One hundred years have come and gone since the original 10 individuals signed our charter. During our one hundred years, we have experienced wars, the Great Depression, labor strife and decades of great prosperity. We would not be where we are today without the help of our brothers of Local 193 Springfield while we re-built our local union. The amalgamation of Local 489 from Mattoon strengthened our Local and increased the size of our jurisdiction.
Early in our history the importance of training and safety did not go unnoticed. Through the joint efforts of this Local and our respective contractors, our apprenticeship and journeyman continuing education classes were formed. This training has allowed our members to stay abreast of our ever changing industry and the needs of our customers. Our strong foundation and commitment to quality will make certain that we provide services for the future.
Local 146 members are not just great electricians, signmen, telecommunications workers, and motor repairman, we are great citizens and leaders. We have not only survived adversity, we have helped lead our communities through the many challenges that have arisen. Brotherhood is defined as the belief that all people should act with warmth and equality toward one another, regardless of differences. Our members exemplify these traits each day whether coaching sporting teams, serving on civic boards, being a religious leader or leading the IL State AFL-CIO. We serve our communities with pride and dedication.
With solidarity within our ranks we have made sure that we have good wages, health insurance for our families, safe working conditions, and pensions that allow us to retire with dignity. All of this combined with the forty-hour-workweek provides financial security and allows us the time needed to be able to serve our communities and provide for our families. We must remain vigilant in all that we do to assure that the local and the community continue to move forward.
Together we honor those before us who set an example of strong trade unionism. Brotherhood and unity along with our skills, attitude and ability will make IBEW Local 146 the right choice for the next 100 years and beyond.
This letter was written by Shad E. Etchason, Business Manager/Financial Secretary 2009 – 2015 for our 100th Anniversary celebrated in 2012.