International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers - Local 82
6550 Poe Ave      Dayton, OH 45414      937.898.4239

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Historically Speaking  

1910s | 1920s | 1930s | 1940s | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s

June 1917
The first press release was made by Press Secretary Grant Fink discussing the wage rates of $.45 an hour and the negotiations for a $.05 increase. He asked the “Brothers to stay away until we can adjust this little difference. We have never in our existence turned down a traveling Brother…” but circumstances dictated this request.

August 1917
“We have made a big stride forward since last spring. Our wage scale is 80 cents an hour and double time for overtimes. We are ninety percent strong now and are looking for a closed town next year.”

January 1920
“There was a time in this town when the contractors would not permit us to use the insignia of the IBEW or our working rules, neither would they leave us post them in their shops. Last year saw several change, the working rules hangs in all the legitimate contract shops today, conditions have improved.  This year we expect to enter an agreement before May 1 that shall be satisfactory to all concerned."

“Passed the hat for a sick brother who had to go West to try and regain his health and out of 117 members present we raised the grand sum of $50.”

“We hope to pull off a big initiation in the near future, also a dance and smoker, at which time we expect to meet some of our card members. Oh yes, we never see the card members only when they come up to pay their dues, so we have a little get-together every once in a while in order to keep them from getting lost entirely.”

August 1920
“On the first day of May, Local Union No. 82 IBEW of Dayton and vicinity went out on strike to force the issuance of a wage of $1.25 per hour for journeymen, and several other things that we thought were essential to us as individuals. I can state that we have an organization that surely is second to none for loyalty to their officers in a time when they need all the support they can get.” 

An agreement with the Contractors was reached whereby the IBEW settled for $1.10 per hour for Journeymen and several tools were to be furnished by the Contractors (hack-saw blades, compass saws, 11/16 bits, star drills and all pipe tools).

January 1923
“Working conditions in Dayton are as good, if not better, than some of the larger locals. Thanks to our able Executive Board. Only last month a committee from the contractors’ association called a meeting with our Executive Board and gave the Local Union notice that starting November 6, 1922, they would establish a rate of pay for journeymen-wiremen of $1.00 per hour instead of 95 cents, our former scale. Brothers, that is the fruit of organization. Where there is unity there is strength.”

At the beginning of each month, a “school” is held. “We pick out sections of the code and dwell upon them from a practical point of view. One night we take power work, three-phase squirrel cage type induction motors; their installation, such as size of feeders, branch feeders, fuse ratings and overload conditions, such as arise from additional power being added to the original service after the job has been OK’d. to the central station for service.”
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December 1931
“John Breidenbach, business manager, Local Union No.82, Dayton, and president Central Labor Union, became a member of the Dayton City Commission with the highest vote given any of the four winners. Breidenbach received 19,354 votes. The next highest man received 13,642.”

February 1936
John. E. Breidenbach, of Dayton Local No. 82 was reelected to the city commission. “The unusual part of all this is that Breidenbach was running for the second time as an independent candidate and faced the opposition of the major political parties. In addition to this, he was openly opposed by the three daily newspapers, by a radio station controlled by one of the papers, and by such organizations as the Dayton Power and Light Company, which he had battled many years.”

Support came not only from union members, but from the community at large. He led the ticket, coming out 7,787 votes ahead of his nearest opponent.
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July 1948
A bronze plaque was presented to J. E. Breidenbach, business manage of Local 82, by William M. Klinger of the William M. Klinger Electric Co. in Datyon.

“This company has been the leading electrical contractor in our city since 1909. Labor relations have been very satisfactory. On January 1, 1948, Mr. Klinger retired and disposed of the company. He asked Mr. Breidenbach to accept this plaque as an appreciation of the friendly labor relations they had during the time he spent in the electrical building industry.”

There is a story behind the plaque, which depicts two men working with hammer and chisel. “About 18 years ago, Mr. Klinger was the owner of a company known as the Ferro Bronze Company of Dayton, in addition to his electrical company.  The Ferro Bronze Company did some very fine ornamental work. They had the contract for all bronze work in the State office Building at Columbus, Ohio. This plaque was installed in a marble frame in the main lobby. At that time, two castings were made and today one still can be seen in the lobby of the State Office Building. The other is housed at Local 82.”
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August 1961
“Electrical Workers Local No. 82, in accordance with the spirit of the Soaring Sixties and the New Frontier, took a giant stride this week. They moved into one of the handsomest new union buildings in Dayton, located at 1407 E. Third St. The builder was the Leviton Construction Company, of 11 W. Monument Ave.”

