January - December 2013
Ill. Member Casts Line on ‘Trip of a Lifetime’
The hectic life of an IBEW business manager offers few reprieves and little free time.
But for Eric Patrick, leader of Rockford, Ill., Local 196, such hard work was rewarded earlier this year when the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance invited him to coastal Louisiana for a fishing expedition.
IBEW Holiday Lights Brighten Cities, Towns
In the surge of goodwill that accompanies the holiday season, IBEW locals across the U.S. apply their skills to light displays and community celebrations, winning praise in the media and respect from hundreds of thousands of neighbors for whom a visit to the displays is often a yearly custom.
Oregon Natural Gas Project Winning Support
The fate of a proposed $7.7 billion liquefied natural gas export facility in Oregon will likely be decided in the next few weeks and members of the IBEW are lobbying for the project’s approval.
N.H. Utility Employees Score First Contract Wins
When workers vote “union yes,” it’s often a hard-won victory. But tougher still can be the path to a first contract, where the skills of newly-minted activists are put to the test against the possibility of continued company resistance and difficult negotiations.
L.A. Local Builds Dreams for Military Veterans
Bridging differences between members is often difficult enough for local unions. Deciding how apprenticeships will be filled can sometimes be a point of controversy.
Anti-Worker Law Threatens On-the-Job Rights
Unions representing more than 1 million federal workers in Canada – including the IBEW – are coming together to take on anti-worker legislation that threatens collective bargaining rights and on-the-job safety
N.Y. Local Wins Bargaining Rights at U.N
Longtime members of N.Y. Local 1212 who perform all video, editing and broadcasting at the U.N. were deeply worried.
Study: Working Women Need Unions
A record 67.5 million women are working today, but many women suffer from low-pay and a gender-based wage gap that makes it hard to get by.
IBEW Shows Students Importance of Math
Math isn’t just important for balancing checkbooks and passing tests. It’s vital to a career in the electrical trade.
Local 24 Member Tells House Leaders: Extend Unemployment Benefits
Stan Osnowitz, an unemployed journeyman electrician member of Baltimore Local 24, said he hates being unemployed. “It is a waste of my abilities. I love being an electrician,” he says. Out of work since July after working for three years straight, Osnowitz is one of more than two million unemployed job seekers who could lose federal jobless aid if Congress does not act to extend it before the end of the year.
Missouri GOP Resurrects Right-to-Work-for-Less
Missouri Republicans are looking to start the New Year off on the wrong foot, with another legislative battle over right-to-work-for-less legislation.
Five Things Comcast Did This Year to Hurt Workers
Here are just five ways Comcast has given workers a raw deal in one of its most financially successful years on record.
Fast-Food Workers Strike for Better Pay
Fed up with poverty wages, fast-food workers across the country are holding a one-day strike Dec. 5.
IBEW Member Helps Provide Hunting Access to Kids with Mobility Challenges
A new, custom-built deer blind in Texas Hill Country set the stage for kids with mobility issues to experience the thrill of the hunt safely and comfortably, due to the completion of a conservation project organized and sponsored by the Houston-area union community and the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance.
Court Rules Against FairPoint Subcontracting
When FairPoint Communications bought Verizon’s New England landline holdings in 2008, the company announced that fears among IBEW members who had worked for Verizon that the new company would outsource and cut jobs were unwarranted.
Washington, D.C. Local Gives Students Gift of Music
Too often when school boards face budget shortfalls, music education is the first to go.
But for Washington, D.C., students, music in the classroom is alive and well thanks to a donation from Local 26 and CBS EcoMedia.
CEOs pushing Social Security Cuts Enjoy Gold-Plated Retirement Plans
Most Americans reject slashing Social Security benefits, but that hasn’t stopped well-funded lobbyists on Capitol Hill from continuing to push Congress to make Social Security cuts.
Secret Document Exposes Tories’ Anti-Worker Agenda
Ontario Conservative Party Leader Tim Hudak’s antipathy toward unions is no secret, but a recently leaked internal campaign document reveals just how anti-labour a potential Tory government could be.
Nonunion Wind Workers Look to IBEW for Better Safety
Across the breezy expanse of Iowa, clean wind-powered energy is abundant.
But for workers in this booming industry, safety on the job can be scarce. That’s one reason why nonunion employees at the TPI Composites plant in Newton are looking to the IBEW for representation.
