CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY, IT'S FREE!
Go Back   Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum > Electrical Trade Topics > Union Topics

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-08-2009, 03:33 PM   #1
HVolt Testing
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Baytown, Texas
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10
Default FLE question

Hey Guys,

I'm new here and have a question. But 1st some background.

I'm 46 and have been in the Hvolt Testing and commisioning business for 21 years and in Industrial Construction prior to that. I graduated from Oklahoma State Tech in 1985.

I'm not Union But my father was.

My father was a union guy out of West Texas and was from LU-460 I think. He joined in the early 50's and ran a Shop out in Pecos Texas. My "apprenticeship" basically took place from the age of about 12 working weekends and summers with him or his guys before I ever thought I would be an electrician or go to tech school. It gave me a huge head start in practical knowledge once I got out of tech school. I love and thank him to this day for that.


He sold that shop in the Late 60's and had to go on the road due to a 5 year no-compete clause that was part of the sale. He was on a lot of very big Union Jobs like Glenn Canyon Damn etc. Mostly Bechtel Jobs I think. I know he stayed in a lot of Man Camps.

He died in a Service truck wreck while I was still in College in 1983, and I still have his wallet locked in my safe.

I was going through it again the other day and found a FLE's card hidden in it that I had not seen before.

I asked my Mom about it and all she knew was that it had something to do with the Union and that it was supposed to have been useful for a traveler to get better treatment in a strange local.

It is a normal size business card, with a union printed printers mark center bottom.

In the upper left corner is a stick figure flea standing uprite.

across the top it says;

Ancient and Honorable Order
of the
ROYAL ORDER OF THE FLE'S

This is to certify that Brother Glenn McNeil
has paid his dues in full and is a member of this order and is declared to be a member in good standing for life.

It has two signatures across the bottom

The "position title' under the signatures says

Grand Chancroid and Imperial Chancroid

So I guess these guys had a little humor, and perhaps some of the mentions of them being "subversive" may be true, since Chancroid is kinda synonymous with "pain in the ass'
I know I did hear some stories about unclean porta-cans being set on fire and a foreign car driven by a Bechtel guy ending up in the lake at Glenn Canyon.

There's something else, maybe a membership number or date at the bottom left but it is not legible anymore.


My question is what can anyone tell me about this order,

It's history, conception or beginnings,

How membership was obtained, what FLE stands for (note that the card did not say Flea or Flie, it said FLE's) and what the function of this order was within the union.

My Father was an extremely Honorable man born in '28 who had a very old school mentality about work and the union and his union Brothers place in life and family.

In searching the web I've seen alot of hearsay but nothing that sounded certain.

I did see somewhere that someone said it stood for federation of lineman electricians,

He was most assuredly not a lineman, and would hire union light company guys part time when he has line work that had to be done.

I have asked a lot of union guys around Houston and have yet to run across anyone who has even heard of it, or will admit that they have.


I want to know these things for the sole reason that it would help me know my father better, he died when I was only 21.

Any Help would be greatly appreciated, you can email me if you wish.


Rusty McNeil

wfcall1843@yahoo.com


Last edited by Rusty McNeil; 05-08-2009 at 03:45 PM.
Rusty McNeil is offline   Reply With Quote
Join Contractor Talk

Join the #1 Electrician Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

ElectricianTalk.com - Are you a Professional Electrical Contractor? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's the leading place for electricians to meet online. No homeowners asking DIY questions. Just fellow tradesmen who enjoy talking about their business, their trade, and anything else that comes up. No matter what your specialty is you'll find that ElectricianTalk.com is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally free!

Join ElectricianTalk.com - Click Here JOIN FOR FREE


Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ElectricianTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

Old 05-08-2009, 04:00 PM   #2
BDB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Where ever my wife lets me
Posts: 964
Rewards Points: 504
Default

I have seen more then one meaning:

1. Fraternity of Layed off Inside Electricians

2. Federation of Linemen and Electricians

I have been in the Union for 28 years and I still do not know he true answer. I would just about bet my cheerios on number 2.

BDB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2009, 04:12 PM   #3
HVolt Testing
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Baytown, Texas
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Thanks for the reply,

Rusty
Rusty McNeil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2009, 05:04 PM   #4
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 947
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Fun Loving Electrician
user5941 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2009, 06:13 PM   #5
Thread Pirate
 
PhatElvis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 298
Rewards Points: 250
Default

First off FLE stands for Federation of Linemen and Electricians

Its an informal fraternal organization of traveling construction electricians that has probably been around as long as IBEW itself. FLEs do not engage in collective bargaining and the IBEW hierarchy has actually branded the FLE as a subversive organization. (Although Ed Hill is an Honorary Member)

They are seen as radicals and trouble makers by contractors and if a man is thought to be a FLE he will be laid off or fired on the spot.

My uncle has a similar card and I have heard the stories... they are trouble makers.

Drop LawnGuyLandSparky a PM, I suspect he is a FLE and could even tell you about the secrete bump handshake.

Last edited by PhatElvis; 05-08-2009 at 06:26 PM.
PhatElvis is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to PhatElvis For This Useful Post:
icefalkon (11-28-2012)
Old 05-08-2009, 06:37 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
brian john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 25,141
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhatElvis View Post
Drop LawnGuyLandSparky a PM, I suspect he is a FLE and could even tell you about the secrete bump handshake.

