Lynn McDonald elected at IBEW Local 280


IBEW Local 280 will soon have a new business manager. 

Local 280 represents construction and sound and communications electricians in nine counties in Central Oregon and the Southern Willamette Valley. Drew Lindsey, who served as its business manager since 2015, opted not to run again this year. In union officer election results announced June 7, dispatcher Lynn McDonald outpolled vice president Bob Sapp to succeed Lindsey. 

McDonald, 57, is a 33-year member of the local. He grew up in Sweet Home, Oregon, and after four years in the U.S. Air Force, he was working in a mill making mouldings when his uncle, a Local 280 member, encouraged him to consider a career as a union electrician. 

McDonald got his start as an apprentice in May 1991 at Farnham Electric of McMinnville, completed his apprenticeship in 1996. In the decades since, he worked both in Local 280’s jurisdiction and as a “traveler” on wind and solar farm projects in the Columbia Gorge and Central Washington and construction projects as far away as Bermuda. 

But Local 280 was always his home. McDonald says he got the union message very early on from his fellow Local 280 members. 

“The journeymen that I worked with were fairly strong union members and were encouraging me to go to union meetings and picnics and be involved.”

When McDonald was sworn in as a member after a probationary period, over a dozen coworkers showed up in support.

He stayed active, and eventually became an officer. He joined the executive board in 2013, became vice president in 2014, and was hired by Lindsey as full-time business representative in 2017, serving as dispatcher, matching members to jobs. He also served as president of Salem Building Trades from 2017 to 2020, and helped negotiate project labor agreements on an Oregon Treasury building project and the third phase of the Oregon Capitol restoration. 

In his free time, he goes white water rafting, and until 2018 he raced late-model dirt cars at tracks in Lebanon, Cottage Grove, and Banks.

Now as business manager of the local, he’ll oversee a staff of eight and take responsibility for the well-being of union electricians across Central Oregon. McDonald says to expect continuity; he’ll need to hire a dispatcher, but otherwise expects to maintain the current staff and run the local as it has been under Lindsey.

In the last eight years, Local 280 has grown considerably, from 1,062 to 1,842 members. McDonald said the work picture has slowed in the last year, and there are no big projects on the books. But work has picked up in recent months and the out-of-work list — currently about 250 members — has been shrinking. 

Over the next three years, McDonald will oversee general contractor Skanska as it constructs a union hall in Redmond. 

He also hopes to negotiate a new union benefit with the union employer group — paid time off that can be used for sick leave. A new Oregon law extends the right to paid sick leave to workers who are employed through hiring halls, but the benefit is unpaid at employers with fewer than 10 workers. As it stands, the law creates an administrative hassle for a union environment like Local 280’s, because many workers work fewer than the 90 days for any given employer that are required before they can take sick leave, and many contractors straddle the 10-worker threshold as they staff up or staff down when projects complete. McDonald’s proposed solution is to provided a paid time off benefit to all members that can be used for sick leave or time off, while satisfying the state’s paid sick leave requirement in all conditions. The benefit would be funded by employer contributions and administered by an existing union benefit trust.

Also elected to union office, besides business manager, were:

  • President Chad Privratsky
  • Vice president Bruce Hatfield
  • Recording secretary Dave Hoover
  • Treasurer Mike Jones
  • Executive Board at large members Taunia Blakely, Josh Davenport, Molly Muller
  • Examining Board members Zac Bakke, Steve Denton, Robbie Smith
  • Delegates Zac Bakke, Taunia Blakely, Mike Broaddus, Rob Jackson, Molly Muller; alternate Wendall Whistler
  • Cascade Pacific Pulp Unit: Chair Dustin Royer, Vice chair Steven Lindberg, Recorder Chris Visser, and Safety Committee Representative Jacob Williams
  • Central Oregon Unit: Chair Mike Broaddus, Vice chair Nick Crisp, and Recorder Rachel Cannon

McDonald and other officers will take the oath of office at the local’s July 18 meeting at the Central Electrical Training Center in Tangent, Oregon. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Read more