Beer Billionaire Yuengling Blasted for Right-to-Work Support
Dick Yuengling, president of the nation’s oldest brewery, has rarely kept his contempt for unions under wraps. In 2006, he supported a move by workers in his Pottsville, Pa., brewery to decertify their Teamsters bargaining unit.
Top 10 Reasons to Enter the 2013 Photo Contest Now
The deadline was already extended to Nov. 30, so you have no excuses!
Hill: IBEW is the nuclear work force of the future.
How the nuclear power industry will find enough qualified workers to build, operate and maintain plants in the future was the topic of an online conversation featuring International President Edwin D. Hill and senior executives from industry.
FirstEnergy Corp. Announces Transmission Grid Upgrade
Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. announced Nov. 12 a multibillion-dollar effort to overhaul and expand its electrical transmission network, ensuring reliable service and enhanced capacity to meet the demands of a growing economy.
New TV Spot Showcases IBEW Commitment to Community
As any member can tell you, the IBEW isn’t just about good wages or strong contracts. It’s also about commitment to community.
Why Right-to-Work-for-Less is Wrong for Alaska Families
Alaska possesses one of the stronger labor movements in the United States, with a union density rate only second to that of New York State.
NACTEL: Knowledge That Keeps You Ahead of the Curve
As the economy continues its steady recovery, demand for telecommunications workers is picking up. But many of the best jobs are only open to people who keep up with the industry’s rapidly changing technology.
New Jobs Added in October, But Unemployment Still High
The Labor Department’s jobs report released last week revealed some interesting data about the health of the economy and the industries represented by the IBEW.
President Hill To Congress: Support our Broadcast Partners
For many decades, IBEW members have skillfully brought news and entertainment to local audiences across the nation, working for major broadcasting companies like CBS, Fox and ABC.
Nova Scotia Utility Threatens Outsourcing
Nova Scotia Power’s announcement that it was considering outsourcing at least 250 utility jobs is being criticized by workers and consumer activists as a threat to good jobs and reliable service.
Indianapolis Local and Contractors Build Community with Christmas Lights
As millions of Christmas and holiday season displays take shape across the nation, picking the best is surely a difficult task. But some shine brightest.
The Case for Prevailing Wage
The federal Davis-Bacon Act – along with its state and local counterparts — helps keep construction jobs good jobs and maintain high standards in the industry by requiring contractors receiving public funds to pay the local prevailing wage.
Who’s Behind the War on Workers’ Rights?
The 2010 midterm elections brought to power a wave of anti-worker governors and legislators. Some are notorious for their attacks on workers’ rights: Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Rick Scott in Florida, Rick Snyder in Michigan.
Red State, Blue State Voters Want More – Not Less – Amtrak
Amtrak has long been the whipping boy of congressional right-wingers, who decry federal spending on the nation’s passenger rail line as wasteful.
Wis. IBEW Leaders Open High Schoolers’ Eyes to Building Trades
You hear it from the mouths of young people every day: I can’t afford college. The debt would be too big. I’m not sure what to do.
Tories Target Federal Workers’ Rights
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government launched a sneak attack on federal workers’ rights earlier this month with the introduction of a new budget bill.
Volunteer Fund Helps Furloughed Members in Montana
After a generator failed at a Montana coal-fired power plant on July 1, the operator, PPL Montana, announced that some members of Colstrip Local 1638 would later be placed on furlough for at least 90 days.
Four Ways to Jump Start the Economy
The nation’s economy showed disappointing growth in September, with only 148,000 jobs compared to 169,000 jobs created in August.
Record NJATC Donation Will Enhance Outside Line Training
The Northeast Line Constructors chapter of the National Electric Contractors Association has donated $1 million to support the national outside apprenticeship program. Chapter Manager Mike Gilchrist said the donation was the groups way of saying thank you to the linemen and contractors who helped rebuild after Superstorm Sandy destroyed billions of dollars of property and cut off power to more than 8 million homes across New Jersey, New York and New England.
Central Calif. Local Plays Key Role in Winning PLA Ordinance in Watsonville
Labor unions and allies in the city of Watsonville, a fertile agricultural center on the central coast of California, have had much success in 2012 convincing progressive candidates to run and win seats on their city council. Many council members had labor union backgrounds, says Castroville Local 234 Business Manager Andy Hartmann.