June 1964
“Election of officers for Local Union No. 82 was held on June 1, 1964. Russell Lane defeated Jack A. Breidenbach for the position of Business Manager of the Union.  Conspicuous by has absence as a candidate for election was John E. Breidenbach, who will retire in July, This is the first time in 48 years that John has not been a candidate for election. On behalf of the members of Local 82, I would like to convey to John our best wishes for a healthy and happy retirement. I offer our sincere thanks for the things that he has done for us and for all members of organized labor over the years.”

June 1964
“July 6 will mark the end of an era for Local 82 of the IBEW. The reins of leadership will pass from John E. Breidenbach, who has held them firmly for a little less than half a century. It was Breidenbach who helped organize Local 82 in 1916 and was elected its first business manager. He has held that post continuously since that date.”

“He has guided the local to a position of influence and affluence in the labor movement and in the community. He has made the name of Local 82 synonymous with sound labor relations and good craftsmanship. He has made the name Breidenbach synonymous with community service and skillful labor negotiations.”

July 1965
“Dayton’s Local 82 of the IBEW has produced many outstanding labor leaders, but none is more likely to be remembered longer than the present business manager, Russell Lane, who has held the post but one year.”

“Lane is one of the new modern breed who believes in credit unions, pensions and health and welfare plans. The local’s credit union was already established when he came to office but he has had a hand in establishing pension and vacation funds and hopes that a health and welfare plan can be installed soon.”

April 1966
“In spite of extremely inclement weather, including a four-inch snowfall, approximately 600 persons gathered on January 22, 1966, at the Sheraton Dayton Hotel to observe the Fiftieth Anniversary of Local 82, IBEW. The gathering consisted of Local 82 members with their ladies,; representatives of other labor unions; city, county and school board officials; electrical contractors and officers of other electrical unions from areas surrounding Dayton.”

September 1967
“At our regular meeting on June 5th, we had our election of officers. They are; President Harry (Curly) Wells, vice President Gene Forschner, Business Manager Russell Lane, Recording Secretary Alvin S. Lewis.”

“We think Interstate 75, being completed through Dayton, is wonderful. Local 82 had men lighting up the directional signs to help finish the job. The traffic was heavy and somewhat dangerous, but precautionary measures were taken by the men and there were no accidents.”

December 1967
“Local 82’s “Mr. Labor” Passes at Age 73”
“Local 82 felt a great loss when John. E. Breidenbach died in a Dayton hospital in August 1967. he was 73 years old. For me to acknowledge all his accomplishments and his battles for labor would be an endless task. He held so many titles and awards in his lifetime, dealing with unions and labor, he well deserved the name “Mr. Labor.” He was president of the Ohio State Building Trades for a number of years. He organized Local 82 with 25 members, and retired as business manager some 40 years later, undefeated.” 

November 1968
“Local 82 IBEW had its first strike in July and was back on the job in a couple of weeks. I think this is something to be proud of and conscious of – the years of working without a strike. To have achieved this no-strike record is self-explanatory of our leadership through the years.”

May 1969
“The new Price Brothers Plant, which has been completed, was most interesting job. Price Brothers makes the very popular flexicore flooring. The job was fully automatic and the various controls helped to make a very interesting job. Along with good work, we had good Brothers manning it.”
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March 1971
“The largest enclosed mall in the Midwest has been one of our projects in the Dayton area, and the job is now completed and the shoppers are going to and fro. Located just a few miles south of Dayton, the mall is referred to as the Dayton Mall and consists of 115 stores. During peak construction , more than 100 electricians manned the 93-acre job site.”

April 1972
“With this letter, I am beginning a series on the “Journeyman of the Month.” The first “Journeyman of the Month” is Brother Delmar Steiner, whose skill and knowledge are very much displayed on any job he does. This theory is “good wages deserve good work.: Delmar is known for his perfection in bending conduit, but after working for him for some time, I feel he should be known as a very good union wireman in all phases of the trade.”

