Retired Machinist, 95, Honored for Being Oldest Living Member of Tennessee Local 480

Ninety-five year-old James “Jim” Ball, right, was recently honored as the oldest living member of IAM Local 480 in Oak Ridge, TN. IAM Retirees, Community and Membership Services Director Edward Manhart is on the left.
James “Jim” Ball (top row, second from left), was close friends with former IAM Grand Lodge Representative William “W. J.” Usery (bottom row, second from right), who would later become the U.S. Labor Secretary.
James “Jim” Ball was a charter member of the former IAM Local 815 in Cocoa, FL.

James “Jim” Ball, a 56-year IAM member and U.S. Navy veteran who served from 1942 to 1946, was recently honored at the IAM Atomic Lodge 480 retirees meeting for being the oldest living dues-paying member of the Oak Ridge, TN Local. Ball is 95 years old.

Ball returned from service in the Navy and took a job as a journeyman machinist and instrument maker. In 1960, he helped organize and was a charter member of former Cocoa, FL Local 815. Ball transferred his membership into Atomic Lodge 480 from Local 818 in 1969 when he came to work at the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge.

He is a close friend of former IAM Grand Lodge Representative William “W. J.” Usery, who would go on to be appointed and confirmed as U.S. Labor Secretary under President Gerald Ford.

Are you an IAM retiree? You can still be involved with your union! Click here for more information on how to join or start a retiree club in your area.

Are you a veteran? We want to hear from you!

“Retirees and veterans are vital components of the fabric that makes up the Machinists Union,” said Edward Manhart, director of the IAM’s Retirees, Community and Membership Services Department. “We’re a stronger union when our retirees are engaged and sharing their wealth of knowledge with today’s workers. We truly live by the phrase, ‘Once a Machinist, always a Machinist.’”

If you have questions, please contact the IAM’s Retirees, Community and Membership Services Department at 301-967-4717.