July

  July Issue 

Labor Board Tilts Against Working Families as Trump Effect Takes Hold

The National Labor Relations Board is about to shift dramatically in favor of big corporations, as two controversial Donald Trump appointees cleared Senate committee hurdles on July 19.

Union Plus Announces IBEW Scholarship Winners

This year, Union Plus granted over $11,000 in scholarships to family members of IBEW workers. The scholarships were awarded to 11 recipients who attend or are planning to attend university, college trade or technical school. 

Lobbying 101: How to Be an Agent for Change

A group of young IBEW members from New York held their first “lobby day” in Albany, meeting with their elected representatives and getting the chance to sway them on a current piece of legislation.

Groundbreaking Medical Advancement, With the Help of an IBEW Family

Last October, the Media Department told the story of Johnstown, Pa., Local 459 member Tom Whitehead, his wife Kari and daughter Emily, who was in remission from leukemia after undergoing a revolutionary treatment at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Fellow IBEW members rallied around the Whiteheads and supported them both financially and emotionally during a time of crisis.

Wage Freezes Signal Bad Times Ahead for Manitoba Unions

Public employees in Manitoba are under attack, but in July, they petitioned the courts to help them strike back.

Pope Francis: ‘There is No Good Society Without Good Unions’

Speaking to representatives from Italian organized labor, Pope Francis blessed the work of labor unions.

If You Think Republicans are Protecting Your Rights, Think Again

Three bills approved by a key House committee in June would strip workers of rights and make it harder to organize.

Wisconsin Troubleshooter Hunts Whitetails in Brotherhood Outdoors

As the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance celebrates a decade of connecting union members through conservation, its Brotherhood Outdoors TV series kicked off its ninth season with a new look when it returned to the Sportsman Channel in July.

Lineworker Appreciation Day Salutes Members, IBEW Founder

If you’ve ever experienced a power outage – especially in the dead of winter or during a sweltering heatwave – and breathed a sigh of relief when the lights came back on, take a second this July 10 to thank a lineworker for making it happen.

Code of Excellence SPARQs Turnaround at Troubled Arkansas Nuke Plant

In 2015, it was safe to say things at Entergy’s Arkansas Nuclear One in Russellville, Ark., were not going well.

IBEW Members Power the Motor City’s Renaissance

IBEW members have been an integral part of the Motor City for more than 100 years, and now they’re part of its resurgence.

Hung Up on Fall Protection, Japanese Utilities Call IBEW for a Lifeline

When Japanese utility executives came to the U.S. to learn about protecting their workers from falls, they came to the IBEW for advice.

June

  June Issue 

‘Union Busting’ Charter Still Refusing to Negotiate Fair Contract with Local 3 Members

Three months into their strike against Charter/Spectrum, and even with public support from many local politicians and surveys that show the company is one of the most disliked in the country, New York Local 3 members find themselves in much the same position as they were in late March.

Old Foes Return for Another Attempt at Gouging Michigan’s Working Families

Opponents of Michigan’s prevailing wage are campaigning for a ballot initiative as well as legislation to repeal the law that guarantees fair pay to hardworking men and women.

IBEW Partners with Child Safety Program

It’s a horrible time when a child is reported missing or abducted – a scenario parents understandably don’t want to think about much.

N.C. GOP Pushing Constitutional Right-to-Work

North Carolina adopted its right-to-work law in 1947, the same year the Taft-Hartley Act, which empowered states to curb the sources of union funding, passed the U.S. Congress. No move to repeal it has gained any noticeable momentum since.

Supreme Court to Decide Future of Public Sector Unions

On June 6, the same anti-worker groups who brought a 2015 California union-busting case to the Supreme Court petitioned the justices to weigh in on an eerily similar case, this time out of Illinois. At issue – again – is whether public employees can be compelled to pay “fair share” fees to a union to cover the costs of collective bargaining and representation performed on their behalf.

Liberals Keep Promise With Repeal of Anti-Union Laws

Legislation in Canada designed to cripple unions was undone with the passage of a new bill on June 19.

GOP Health Care Bill Disastrous for Older Workers, Retirees

While Senate Republicans work behind closed doors to deliver a version of an Obamacare repeal that can pass the upper chamber, retired Americans are pushing back on the House version, passed in May, that would prove devastating for older workers and retirees.

Oklahoma Football Gets a Powerful Face-Lift from the IBEW

When the Oklahoma Sooners decided in 2015 it was time for a major upgrade to the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, the university’s Board of Regents turned to the same IBEW contractor it’s used on the historic football structure for decades.