Mich. Judge Blasts Municipal Union Busting
A Michigan judge took an anti-union city manager to task last week, ruling that Lowell City Manager Mark Howe lied and unfairly targeted union activists – just to punish workers for joining the IBEW.
Ariz. Whistleblower Fights Worker Misclassification
The construction industry is making a strong comeback in Arizona, with the number of construction permits up in 2012. But the state actually lost construction jobs over the summer. The reason, says many industry observers: worker misclassification, which is a way for contractors to keep employees on the worksites but off the books.
Danish Union Delegation Visits IBEW
Leaders of the Danish Union of Electricians, along with their counterparts on the employer side, visited the IBEW International Office Oct. 1.
New York Attorney General Wins $5 Million for National Grid Workers
In the midst of the chaos of Hurricane Sandy, National Grid, employing thousands of IBEW members in New York and New England, decided to roll out a new computer system to account for overtime pay and expenses.
St. Louis Contractor Dumps Carpenters Local 57
Rice Electrical Services and Controls is the latest member of the St. Louis Local 1 family after the business terminated its contract with a rogue electricians union – the Associated Electrical Contractors Local 57.
IBEW Government Employees Director William ‘Chico’ McGill
The officers of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers sadly report that IBEW Government Employees Director Chico McGill passed away Sept. 27. With a generous spirit and an outsize personality, he was throughout his career an outspoken voice for workers.
Haven’t Quite Finished Your Photo Project? 2013 Photo Contest Deadline Has Been Extended until Nov. 30
The annual IBEW photo contest is a showcase for members to demonstrate their skills with a camera and shine a light on their too-often overlooked jobs. For 15 years, the IBEW Journal and The Electrical Worker have printed hundreds of photos of and by IBEW members at work—turning the lights back on after storms, building architectural marvels and performing hundreds of other jobs that contribute so much to communities across North America and even beyond.
Sign Up for NACTEL’s Virtual Open House
In today’s economy, education is vital to getting ahead. And the National Coalition for Telecommunications Education and Learning is the place for telecommunications professionals looking to gain an edge through advanced online learning.
EPA Coal Rule Threatens Energy Independence, Says IBEW
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers President Edwin D. Hill issued the following statement today:
“The draft regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Agency regarding emissions from newly-constructed power plants threaten economic growth and America’s energy future. Read more...
RENEW Conference Energizes Young Workers
More than 100 young IBEW members from across the United States and Canada will be in Washington, D.C., Sept. 27-29 for the first ever Reach out and Energize Next-gen Electrical Workers conference.
New IBEW Ad Focuses on Union Skills, Community
We know the professionalism and skill that members of the IBEW bring to the job every day.
Now hundreds of millions of TV viewers know as well.
Coming on the heels of last year’s national ad campaign, a new IBEW spot – titled “Power Professionals” – went on the air this month.
Sequester, Six Months In: Shutters Space Fence, Mothballs Nuclear Submarine
The Department of Defense has canceled repairs for a damaged nuclear submarine and ended a program that monitors orbiting space junk, two striking examples of consequences of a federal austerity program that could lay off dozens, potentially hundreds, of IBEW members.
W.Va. Fracking Industry Spurs IBEW Jobs
The IBEW’s efforts to tap into good jobs in the booming energy sector are seeing big results in West Virginia, with hundreds of members hard at work building and maintaining the infrastructure needed to get the Mountaineer State’s rich natural gas load to market.
This Fall, A New IBEW News Smartphone/Tablet App
Two years after the launch of the first IBEW app, the IBEW is putting the finishing touches on a new news app for digital readers.
USA Volunteers Improve Trail Access in Va.
Volunteers from Richmond, Va., Local 666 joined members from the plumbers and pipefitters and the Virginia Building and Construction Trades Council on Aug. 21 to help create more accessible walkways for York River State Park visitors with mobility issues.
IBEW Activists Join March on Washington
Hundreds of thousands of Americans are expected to be in Washington, D.C., Aug. 24 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
Del. Bus Mechanics Join IBEW
Diesel bus mechanics employed by the Delaware Transit Corp. never had much need for a union. That is until one of their own was fired – all because of his breakfast.
Selling Security, and Winning it Too: