Sept. 11, 2020
SSMRC delegates participate in semi-virtual United Brotherhood of Carpenters 42nd General Convention
Delegates of the Southern States Millwright Regional Council became a part of history by attending the first-ever, semi-virtual United Brotherhood of Carpenters general convention.

The general convention is held every five years. Due to COVID-19, councils that make up the UBC, our parent organization, hosted the 42nd General Convention from locations within their districts. Instead of traveling to UBC headquarters in Las Vegas, delegates from the Southern States Millwright Regional Council convened in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Delegates voted on resolutions, elected leaders, learned about organizing efforts across the United States and Canada, heard how the UBC and its locals are fighting to protect workers’ rights and stop tax fraud, and more.

After delegates voted at the 42nd UBC General Convention on Aug. 22, the UBC leadership team is in place for the next five years. Our own EST Wayne Jennings served as the secretary of the Election Committee and gave the committee’s final report during the convention.
Wayne Jennings, executive secretary treasurer of the SSMRC, gives the UBC Election Committee's final report.
(L to R) UBC Eastern District VP Bill Waterkotte, Western District VP Randy Thornhill, General Vice President Frank Spencer, General President Doug McCarron, Second General Vice President David Tharp, General Secretary-Treasurer Tom Flynn, Southern District Vice President Dennis Donahou, and Midwest District Vice President Mark McGriff.
Learn more about the leadership and structure of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, SSMRC's parent organization, here.

Learn more about Southern District Vice President Dennis Donahou here.
Council delegate meeting held early in conjunction with UBC General Convention
The September SSMRC delegate meeting was held early, Aug. 23-24, so it could take place after the UBC General Convention in Gulf Shores. Thank you to all the delegates who attended.

Delegates and council staff members held committee meetings, elected trustees, heard numerous reports, including investment, treasurer, organizing, and training rundowns, ratified contracts, voted on committee recommendations, listened to updates on construction of new training centers, and more.

Here are some highlights:
Swearing in
Council President David Bonds swears in Jimmie Jordan [left] and Dwight Murrah as SSMRC officers.
EST reports
EST Wayne Jennings gave the treasurer's report and the EST report and spoke about training props and concerns from the 2020 Strong Journeyman session.
Regional directors' reports
All three SSMRC regional directors gave reports. Here, Jeff Smith, Central Region director, talks about man-hours in his region.
Charlotte training initiative
Shon Douglas, director of education and training for the Southeastern Carpenters Training Trust, discusses the Charlotte, North Carolina, training initiative.
Nashville Training Center
Steve Williams, Local 1554 business agent, gives an update on the new Nashville Training Center.
The SSMRC partners with Southeastern Construction Owners & Associates Roundtable and DeWalt to deliver grant and scholarship to Women in Construction Program
Thanks to a grant and gift package presented Aug. 26, the Moore Community House Women in Construction Program in Biloxi, Mississippi, will be able to improve its training program and assist 90 more women in gaining credentials that could help them secure high-paying jobs in the Gulf Coast region. A scholarship tool set given to Michelle Thornton, a recent graduate of the Women in Construction Program’s eight-week course, will aid in launching her career.
The Southern States Millwright Regional Council, the Southeastern Construction Owners & Associates Roundtable, and DEWALT sponsored the grant and gifts. SCOAR provided the $4,500 grant, the SSMRC funded the scholarship tool set worth more than $1,000, and DEWALT donated approximately $1,100 worth of tools on the Women in Construction Program’s wish list.

Watch an interview with scholarship recipient Michelle Thornton:
Watch an interview with Ruth Mazara, director of the Women in Construction Program:
Watch a video of the grant and scholarship presentation here:
Union millwrights could be eligible for up to $1,000 to pay expenses related to the effects of Hurricane Laura.
The Central South Disaster Relief Fund is active to help members affected by Hurricane Laura. You may be eligible for up to $1000.

The money may be used to repair damage to your primary residence, to pay your car insurance deductible, or for living expenses (hotel, transportation) if you were forced to leave your home due to the damage or an evacuation. There may also be funds available for rental assistance if you have had to relocate.

You must include copies of any estimates, receipts, insurance information, or leases/rental agreements. Photos are also required.

Click the button below to apply.
Local 1263 bands together to build wheelchair ramp for member injured in motorcycle accident
From left: Mark Keilholtz [left] and Kyle Yarborough work on the wheelchair ramp; Elbert 'Red' Maddox with Mark Keilholtz; The completed wheelchair ramp
Elbert “Red” Maddox, a longtime member of Millwright Local 1263, sustained multiple broken bones and injuries during a motorcycle accident in late July, when he was on his way home from work at Savannah River Remediations. Due to a broken pelvis, he cannot put any weight on either foot for 60 days.

Members of Local 1263 came together to build a wheelchair ramp that gives Maddox the ability to enter and exit his house.