Earn and Learn, Debt-Free, IBEW Tells Congress

The IBEW apprenticeship program took center stage before the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on Capitol Hill June 15, with a member telling lawmakers that IBEW training makes graduates immediately employable with journey-level skills that are valued anywhere.

Sirens Blazing, Law Enforcement Races to Join IBEW in Iowa

In Iowa, they had the power to put criminals behind bars, but Linn County Sheriff’s Department sergeants didn’t have a seat at the bargaining table.

Stuck in a Rut? Fast Track your Career with Excelsior

If you’ve ever considered beefing up your earning potential, now may be just the right time.

IBEW Member Elected to Neb. Legislature

The last time Grand Island, Neb., Local 1597 Business Manager Dan Quick was elected to a government position was his successful campaign for Hordville High School student president.

Without Further Delay – Hopefully – Saving for Retirement Just Got a Little Better

An Obama-era rule designed to ensure that people get unbiased financial advice went into effect June 9 – mostly.

IBEW Brother Aims for Higher Office in Massachusetts

Paul Feeney is a little surprised to be a candidate for the Massachusetts State Senate.

With Season On the Line, St. Louis Local Lights Up Youth Baseball Program’s Diamonds

A longtime youth baseball and softball program in Missouri saw its season put in jeopardy by an aging, dangerous electrical system.

Trump Budget Losers: Federal Workers

The Trump administration’s budget would slash federal pensions for current and future federal retirees by thousands of dollars a year.

IBEW Brother Wins Primary in Battle for NH State Senate

Kevin Cavanaugh won the Democratic primary on June 6, the first step in his bid for a seat in the New Hampshire state Senate. 

Retired IEC Chairman Bob Pierson Dies

It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of former International Executive Council Chairman Robert Pierson.

For Chicago Local, American Legion Post ‘Binds Us From Generation to Generation’

Members of Chicago Local 134 gathered on Memorial Day this year, just as they have since 1935. It’s a different kind of Memorial Day gathering than anywhere else in the IBEW – or in the entire labor movement.

IBEW Takes Member from ‘Broken’ to Independent and Honored

Five years ago, Charleston, W.Va., Local 466 member Tara Turley was, in her own words, broken.

Possibly the IBEW’s Happiest Contractor Shines in Mass.

Hiring the best trained, most productive electricians in the business – IBEW members-- leads to successful contractors and happy customers.

Low Wages. Dangerous Work. Welcome to Your New Construction Job!

The construction industry is booming across the South, but it’s resulting in too many low-wage, dead-end jobs, according to a new report from the Workers Defense Project.

May

  May Issue 

After Two Months, New York Local Finally Gets Charter to Come to the Table

It took eight weeks and the help of a federal mediator, but negotiators for striking New York Local 3 members finally got a chance to sit down with Charter/Spectrum officials on May 23. 

New Award Honors Non-Members Who Save IBEW Lives

Until now, when someone has helped a member get back home to their family after being in a life-threatening situation, the IBEW has had two ways of saying thank you. 

‘Strength, Tenacity’ Draws Broadcasting Unit to IBEW

The seeds for a successful organizing campaign sometimes are laid many years in advance. New York Local 1212 members saw that firsthand this spring, with the blossoming of a new unit across the river.

IBEW Brother Vying for Seat in the Granite State Legislature

In New Hampshire, momentum is building for Kevin Cavanaugh, an alderman and assistant business manager for Manchester Local 2320 who is running in a special election for the state Senate.

Candidate Trump: Pro-Infrastructure President Trump: Not So Much

During the 2016 campaign, candidate Donald Trump promised a trillion dollars in infrastructure spending if elected. The news was met with cautious optimism by the construction industry, which stood to gain the most from a major spending spree by the federal government.

In Hostile Climate, Working Missouri Families Get Win

Missouri has been battered by anti-labor legislation in recent months. That didn’t stop the IBEW and its allies from fighting off an attempt to repeal the state’s prevailing wage statute.

Killing the Regulations that Keep Workers Alive

In their first 100 days in power, the Trump administration and the Republican Congress have repealed and blocked worker safety regulations that were years, sometimes decades, in the making.

At Long Last, a Tribute to Canada’s Worker Rises

On May 16, side cutters in hand, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau snipped the No. 4 bare copper wire marking the opening of a permanent monument to the men and women of Canada’s building trades.

