Edmonton, AB – The IAM doesn’t keep tabs on how long someone serves his or her Local Lodge as president, but after Glen Killips stepped down as president of IAM Local Lodge 1722, we might consider doing so. When he handed over the reins of the Local Lodge in February of this year, Glen Killips had served as its president for more than 30 years!
The legacy he leaves behind is one of transparency and honesty. “Not everybody wants the job of president but if you’re going to do it right, you have to be transparent and honest with the membership,” he explained. “We would report on the local’s finances at every meeting, we kept the membership informed as to grievances and arbitrations – win or lose and everybody knew who was attending courses and why because I made a point of telling the members. I’m convinced they appreciated that and perhaps that was why I kept getting re-elected.”
Over the last three decades, the local has done right by Killips fiscal approach. “People will look at a $750,000 budget and want to spend the money on things before they’re aware of what it’s needed for,” he explained. “It takes money to pay for grievances and arbitrations, negotiations, meetings, and hall rentals. You just can’t go out spending money like water and I think the membership appreciated my budget handling.”
Killips, a Heavy Duty mechanic at Cummins Western Canada for 39 years, first became an IAM member in December 1978. He was a shop steward before assuming the role of president of IAM Local Lodge 1722 in May 1986. The secret to his success: a good listener, even tempered, capable of seeing both sides of a dispute, honest and not afraid to tell a member they were wrong if necessary. “He was my mentor,” explains IAM District Lodge 14 Business Representative Dan Uchacz. “He’s the reason I became a Business Representative. Glenn always has the best interest of the member in mind, he had a calm method in the way he approached things, he listened and he was reasonable.”
“Most of all”, Uchacz adds, “If he thought you were wrong he would tell you. Not every member liked the truth but you knew where you stood with him and I think the members appreciated that approach. They must have, he held the post for 31 years, that’s got to be some kind of record.”
Killips refuses to take all of the credit for the success of the local over the last three decades. “You can’t do this alone, you have to have good people around you,” he explains. I have been blessed over the years with good Secretary Treasurers and Vice Presidents, I could not have done this or lasted this long without them.”
So what does the longest standing IAM Local Lodge President in Canada do for an encore. “Well my wife says if you can run a Local Lodge for over thirty years, now you can do the family banking, so that’s my new job,” he says with a smile. His days now are divided between morning coffees with other retirees, more time with his granddaughter and preparations for his annual fishing trip – a ritual for the past 20 years. Glenn, we wish you well in your retirement and thank you for your service!
Picture One: Glen Killips attending the Grand Lodge Convention in Chicago – September 2016
Picture two: IAM District Lodge 14 Business Representative Dan Uchacz presents Glen Killips with a gift from his Local Lodge for 31 years as president.
Picture three: The clock wasn’t the only gift Local Lodge 1722 and District Lodge 14 bestowed upon Glen Killips.