February 1974
“Hello again from the beautiful Miami Valley, home of the Wright brothers; home of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Air Force Museum; home of the National Cash Register; site of general Motors plants, such as Frigidaire, Delco Products, Delco Moraine, and Inland Manufacturing; home of Chrysler Airtemp and Manufacturing. In fact, complementing the aforementioned plants are over 800 more plants, which produce over 1,000 products, that have a yearly estimated value of over one billion dollars.”

April 1974
“If you drive east from I-75 on Needmore road you will pass 2535, the site and home  base of Helldoerfer-Castelinni Inc., Electrical contractors and Engineers. To 115 local electricians this business represents their bread and butter. It is from behind the desks of Charles Helldoerfer and James Castelinni that jobs for our local Brothers spring forth.”

“Some of the jobs that have come off the desk, out of the mud, and into being are such projects as: first National Bank’s 21-story building and complex; General Motors Delco Moraine Products on Wagoner Ford road; General Motors plant 3 Frigidaire; smoke precipitators at Dayton Power and Light, Hutchings Station; at WPAF Base – the Nuclear Reactor; new 69-KV transmission feeders; Computer Building 676. At the present time Southwestern Portland Cement Company,. Good Samaritan Hospital, and new additions to G.M. Delco Moraine are in a healthy state of employment.”

December 1974
“Work has been fairly good throughout the summer and fall, but as the temperature goes down, so will the work load. Some future projects will help at that: the 15-story Stouffers hotel, adjoining the convention center; a new computer center fro GM and GMAC on Needmore Road; the new Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton (a Gailbreath production); and a new Regional Transportation Authority bus garage. To the out-of-towners in here helping out – thanks, men; maybe sometime the favor will be reciprocated.”

February 1978
“The members of our local and their wives have organized a Local 82 Ladies Auxiliary.  As the volunteer arm of the AFL-CIO, it was then and now is, an essential asset to the AFL-CIO in achieving the goals of organized labor.”

“Within the Auxiliary lies a massive purchasing power, which, if completely united, could force every non-union, foreign-made product off the market, by simple boycott. A dynamic union label program is high on the priority list of auxiliary activity. The Auxiliary adds strength to the local union and, as an ally, fully supports its economic, educational, legislative and political programs.”

“The Local 82 Ladies Auxiliary has sponsored many fund-raising and social functions. The funds raised by the Auxiliary are used to maintain their treasure and to assist the sick and disabled members of Local 82 and their families. The ladies are also assisting the IBEW Bowling Tournament Committee.”

September 1979
“Congratulations to Brothers Bill Fisher and Chuck Borror for winning the presidential and vice presidential seats of Local 82.”

“Local 82 mourns the death of Brother Pat Breidenback. Brother Breidenback was one of the first members to be taken into Local 82. Brother Breidenback retired in 1957. We remember this brother for helping to organize our local.”

“Currently, everyone in our local is working.”
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December 1980
“Our JATC recently welcomed 37 new first-year apprentices, bringing the total number to 137 in our program. We welcome these new Brothers and sisters and wish them will in their quest to become good union journeymen.  Our local has the honor of being selected as a pilot for a new fourth-year program, which is being tried by the NJATC. We appreciate this chance to be of help in bettering our trade.  Pass the word: Union –built is better built.”

October 1981
“Business Manager Alvin Lewis reported at the July meeting that negotiations with Ready electric haven’t exactly gone smoothly. After workers there voted to unionize, the owners of Ready harassed the employees and did everything possible to keep them from reaching an agreement with Local 82. We must open our arms and help these new Brothers in their struggle. We must organize our jurisdiction. This is a chance for us to chow the non-union shops that we’re serous about it. Back these new Brothers and Business Manager Lewis in their endeavors.”

December 1981
“Greetings, IBEW members. Things in Dayton have gone from feast to famine. Local 82 has 130 members on Book I with an expected increase later. To assist the many Brothers of Dayton that are on the road, Business Manager Alvin Lewis has made some minor changes in the out-of-work list registration requirements.”

“Not only is unemployment high among journeymen but apprentice director Bob Carver reports that many apprentices are out of work also.”