In Canadian Schools, Prioritizing On-the-Job Safety

In Canada, young workers are three times more likely to be injured or killed in a workplace accident than their more experienced counterparts. That’s why an organization called My Safe Work goes into high schools to educate students on workplace safety—before they enter the job market.

IBEW Health Plan Fuels Organizing Boom at Texas Utility

At its core, the IBEW/NECA Family Medical Care Plan has a pretty simple mission –  to provide high-quality health insurance to IBEW members and their families at the best possible price.

IBEW Members Finish Work on World’s Most Powerful Telescope, send it to Texas to Prepare for 2018 Launch

After more than a decade of planning and construction –and watchful attempts at destruction—the most advanced space telescope in history left the hands of members of Baltimore Local 1501 May 7. 

CN Railway Workers Ratify Contract After Strike Threat

Signals and communications workers at CN Railway in Canada ratified a new 5-year contact at the end of April, beating back company demands for concessions and ensuring stability for the more than 700 IBEW members through 2021.

IBEW Local Hosts Virginia Gov. Candidate’s Debate May 9

Four years ago, Richmond, Va., Local 666 built a new event room at the local hall to hold the hundreds of members who showed up for meetings and events. 

IBEW Finds Labor Peace, Jobs for New Members in AT&T Deal

Long-term harmony between labor and management is difficult to come by in the tumultuous telecommunications industry. IBEW System Council T-3 has found it with one of the nation’s leading companies.

Organ Donor Rejected, a Brother’s Search Starts Anew

In this month’s Electrical Worker, we shared the news of Wilmington, Del., Local 313 wireman Dave Amalfitano, who found a kidney donor in Chicago Local 9 apprentice Rob Vargas after the 28-year-old read an Electrical Worker story last August.

‘They’re the Experts’: Iowa Generating Plant Members Recognized

Emery Generating Station in Clear Lake, Iowa, has been recognized as one of the best power plants in the nation and it’s due in part to the work of its employees, many of whom are members of Cedar Rapids Local 204. 

IBEW Helps Railcar Construction Return to Chicago’s South Side

Trains, trolleys and legendary sleeping cars rolled out of the Pullman Company’s Chicago factory for a century until it was shuttered in 1981. Its demise signified the end of railcar production in the United States.

The IBEW 2017 Photo Contest: Hit Us with Your Best Shot

It’s time to get out your cameras and show the world what you do every day. The 2017 IBEW Photo Contest is open and all members are encouraged to enter.

April

  April Issue 

Workers Memorial Day- Mourn the Dead and Honor the Living

Every year, thousands of people in North America leave for work and never come home. Millions more come home, but they are sick or injured.  

Prioritizing Safety in New Brunswick

When Fredericton, New Brunswick, Local 37 Business Manager Ross Galbraith learned NB Power had won Canada’s Best Health and Safety Culture award for 2016, he was happy for their achievement, but not especially surprised.

Driving Down Wages in the Construction Industry

When the Davis-Bacon Act became law in 1931, there was a belief that government should use its buying power to enhance the welfare of working people. It was a way to ensure a good wage and that those wages would go to the local economy. That point of view is slowly losing sway as the race to the bottom continues in the construction industry.  

With Talks at a Standstill, New York Officials Step Up for Striking Charter Employees

New York Local 3 isn’t getting anywhere with Charter/Spectrum officials in its battle for a fair contract for striking workers. 

Back to Work at 71, Houston Electrician Rides Bike to Honor Son, Help Others

It was 2009 and Tim Tsotsonis wanted to work as an electrician again after a nearly 22-year absence. And he wanted to help others as a way of saying thanks for the help his family received caring for son Alexander, who has cerebral palsy.

BGE Workers Get Their Union: Baltimore Local 410 Chartered

The IBEW officially has a new local: Baltimore Local 410. 

Trump Stops Rule That Protects Investors from Their Financial Advisors

A rule designed to help working people better save for retirement has been halted by the Trump administration.

Denver Local 111 Float Lights Up St. Patrick’s Day Parade

More than 1 million people came out for Denver’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade March 11.

Nuclear Physics Gets a Boost from the IBEW

Scientists from across the globe may soon be uncovering the secrets of the universe, and they’ll have hundreds of IBEW members to thank.

Boston Local Hosts Second Annual Girls in Trades Conference

Continuing a new tradition, Boston Local 103 hosted more than 350 girls from eastern Massachusetts area high schools on March 2 for a conference and career fair to encourage their interest in the skilled trades. 

