International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Local 1169: Records, 1934-1987


The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local No. 1169 represented electrical workers at two Milwaukee plants of the Square D Company, the international electrical equipment manufacturer: one located at 4041 North Richards Street and the second at 3333 West Good Hope Road in Glendale.

Local 1169 dates to the chartering of Federal Labor Union Local No. 19926 on December 20, 1934. Edward Harris was the first president of Local 19926. In 1939, the IBEW officially approved chartering the local as its Local 1169 to represent employees from Square D's Controller Division. Until the 1940 election, the officers of Local 19926 continued to function as the officers of the new union. In this election Edward Fieder who had been president of local 19926 was replaced by James Watson. However, in September 1945, Fiedler was again elected president, and he continued to hold the office until 1956. Fiedler was succeeded by Walter Scanlan whose presidency lasted until 1964. A highlight of Scanlan's presidency was the construction of a union hall in 1957 at 3879 N. Port Washington Road. (Drastic deceases in membership forced the local to sell the property in 1973.)

Scanlan was succeeded by David Bienart and in 1966 Arthur Jaraczewski was elected president. Because of his leadership in the international union as well as the National Council of Square D Unions Jaraczewski resigned in 1968 and was succeeded by Donald McAdams. Subsequent presidents included James Buth, James Pouros, and Frank Finch . In 1976 IBE the local achieved the milestone of nationally coordinated bargaining, a longtime goal.

The 1970s presented many hardships for the local. In 1970 Square D announced that it planned to move its Milwaukee operations to a plant in Asheville, North Carolina or to a new plant either in Virginia or Tennessee. This decision affected about half of the local's 1,700 members. The advancing average age of the membership (the average member was 57 in 1977) also posed a problem to the local. In 1970, the local's contract proposal was also rejected by Square D. Negotiations in 1973 were also unsuccessful.

On September 1, 1991, when Square D finally closed both plants where the local members were employed, Local 1169 was amalgamated with IBE Local No. 2336, which represented the Sorgel Electric Company, a division of Square D. However, upon the January 26, 1998 closing of that plant, Local 2336 became defunct as well.