The Executive Board of Local 148 appointed Business Representative Dave Bahr to interim Business Manager. He will fill the unexpired term of retiring business manager Keith Linderer. Bahr was initiated into Local 148 in 1999. He worked at the Labadie plant as a laborer before transferring to Rush Island.
At Rush Island Dave trained as POE and worked as a Laborer and Coal Equipment Operator before becoming an electrical apprentice and graduating to journeyman electrician. While at Rush Island Dave served as the electrician’s shop steward and then as the plant chief shop steward.
Dave then transferred to the Taum Sauk Pump Storage Hydro Electric Plant as a Hydro Plant Technician. While there he served as the Taum Sauk Chief Shop Steward for 10 years before becoming a full-time business representative for Local 148 in 2020. Dave also served as Local 148’s Treasurer from 2008 until 2020, when he stepped down to accept the business representative position. With his appointment as business manager, he has also become a member of the Greater St. Louis Central Labor Council’s executive board as well as a member of the Missouri AFL-CIO executive board.
Dave has emphasized internal and external organizing as major priorities. To help facilitate Local 148’s organizing objectives, reestablishing a stationary engineers training program will be a key component. “It will take time, but it has to be done if we are going to survive as a local union,” he told The Gauge. “With the major changes taking place in the electric utility industry and the elimination of so many power plant jobs we have to diversify our membership to survive.”
Dave also wants to focus on training for shop stewards and officers and make sure it is available when they say they need it. “Well trained shop stewards make the job of representing our members that much more effective,” he said. “And as far as officers are concerned, they need to know what their job consists of in order to fulfill their obligations under the International Union Constitution.”
He added that he wants to continue to work on maintaining a strong line of communication with the membership. “We all know membership union meetings are necessary but are poorly attended. So, we need to continue to maintain strong communication through social media,” he emphasized.
As part of this effort, he plans to start publishing The Gauge again. The Gauge is Local 148’s quarterly newspaper, which ceased publication during the pandemic when the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society, the organization that published it, went into a hiatus. They are now back in operation and are excited to start publishing The Gauge again.
The Officers and Executive Board are appreciative of Dave’s willingness to take on the responsibilities of business manager and ask for every member to pledge their support to Dave as he begins this important challenge.