Two Strangers and a Life-Saving Act of Brotherhood

This is a story about two brothers.

Local 3 Members Walk Picket Lines after Talks with Charter Cable Stall

New York Local 3 members employed by Charter/Spectrum Communications had worked under an expired agreement for nearly four years. 

Kansas Members Help Vets, Change a Red State’s Mind About Unions

Jeff Thomson appreciates the importance of skilled workers on projects that provide affordable housing for people in need. That’s why he was thrilled when members of Hutchinson, Kan., Local 661 volunteered to help renovate a duplex that will be home to two military veterans and their families.

In Wisconsin, Bill to Limit PLAs is Another Shot at Labor

The Wisconsin GOP and Gov. Scott Walker have become the poster children in recent years when it comes to an anti-working family agenda. They’re about to strike again.

 

March

  March Issue 

Opportunities for Career Growth Through Higher Education

If you’ve ever thought about furthering your education, IBEW partner Excelsior College may have the online program for you.

Construction Roars Back Post-Recession; Boom Challenges Manpower Realities

Construction is on an upswing in Evansville, Ind., a city of about 120,000 people nestled in a bend in the Ohio River.

Texas Members Join Effort to Rebuild State Park

Four members from Dallas-Ft.Worth, Texas, Local 20 took time out to help make improvements to a nearby state park as part of the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance Work Boots on the Ground initiative. 

Secretary-Treasurer Chilia to Retire; VP Cooper Appointed

After nearly 50 years of service to the IBEW and the North American organized labor movement, International Secretary-Treasurer Salvatore J. Chilia announced his retirement March 20.

Boston IBEW Members Hailed for Helping to Save a Life

Three members of Boston Local 103 resuscitated a passenger on the platform of the city’s subway system March 2.

The GOP Plan to Upend Health Care and Give Billions to the Rich

Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan have a plan to overhaul the American health care system, but their proposal preys on the old, the sick, the poor and the middle class while rewarding the super-rich and drug companies with a $600 billion tax cut.

Trump Releases Budget Priorities; American Workers not Among Them

President Donald Trump released his first budget proposal March 16, calling for the largest cuts to the federal government since the drawdown after World War II.

IBEW Members Chosen for Leadership Conference

Aaron Zboch-Alves and Greg McFarlane are following a tradition of new leadership in the IBEW’s First District. 

Bill Seeks to Limit Bargaining Rights for More Americans

The IBEW has joined with other unions in opposing proposed federal legislation that would thwart legal protections for employees who work for private businesses that Native American tribes have even a small financial interest in.

White House Plans Giveaway to Wall Street

From 2008 to 2009 the U.S. economy collapsed into the steepest recession it had seen since the 1930s. The $8 trillion housing bubble burst, thanks to largely unregulated, reckless financial dealings by big banks and Wall Street. Nearly 9 million Americans lost their jobs, 7 million more lost their homes and more than $2.8 trillion in retirement savings flew out the window nearly overnight.

In Washington, D.C., Another Contractor Stiffed by Trump

An IBEW signatory contractor filed suit against the Trump organization for skipping out on $2 million of work done on the luxury Washington D.C. hotel in the Old Post Office Building.

Besieged by GOP Attacks, Iowa Workers Fight Back

February was a devastating month for unions in Iowa. Following November election wins in the House and Senate, Republicans, already in control of the governor’s office, commanded the entirety of the state’s legislative process for the first time in two decades. And they wasted no time in coming after unions.

In Albuquerque, IBEW is a Family Affair

In December, four Beebes stepped to the front of Albuquerque, N.M., Local 611’s hall to take their oaths before their union brothers and sisters.

Looking to the Past for the Future of Organizing

With new advocacy groups popping up all over the internet, members of Congress using Snapchat and worldwide marches starting on Facebook, it may seem old-fashioned to think that organizing lessons can be found in not just a book, but one about someone born at the beginning of the last century. 

Hate Not Welcome: IBEW, Building Trades Members Volunteer to Repair Vandalized Cemetery

Members of Philadelphia Building Trades and IBEW Local 98 are volunteering their time and resources to make it known that hate has no home in the City of Brotherly Love.

February

  February Issue 

War on Unions has a New Front in Iowa

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad signed a law Feb. 17 dramatically reducing the power of public-sector union members to negotiate with the state. 

