Letters to the Editor

Stimpson family is grateful for support

While I have never met many of you, I want to let each and every one of you know that I, along with our young son, have been overwhelmed with your warm words of comfort and your generosity during our time of loss.

I always wondered why you are called “brothers,” and now I know. All of you are Terry’s brothers and you will forever be in my heart and prayers. Again, I thank you so very much and pray each of you stays safe.

Alex and Isaac Stimpson
Peculiar, Mo.

Editor’s Note: Kansas City Local 83 member Terry “Stimpy” Stimpson was killed May 23, 2008, when the boom for an 800-ton crane collapsed at Kansas City Power & Light’s Iatan power plant in Platte County, Mo.

Retirees could serve on memorial committee

I retired this past year on the day of my father’s funeral — a retired Boilermaker of 55 years. I also lost my brother-in-law on Christmas Day, another retired Boilermaker, who I thought of more as a brother than an in-law. Both were excellent Boilermakers.

I learned a lot from each of them, and loved them very much. However, on the day of their funerals, no one from the union hall could attend to present a Bible, a tradition our lodge has honored since it was chartered.

A solution to this problem: appoint retired members to perform this service and console the widows and family of our deceased members.

Steven D. Deem, L-667 retiree
Winfield, W.Va.

Local sends its condolences

Mr. Deem’s letter gives us an opportunity to publicly apologize for not being able to attend the funeral of his brother-in law, Mickey B. Payton, which occurred during the Christmas holidays. Our hall was closed and we did not learn of his passing until the following Monday.

Both Mr. Payton and the senior Mr. Deem were well respected members and will be sadly missed by all the members of our local; our sincere apologies to the family for not being there.

Sammie Doolittle
L-667 ABM and President

L-726 returns to work, bargaining table

After 55 days of strike action, Local 726 [Owensboro, Ky.] members returned to work Sept. 30, 2008, under an 18-month extension of the expired collective bargaining agreement [with Daramic, a manufacturer of battery separators].

While the fight for a new agreement is not over, the solidarity of Local 726, along with support from the Boilermakers union, allowed for a victory against the company’s intent to destroy our seniority system and impose an unacceptable agreement.”

Local 726 resumed negotiations with a revamped company bargaining team on Nov. 18, 2008. With the support of the Boilermakers and many other unions around the nation, we were able to finance our strike, which included substantial attorney fees. On behalf of the entire Local 726 membership, thanks for your assistance throughout these trying times.

Sincerely and fraternally yours,

L-726 Pres. Jeff Campbell
L-726 Sec.-Treas. Larry Sims

L-524 members leave with dignity, respect

I AM GRATEFUL to have had the opportunity to lead Local 524 through September 2008, knowing it was not the fault of our members that caused the closing of the Union Tank Car plant in East Chicago [Ind.] and the loss of our jobs.

During our last contract negotiation, IR Tony Palmisano and the Local Committee negotiated a $6 million severance/retention package that made it a little easier for the membership. We also won a petition for substantial TAA/ATAA training and benefits through the Department of Labor. The Boilermakers union has been good to me and to the thousands of other Local 524 members over the past 40-plus years that we were represented.

The Local 524 membership left with dignity and respect.

Kelly Hounshell,
Local 524 President

Editor’s note: TAA and ATAA help trade-affected workers who have lost their jobs as a result of increased imports or shifts in production out of the United States.