March 1982
“Business Manager Alvin Lewis reported at the January meeting that 194 members are out of work, with nearly 100 of them working in other jurisdictions. Assistants Jerry Sims and Harry Travis are working very hard to find jobs for nay Brother wishing to travel. Apprentices are fairing no better, as 50 percent of them are out of work also.”

“President William Fisher urges the member ship to write the representatives in the White House as some important anti-labor bills are being brought up before the House and Senate. Brother Fisher pointed out that our letters are read and do speak out.”

“Keep your heads high for we have two great things going for us. We’re Americans and we’re union!”

May 1982
“Reagonomics are being felt here. Business Manager Alvin Lewis regrettably reports that 236 of our members are out of work. This is the highest unemployment rate ever to hit our local. Brother Lewis wishes to thank our sister locals that have helped provide work for some our members.”

“If you’re on the road, keep in touch with the hall. If you’re home, participate in your local.”

April 1983
“Greetings, IBEW members! As of this writing things are not sunshine and roses. Business Manager Kenney Delaney reports that 307 journeyman wiremen, 55 percent of our local, are out of work locally. An awful lot of the Brothers who are working are doing so less than 40 hours a week. Maybe things will pick up with the warm weather.”

“JATC Director Newlin reports that 68 apprentices are out of work at this time also. Brother Newlin was able to arrange for interested journeyman wiremen to take a welding course. Hopefully, this will enable some Brothers to increase their chances of obtaining jobs when calls are put in for welders.”

July 1983
301 Journeymen, 56 Apprentices Out of Work
“Ohio Governor Richard Celeste has given his full support on cracking down on contractors who do not meet prevailing wage standards. In an effort to aid our industry Brother Shelby Rogers has been appointed the local’s prevailing wage representative. His job, working with the Dayton Building Trades, will be to check prevailing wage jobs and make sure the scab workers know what they should be earning, and how to obtain it if they are not. This will hopefully keep our union contractors competitive against the non-union shops.”

September 1983
“’For the good of the Industry’ was the topic of a special meeting called in May. The work situation, non-union jobs, economics, staying competitive were all discussed. What was proposed was giving back $1.50 of our raise to the contractors. On May 26 and 27, the membership voted 206 to 146 to give it back and “help our industry.” Now, let’s hope the contractors will do their fair share in helping our industry.”

“Brother Delaney, working with the Dayton Building Trades, has set up picket lines at the Trailways Bus Terminal at the Convention Center. This job was originally to be done with union crafts but “suddenly” was reelected to non-union contractor. Despite some police harassment, a great number of our Brothers have volunteered their time to walk the picket lines. It appears that this administration is serious about the “scab” problem in our jurisdiction!”

September 1985
“Dayton, the home of aviation, is the sponsor of the second largest, going for numero uno, air show in the world. This event brings in displays, manufacturers, the military and private enthusiasts worldwide, and not to mention a half million paying spectators. This is one of many annual events in our jurisdiction creating work for our members. Although short-term, it is jobs like these and many others in the normal work scene that carry us day by day. Given an opportunity to get a foot back into the nonunion door, our knowledge and professionalism can and will lead to contacts and contracts which we need to support ourselves and our families.”

“Under our present government, according to the national headlines, we are experiencing an economic boom the likes of which we have never seen before in this country. This boom should read “Kaboom.” Facts: We as Americans bought $148 million more in foreign-made products above and beyond what we sold to other countries. A 7.3 percent unemployment in April! Heck, that’s only 20 million Americans without a job. Twenty million! Is that a lot? Now, throw in a few million illegals and a few million more workers whose benefits have run out and are no longer reflected on the charts. Did you know that since Bonzo and his pal lifted trade embargos, by 1989 43 percent of new car sales in the USA will be foreign made!”

October 1988
Big Jobs Under Way

“A new, three-year contract as approved with $1.65 increase spread out over that period. We also received an increase of 25 cents for downtown parking plus the steward-protection clause sought by the administration.”

“The big jobs in the Dayton area re beginning to start: The Arcade project is coming to life; Citizens Federal and the Blazer job at the Chevrolet Plant are starting up; and the Kajima Tube Plant in Troy, Wright State University basketball’s Nutter Center and the Logistics Center at Wright Patterson Air Force Base are coming out of the ground.

January/February 1989
“Work in the jurisdiction is okay for this time of year.”
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