Monday Morning Member Spotlight

Written on 10/30/2023

This week’s spotlight is gonna shine on our very own charismatic Vernell Butler-Lomax.


I have been a Merck Union employee since August 1996. I started in Building 1 as a Service Worker and worked in various buildings across the plant site. After leaving the Service department, I became a clerk in Building 56, handling domestic and international shipments for the company. Eventually, I became a Material Handler in Packaging and stayed there for three years before I left for my current position as a Material Control Clerk in the Building 1 Stockroom. I am currently the Shop Steward for my department and have served in that capacity in multiple areas. I am also a Board Member At Large for our USW local and serve on the Civil and Human Rights Committee. I have attended various training courses outside of Merck for the union, which have strengthened my knowledge and been an asset for me to serve and represent my fellow union brothers and sisters. I love being in the union, it helps with having  my voice heard.

Outside of Merck, I have been married to my husband Arnold for 19 years this November. We have three adult children and two granddaughters. I was born and raised in Philadelphia. I grew up in the Germantown area of the city and attended my neighborhood schools for elementary and junior high school. For high school, I went to Abraham Lincoln High School in the Northeast. I was a multi-sport athlete all through school, playing basketball, softball, volleyball, and even ran track.

I am very passionate about my sports. I support all our Philadelphia teams: the EAGLES, Phillies, 76ers, Flyers, and the Union. My husband and I attend two away games for the Eagles  every year. I am also a bowler and have been bowling for over 50 years. I travel all over the United States to bowl competitively. I bowl in two semi-pro leagues on the weekends, traveling all over the East Coast.

My husband and I love to ride motorcycles. Every year, we take mini vacations by riding , to Canada, Lake George, New York, Virginia, and South Carolina. 

I also volunteer for Martin Luther King's Day of Service, SHARE Food Distribution Program located in Philly, and various organizations within my church. Through Canaan Baptist Church, known as the GEM of Germantown, I mentor the youth with various sports and other recreational activities such as BINGO, bowling and movie nights.

As I continue my career here at Merck, I plan to continue to serve as a USW member until I retire. We, as a union, must continue to respect one another, work together to make our USW Local 10-00086 as strong as possible, and insure our voices are heard.