Cedar Harlon, a Local 1263 member and foreman for Savannah River Remediations, and other members of Local 1263 donated and organized materials for the project. Mark Keilholtz, a 31-year UBC member and a steward at Savannah River Remediations, his wife, Michelle Keilholtz, and family friend Kyle Yarborough, who is applying for the millwright apprenticeship, built the ramp, getting the project done quickly for a brother in need.

In recognition of his efforts, the SSMRC is presenting Mark Keilholtz with its first Wright Moves Community Service Challenge award. Mark will receive a Stanley lunch cooler set, T-shirt, and $250 gift card.

Here's what several people involved in this project had to say about Keilholtz, Maddox, and the union brotherhood.

Local 1263 Business Agent Charlie Smith comments on Red Maddox:
"Red Maddox is an outstanding journeyman member and mentor to those of us that came through the apprentice ranks. I personally apprenticed under Red, and he never me let me fail. He was always quick to offer sound advice and encouragement to those who sought it."

Charlie Smith describes Mark Keilholtz:
"Mark is a great representative for Local 1263, the SSMRC, and the UBC. He is always keeping the best interests of the brothers and sisters at the Savannah River Site at the forefront. He is willing to get in there and get something done for a brother or sister in need."

Mark Keilholtz tells why he wanted to be involved in this project:
"I wanted to help because I had a brother in need. I could provide a service that would not just help Red in the immediate future, but would last 20 years. It really made me feel good knowing that I could do it for him. The millwrights have really come together in the Augusta area, and I am proud to be a part of the SSMRC."

Red Maddox explains what the ramp and union support mean to him:
“We’re in a brotherhood that helps one another when someone is down. The union is about good workers working together and taking care of each other. Union members gave me a hospital bed, visited me in the hospital, called, sent cards, and took up donations. Everybody has come together to help.”
Nominate an SSMRC member for the Wright Moves Community Service Challenge
Do you know someone who should be recognized for their community contributions? To nominate yourself or a union brother or sister for the SSMRC Wright Moves Community Service Challenge, please send the nominee’s first and last name, local number, and a description of their community service to or call/text the information to 855-577-7672. Challenge winners will receive a $250 gift card, a T-shirt, and a Stanley lunch cooler.
Paul French to retire as Local 2411 business agent on Dec. 31
Paul French, who became a member of Millwright Local 2411 in 1970 and the local's business agent in 2008, will retire on Dec. 31. The Southern States Millwright Regional Council and its Eastern Region leaders gave him several gifts during a late-August staff meeting (see photos below).

Read French's retirement message here.
Clockwise from top: The SSMRC gave Paul French a golf cart as a retirement gift;
The Eastern Region gave him a cigar humidor; Local 1263 Business Agent Charlie Smith gave him a bottle of Four Roses whiskey. Local 1000 Business Agent Cliff Tucker gave French a pack of his favorite cigars.
Local 216 presents journeyman certificates to six members
At Local 216's August union meeting, Business Agent Matt Nowlin presented journeyman certificates to six members. Congratulations to these new journeymen!
Clockwise from top left: Travis Harkey; Chris Frazier; Travis Pruitt; Jason Neeley; Steve Galvan; and Corey Jones
Western Region
Local 216:
There are ongoing projects at Big River Steel, Nucor, and Kimberly Clark Maumelle in Arkansas. There is also a turbine major for September on the books. In Oklahoma, there has been ongoing turbine work and a major scheduled for October. There has also been work at Kimberly Clark in Jenks and ongoing maintenance at Holly Frontier in Tulsa.
Local 729:
The recent hurricanes have not helped the work outlook in Louisiana. However, we expect to work with our partnering contractors in the upcoming weeks as they get work orders for repairs and maintenance on facilities and equipment damaged in the storms. If you or a fellow Brother or Sister have been affected by the storms, help is available. Please reach out to the Central South Disaster Relief Fund.
Local 1421:
Local 1421 will have some paper-mill projects coming up in the next few weeks. There have been projects at Miller Brewery and other food-and-beverage facilities, and there are also several projects being bid by our partnering employers. The power-generation work continues to come in, with emergent projects and turbine outages as well.
Local 2232:
There is ongoing work at Toyota in San Antonio, and 2232 has picked up work at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport as well as the Frito Lay facility in Southwest Houston. There are several upcoming projects in September as the petrochem and power-generation facilities begin their fall outages and turn-arounds.
Central Region
We are going to be busy within the automotive and power-generation industries this fall. If you are available for work, please put yourself on the out-of-work list and reach out to your business agent.
–Jeff Smith, Central Region Director
Local 1192:
  • Mazda Toyota Manufacturing in Huntsville, Alabama, is getting underway and will continue to hire over the next couple of months. Please make sure to have your OSHA 10, forklift, and aerial-lift certifications. Riggers and welders will be in high demand as well.
  • Power generation is looking to be busy for the fall. Plant Daniels begins its turbine outages on Sept. 10 for units 4A-B. Daniel unit 3A starts on Sept. 26.
  • Alley Crane and Rigging is now signatory to the 1192 CBA and is looking to perform work within the jurisdiction. Congratulations!

