Electricians' union to mark 100 years at dinner

Electricians' union to mark 100 years at dinner

URBANA — A local electrical workers' union will celebrate its 100-year history with a dinner Saturday at the Holiday Inn in Urbana.

Local 601 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers was chartered on Aug. 4, 1913.

About 470 people, including active and retired members, are expected to attend the dinner, according to Patty Rudicil, secretary for the local.

Among the expected speakers are: former business manager Lawrence Cook, assistant business manager Richard Hensler and Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan.

Also expected is Lonnie Stephenson, international vice president for the IBEW's Sixth District, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The local's current business manager, Micheal Herbert, plans to retire in July after serving in that capacity since 2004.

Based in Champaign, the local covers all of Champaign and Livingston counties and parts of DeWitt, Douglas, Ford, Iroquois, McLean, Piatt, LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam and Woodford counties.

Its members include residential, commercial, industrial and teledata electricians, according to the local's website.

According to a history compiled for the anniversary, the local was founded by 10 men in Champaign and Urbana, with Arthur Singbusch elected as its first president.

The local originally met in the Painters Local 363 hall on University Avenue. Within a couple months of forming, the union's ranks had grown to include more than 30 members.

By 1960, the local had 195 members. An impasse with contractors resulted in a 10-week-long strike that year.

In 1972, the IBEW local in Streator merged with Local 601, expanding the Champaign local's jurisdiction.

The local moved to new offices at 3301 Boardwalk Drive, C, in 2006, with that building also housing the local's apprenticeship programs and training center.

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