IBEW taps Edwards for District 9 post; Zadow new BM

Keith Edwards, business manager of Portland Electrical Workers Local 48, has been appointed an international representative for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 9th District by President Edwin Hill. He succeeds Bob Brownie, who is retiring.

The appointment was effective Jan. 1.

Succeeding Edwards as business manager is Grant Zadow, the local's assistant to the business manager. Zadow was appointed to fill out Edwards' unexpired term by a vote of the local's Executive Board.

Zadow, 56, has served as assistant to the business manager since Edwards' appointment to Local 48's top job in 2000. Prior to that, Zadow was a business representative in the field for seven years.

Edwards, 53, was appointed business manager in June 2000, after serving as assistant to the business manager under Jerry Bruce, who retired. Edwards was elected to a three-year term as business manager in July 2001. Bruce tapped him as his assistant in 1996.

The assistant to the business manager oversees the day-to-day operations of the local, including business representatives and contracts.

Edwards is a longtime member of Local 48, having gone through its apprenticeship program after graduating from Portland's Jefferson High School. He was a shop steward in the field from 1970 to 1990, when he was hired by the local as a full-time business representative.

Zadow also comes from the ranks of the union's apprenticeship training program. He served as president of the local from 1989 to 1992 and as a business representative. He currently sits on five health and welfare and pension trusts.

Zadow has represented the local as president and chief negotiator for the District Council of Trade Unions, a coalition of unions with members who work at the City of Portland, and the District Council of Unions, which represents workers at Portland School District No. 1. He has also represented workers at Cascade General and the Portland ship repair yard under contract with the Metal Trades Council of Portland and Vicinity; at Multnomah County (also under the umbrella of the DCTU), the Housing Authority of Portland, Local 48's Sound and Communications low-voltage technicians, and he handled broadcast agreements at KPTV, KGW and KWJJ.

Zadow was appointed a commissioner of the Port of Portland by Governor John Kitzhaber. His term expires in September, and he plans to reapply. He is married with five grown children and eight grandchildren.

Edwards' promotion happened quickly, and Zadow said he really hasn't had time to sit down and map out future plans.

"I do know that I certainly want to continue the prestige Local 48 has had under its previous business managers. This union has doubled in size since the mid-1980s and is considered a premier local both in the state and nationally."

Local 48 represents more than 4,000 members with more than 100 signatory contractors in the construction industry, ship repair yard, sound and communications sector and public sector.

Edwards' appointment will keep him in Portland servicing IBEW locals in Oregon. He will report to International Vice President Mike Mowrey in San Francisco. But he will have to relinquish seats on four pension and health trusts, a national apprenticeship trust, and Executive Board seats of the Oregon AFL-CIO, Northwest Oregon Labor Council and Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council.

He also will resign as an Executive Board member of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette. Edwards said his tenure as business manager has been a good one. "I've enjoyed the challenge and look forward to a new one," he said.

Edwards said as business manager he has always tried to be accessible and honest with members.

"A key thing I learned from Jerry (Bruce) was to keep the membership as informed as possible. Most of the time when they know what the situation is they will come up with the same solution as you. Let them know as much as you know, when you know it - don't throw them any surprises and, if you make a mistake, admit it."

January 3, 2003 issue

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