Not your father’s credit union

By Rod Belisle

I have been a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) for 34 years, and a member of the IBEW and United Workers Federal Credit Union for just as many.

If you are new to the credit union, welcome. If you are not new, but have noticed changes, you are correct.

“This is not your father’s credit union” as they used to say, although some of you may actually be able to say that with some accuracy.

This credit union was developed by the union trades seeking a method to invest our union wages into a union-run, union-managed financial institution that we could all trust to invest our money, secure a loan, and earn a few dollars in benefits, savings, and pride in our industry.

Our credit union has undergone a face-lift in both the services we provide and in overall operations. The board of directors is made up mostly of building trades members representing seven different union locals. Four of the 10 board members are in their first term of office, reflecting the changes you have noticed in our operations and representing the voice of their memberships.

As a member, I have first-hand experience in recently purchasing a used RV and obtaining a loan during COVID-19 times. I was able to coordinate the pre-approval and logistics via phone and email, travel to the site of the RV in another state, make an inspection and test drive and then contact the credit union, electronically sign the loan documents and authorize the transfer of funds in a turnaround time of about four hours, allowing me to drive it home within 24 hours of arranging the test drive.

That is a level of service, planning, and cooperation I wouldn’t expect from a corporate bank.

If you are a member of one of the following union locals, you and your family members are eligible to join the credit union, including parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, step-children, step-parents, step-brothers and sisters, half brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, spouses of any of these persons, and domestic partners. The unions are: Bakers Locals 114 and 364; Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1-Oregon-Washington-Idaho-Montana; Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters and its affiliated locals, including Millwrights Local 96 and Piledrivers Local 196; Cement Masons Local 555; Hotel and Restaurant Employees Local 8; IATSE Locals B-20, and 28; Studio Mechanics Local 488; IBEW Locals 48, 89, 125, and 932; Insulators Local 36; Elevator Constructors Locals 23 and 135; Laborers Locals 737, 483, 155/Idaho Falls, and Oregon & Southern Idaho District Council; Mason Industry Trust Funds; Northwest Oregon Labor Council; Office & Professional Employees Local 11; Plasterers Local 82; Roofers Local 49; Sheet Metal Workers Local 16; Southwest Washington Central Labor Council; International Union of Painters & Allied Trades District Council No. 5 and its affiliated locals, including Painters Local 10, Drywall Finishers Local 101, Glass Workers Local 740, Floor Coverers Local 1236, and Sign Painters & Paint Makers Local 1094.

Once you become a member of the credit union you can download our mobile app and access your money on the go. You can log in using your fingerprint, face, voice or online banking password—it’s your choice. In the mobile app you can apply for a loan, check your balances, make an account to account transfer to and from another financial institution, move money between accounts, set notice alerts, manage your debit and/or credit cards, mobile deposit your checks, and more.

I encourage you to check us out. You might even take out a loan from the credit union to buy an RV. Why not?


Rod Belisle is training director for the NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center and a 34 year member of IBEW Local 48.

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