of the University of Wisconsin.

Institute instructors included professors from UW-Madison’s School for Workers. Boilermaker staff providing instruction included Donald Caswell, Director of the Communication, Education, and Training Services Department; Bridget Martin, Director of the Government Affairs Department (GAD); Shannon Brett, Assistant to the Director of GAD; and Mike Linderer, writer and editor in the Communication Department. Mark Garrett, safety and health specialist, also attended.

Members attending the 2008 Basic course included Mark Peponakis, Local 5 (New York); Daniel Bradley, Timothy Partain, and Ronnie Pinkston, Local S8 (Equality, Ill.); Ken Hawley, Local 11 (Helena, Mont.); Brent Mitzner and Jon Smail, Local 84 (Paola, Kan.); Mark Thomas, Local 92 (Los Angeles); Phillip Baldwin and Timothy Simmons, Local 108 (Birmingham, Ala.); Sean Burgess, Jessie Cain, Joshua Conrad, and Robert Lampkin, Local 344 (Ridgecrest, Calif.); Terry Ferguson, James Gilbert, Jeffrey Lock, and James Masterson, Local 374 (Hammond, Ind.); Jim Shine, Local 502 (Tacoma, Wash.); Buddy Berry, Local 584 (Birmingham, Ala.); Kory Olson, Local 647 (Minneapolis); Jason Halsey, Local 599 (Billings, Mont.); Earl Babb and Edgar Pierce, Local 656 (Chattanooga, Tenn.); Brian Leverrett, Local 679 (Chattanooga, Tenn.); LaMarcus McCants and Anthony McGee, Local 693 (Pascagoula, Miss.); Edward Doyen, Frank Kesti, and William Lockhart, Local 696 (Marinette, Wis.); Terry Gutwald and Al Meadowcraft, Local 905 (Wilmington, N.C.); Duane Larson, Charles Sandor, Daniel Seng, and Kenneth Webber, Local 1509 (Cudahy, Wis.); and Andres Contreras, Local 1600 (Aurora, Ill.).

Members attending the 2008 Advanced course included Charles Hancock and Matthew Suneson, Local 29 (Boston); Chris Inez, Local 344; Phil Halley, Local 359 (Vancouver, British Columbia); Dan Luhmann and Francis Richardson, Local 650 (Lake City, Minn.); John Massey and Raymond Royal, Local 656; Peter Siedlecki, Local 696; and Jesus Fernandez, Local 1600. Research Assistant Tracy Buck also attended.