Local 1554:
  • TVA is still on track for fall outages. COVID-19 has changed processes and PPE requirements at most jobsites, and TVA is currently allowing only essential employees on site.
  • At GM in Springhill, things are slow but expected to pick up.
  • Cumberland City has an outage scheduled to kickoff.
  • TVA, TH Allen begins Oct. 1, 2020.
  • Specialty Service group is now signatory to the 1554 CBA and is looking to perform work within the jurisdiction. Congratulations!
Eastern Region
Local 1000:
  • SGS Turkey Point Nuclear Plant outage has started mobilizing.
  • SGS has several jobs coming up in September and October.
  • APM has some work coming up in October.
  • Western Industrial is working on a DHL project in Miami.
  • Preferred Maintenance is working at Refresco.
  • There is airport work in Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, and Miami.
  • UPS phase one is finished and we're working on maintenance. Phase two has been pushed back until further notice.
  • Superior Rigging is working on a top-secret ride at Universal Studios.
Local 2411:
  • Future work that has not been awarded includes an Amazon project and an expansion at B. Braun Medical Manufacturing Plant.
  • WW Gay working at Duke power plant located at the US Health Gainsville campus

Local 1263:
  • We need stainless TIG welders for Genesys in Jefferson, Georgia.
  • We need gas-turbine experienced millwrights for O’Connor at Plant McDonough.
  • We need theodolite-experienced millwrights for Walbridge in Goose Creek, South Carolina.
  • Vulcan fall outages are planned for Plant Jack McDonough and Plant Bowen. Dates are Aug. 10-Sept. 22, Sept. 28-Oct. 23, and Oct. 1-Nov. 25.
  • We will be rebuilding the cooling towers at plant Hatch.
  • There will be a new equipment installation for an electric-cable manufacturer in Goose Creek.
  • SRS is going to begin a plutonium pit project sometime soon.
  • CR Meyer is going to be calling for the Macon paper mill soon.
  • RCC and TurbinePROs are at Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 construction project. See more information below.
Additional information for Vogtle workers:
Nuclear Division
In the next couple of weeks, all the fall outages on our schedule will be starting or our partnering employers will be in-processing members in preparation for their start dates. As of now, we have, for the most part, fulfilled the manpower requested by our partnering employers.

I would like to thank everyone for their understanding and patience while our employers and myself adjusted from our normal way of doing business in fulfilling those needs. As mentioned in my last update, during these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, many considerations had to made for not only our safety, but the safety of everyone at each outage site. All utilities adjusted, whether by cutting work scope to reduce the number of workers, by testing for the virus on site or at their in-processing facilities, or by checking employees' temperatures each day and shift. We appreciate and respect their efforts in reducing the virus's possible spread.

We should all be aware of and practice COVID-19 recommended safety protocols on and off jobsites. With this thought in mind, some sites might enforce use of personal protective equipment and safety practices such as face masks, face shields, long-sleeve shirts, gloves, temperature checks, and spilt break and lunch times, to name a few. Understanding it will be frustrating at times, we must bear in mind that these precautions are aimed at protecting us and others. Let’s all keep a good attitude while we get our jobs done safely, productively, and on time.
– David Bonds, nuclear representative
The Millwright magazine has been printed and is available to view online
The 2020 edition of the SSMRC's annual publication, The Millwright, has been printed. If you haven't received your copy, please let us know by emailing or texting 855-57-7672. If you would like to read a digital version of The Millwright, click here.
Court decision against the joint employer rule helps in the fight against tax fraud
On Sept. 9, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York vacated most of the United States Department of Labor's joint employer rule.

The rule, which took effect in March, narrowed the scenarios in which multiple businesses could be held liable under the Fair Labor Standards Act for failing to pay minimum wages and overtime to workers.

A coalition of 17 states and the District of Columbia sued in February over this regulation. Led by Pennsylvania and New York, the state attorneys general argued that the department’s more restrictive interpretation of joint employment “makes workers even more vulnerable to underpayment and wage theft.”

Read more about the decision here.
If you vote by mail, return your ballot early
Americans voting by mail in the November elections should mail their ballots at least a week before their state’s due date, if not earlier, according to the U.S. Postal Service. If you don't, your ballot could be delivered too late for it to be counted. During an Aug. 21 Senate hearing, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said Americans mailing in ballots should "vote early."

If you plan to vote by mail and have not yet applied for a mail-in ballot, do that asap by clicking the button below. Each state has its own rules about who can vote absentee, but many states have expanded eligibility because of the coronavirus. Applying for an absentee ballot at takes only 2 minutes.
Even if you plan to vote in person, it's a good idea to verify your voter registration.
If you’ve moved, changed your name, or haven’t voted in a while, you might need to re-register to vote. Click the button below to verify your registration.
If you aren't registered to vote, register now.
You can register at by clicking the button below, or you can register in person at your state or local election office. You might also be able to register at a motor vehicle department or armed forces recruitment centers. Check with the specific location first. Learn more about voter registration at
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