The hand shake as I underestand it is bare butt, ass to ass then they both cut the cheese and shout RAT.
brian john is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to brian john For This Useful Post:
mcclary's electrical (12-09-2010)
Old 05-08-2009, 07:05 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
cmec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 228
Rewards Points: 150
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by brian john View Post
The hand shake as I underestand it is bare butt, ass to ass then they both cut the cheese and shout RAT.

cmec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2009, 07:18 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
cmec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 228
Rewards Points: 150
Default

NOW THAT I have stopped laughing , I am pretty sure my uncle that started me belonged, In the early seventies 712 (where ed hill was ba ) worked him on a bechtel job 9 yrs and 6 mo and laid him off to beat vesting in local pension , Then rehired him.

Tramps did all the work and got screwed , all the ones I knew are dead or in a nursing home, I have no one to ask.
cmec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2009, 04:48 AM   #9
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,575
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by brian john View Post
The hand shake as I underestand it is bare butt, ass to ass then they both cut the cheese and shout RAT.
You don't know the 1/2 of it.
LawnGuyLandSparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2009, 03:56 PM   #10
HVolt Testing
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Baytown, Texas
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmec View Post
That was funny, and certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

My Dad was a home turf guy, small town oil field service type guy forever and returned to being one after his no compete clause was up when he opened another shop.

I heard plenty about his experiences just not anything about the FLE.

As far as them being trouble makers, I don't know, my Dad was never one in my mind, but who of us really ever knows the side of our Father when not around us.

For sure he had a Milleresque attitude about right and wrong and the little man/Big man thing....He never backed away from that even when he was running a 15 man shop in the oil field.

He was one of 13 kids, son of a Union carpenter, and left home at 14 in 1942 to raise himself on the streets of San Antonio.

He did not engage in some of the practices I've heard about, Other than perhaps efforts in keeping the union true to it's original purpose rather than lining the wallets of the fat cats instead of soley benefiting the Brothers.

I'm just wondering how he got in when he was only on the road for 5 years.

The one thing I remember him saying when he returned from being on the road was that

"If I hear one more MF say "it's not my job" I'm gonna strangle them"

He was referring to simple issues like housekeeping etc, not something like cross craft turf violations.....

Thanks for all the info guys, Much appreciated.

Rusty

Last edited by Rusty McNeil; 05-09-2009 at 04:06 PM.
Rusty McNeil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2009, 12:25 PM   #11
Electron Flow Consultant
 
sparky970's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Longview, WA
Posts: 3,098
Rewards Points: 2,078
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rewire View Post
Fun Loving Electrician
That's what I was always told.
sparky970 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2009, 07:13 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
william1978's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Charlotte, N.C.
Posts: 11,079
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by brian john View Post
The hand shake as I underestand it is bare butt, ass to ass then they both cut the cheese and shout RAT.
I don't ever want to see that.
william1978 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2009, 09:16 PM   #13
Thread Pirate
 
PhatElvis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 298
Rewards Points: 250
Default

.....................................delete
PhatElvis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2010, 08:34 PM   #14
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Rewards Points: 10
Default

If you have to ask, you don't need to know.

Didn't mean to rez an old thread.
SlickWill613 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2010, 10:15 PM   #15
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: MO
Posts: 1
Rewards Points: 10
Default

i just recieved a wallet in the mail from my stepmom. My father (45 year pin holder) left me this wallet with IBEW on the outside and FLE on the inside. i always new he was FLE brother.
Wirenut423 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2012, 10:32 PM   #16
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: fl
Posts: 1
Rewards Points: 10
Default to rusty mc neil

i read the responses to your question about your dad.their answers were very enteraining and rather amusing.it is good to see that the brotherhoods inner workings are still a mystery to non brothers.however,if you send me an email showing me your dads card i will try to fill in some of the blanks for you.you can contact me at **email removed**.

hopefully you still monitor this site from time to time.ill be waiting for your email

Last edited by 480sparky; 08-20-2012 at 10:53 PM. Reason: If you want the email, PM bro fle
bro fle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2012, 10:34 PM   #17
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: N.E.
Posts: 16,081
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bro fle View Post
i read the responses to your question about your dad.their answers were very enteraining and rather amusing.it is good to see that the brotherhoods inner workings are still a mystery to non brothers.however,if you send me an email showing me your dads card i will try to fill in some of the blanks for you.you can contact me at **email removed** .

hopefully you still monitor this site from time to time.ill be waiting for your email

Not likely, the last time he logged in was over 3 years ago. However, since he gave his email address, you can contact him first.

Last edited by 480sparky; 08-20-2012 at 10:54 PM.
user4818 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2012, 09:12 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Amish Electrician's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 973
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Why not post a pic of the card, so we can see if it's genuine?

Or ... post it so we can all make counterfeits
Amish Electrician is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 07:03 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: KY
Posts: 249
Rewards Points: 150
Default

fine loyal electrician
ptcrtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 08:08 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
icefalkon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Local 3 NYC
Posts: 858
Rewards Points: 500
Default

I just got off the phone with my grandfather...who did got into the IBEW after WWII here in NYC what a FLE was...he said, without hesitation...Federation of Linesman Electricians.

I was like holy sh*t! This from an 86yr old guy who only remembers US half the time!

__________________
Steve from NYC
Local Union #3 IBEW NYC

"Eternal Vigilance is the price of Good Unionism" Harry Van Arsdale Jr.
icefalkon is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:26 AM.


Copyright 2006-2014 Escalate Media LP. All Rights Reserved
Our Pro Sites Network
ContractorTalk.com | DrywallTalk.com | HVACSite.com | PaintTalk.com | PlumbingZone.com | RoofingTalk.com