Labor Leader of the Week: Bob Kutz

Bob Kutz leads a life in service to his Union sisters and brothers, the city of Altoona, the Blair-Bedford Labor Council, and our entire Nation.

 

After getting his degree in Electrical Engineering from Penn State, "Uncle Sam came knocking," Bob said. That led to a year of active duty during the Vietnam War and five years with the United States Army Reserves in Pennsylvania. When he was in the Reserves in 1970, he also began working as an Apprentice with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 5.

 

Elected President of the Blair Bedford council in 1986, Bob is the longest continuously seated Central Labor Council President in the commonwealth. After 49 1/2 years of service with IBEW Local 5, Bob retired last summer, but he stays as busy as ever. He has participated in the board of the United Way and the Greater Altoona Economic Development Corporation and currently serves on the Southern Allegheny Workforce Investment Board.

 

 Over the years Bob has helped when Altoona is in need and this year is like none he has ever seen before. He continues his work through the Blair-Bedford CLC with local food pantries, and this year was sure to keep their annual project to feed people in need with the National Association of Letter Carriers. Due to the pandemic, this year the Unions joined together to raise money for those families and together gave thousands of dollars to the families of out of work sisters and brothers.

 

Bob knows how to make a change in the world. For years he was on the local commission to transform government and fundamentally changed Altoona for the better.

 

"There are so many union people affiliated with our local government," Bob said of Altoona now, "it affects their daily lives every time something is done." He gets up every morning and engages with voters because for Bob all government has an impact locally. This year phone banking has been more important than ever to speak with Unions members about their important vote. Bob and his team at Blair-Bedford have made thousands of phone calls this year for Labor 2020 getting out the good word about our pro-labor candidates.

 

"We are going to continue this great work," Bob said, "obviously there is a great need out there with how much unemployment we have." One big way Bob says we can make a change in our everyday lives is to vote and be involved in as many elections as you can.

 

"It really is important to be involved in your local government," Bod said. "There are so many people affected by it. That is why we are all involved all through the lines."

We must mobilize union members across Pennsylvania to vote for PA AFL-CIO endorsed candidates. Join members like Bob Kutz and other Labor Leaders across every sector and get involved with this election by signing up to volunteer at the link below:

 

http://www.paaflcio.org/2020dashboard/volunteer.php