In Win for Working Families, New Hampshire Says ‘No’ to Right-to-Work

New Hampshire’s nickname is the Granite State, a salute to the hard rock that is plentiful there and used in construction. Perhaps it’s only fitting its people held firm against right-to-work laws.

Fresh off a Victory, Working People React to Labor Department Nominee Acosta

On Feb. 16, Donald Trump nominated lawyer Alexander Acosta to replace failed labor secretary nominee Andrew Puzder, who was forced to withdraw his name from consideration less than 24 hours earlier.

What IBEW and Congress Can Do About the Future of the Energy Grid

America’s energy infrastructure was on Capitol Hill’s agenda last week, and the IBEW was there to provide some expertise.

Record Snow Turns Out Calif. Lights; IBEW Turns Them Back On

With winter comes snowstorms, and with normal snowstorms come power outages and emergency work for the tens of thousands of IBEW lineworkers. Even a few inches of snow and ice can knock out power for hundreds of thousands of people.

From Pets to Vets, Delaware Members Give Back

The members of Wilmington, Del., Local 313 are willing to do their part for their neighbors, whether they’ve got two legs or four.

Millennial Minority Workers Look Forward While Giving Back

The young members of the Electrical Workers Minority Caucus are growing their ranks and the next generation of the IBEW, and that includes a commitment to service.

Protect Your Paycheck: Fight Back Against National Right-to-Work

Emboldened by the frenzied first days of single-party control of the federal government, Republicans in Congress took aim on Feb. 1 at a longtime target – working people.

Leadership, Determined Workers Lead to Vancouver Organizing Win Over ‘Fake’ Union

Leif Andersen heard fellow workers on a jobsite at the BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver last spring talk about their union failing to listen to their concerns and continually siding with management.

NACTEL– Education is the Gateway to the Jobs of the Future; Virtual Open House Feb. 7

There is a constant demand for telecommunications workers but the best jobs –the ones that become careers-- are only open to people who understand the industry’s rapidly changing technology.

IBEW, Jobs to Move America On Track to Good Jobs in New York

The IBEW has worked successfully with Jobs to Move America to ensure public transportation projects create good paying jobs for working families in the communities they serve. The next success story might be in New York.

Right-To-Work Battle Heats Up in N.H., Mo.

The march by GOP-controlled states to take away rights from working families continues as newly emboldened representatives and governors – elected with sweeping majorities – make their first order of business to cut paychecks and limit the voices of workers.

These Seattle Members are Powering a Massive Infrastructure Project

Bertha is a very big part of a very big project, and Seattle Local 46 members are helping to steer her, and the project, to the finish line.

January

  January Issue 

GOP Wants to Cut Prevailing Wage for Highway Projects

America’s bridges, roads and tunnels are in a sorry state, desperately in need of major investment, but Republicans on Capitol Hill are trying to make sure union labor has no part in rebuilding the country’s infrastructure.

Billion Dollar Texas Build Lays Path for ‘Clean Coal’

On Jan. 10, America’s first large-scale “clean coal” power station was declared operational, and IBEW members from Houston Local 66 are playing an integral part in making the groundbreaking technology work.

IBEW Electrician/Congressman Appointed to Labor-Focused Committee

New Jersey Rep. Donald Norcross -- the only active member of the IBEW in Congress—has been appointed to serve on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

‘All She Had to Do was Call 103’: Boston Members Rescue Missing Cat

It was a normal January night like any other. Members of Boston Local 103 were doing routine maintenance on an above-ground part of Interstate 93. They had no idea they were about to turn into local heroes.

‘Cautiously Optimistic:’ IBEW Leaders See Reasons to Like Proposed FairPoint Sale

FairPoint’s purchase of Verizon’s landline business in northern New England eight years ago was beset by problems from the beginning.

Fired While His Wife Was in Labor, Man Rejects Countless Offers for IBEW Apprenticeship

Lamar Austin became an unwitting public figure when he was fired because he missed work to attend the birth of his son on New Year’s Day. News of the incident spread on social media after it was reported by newspaper and television stations in New England.

Labor Nominee Accused of Widespread Labor Violations

Donald Trump’s nominee for labor secretary routinely stole from his workers and fostered an unsafe work environment in pursuit of personal and shareholder profit, according to current and former employees who spoke on Capitol Hill Jan. 10.

Victory: More Than 1,400 BG&E Workers Join the IBEW

After an 18-month organizing drive, a majority of Baltimore Gas & Electric's 1,418 gas and transmission-distribution workers voted to join the IBEW on Jan. 12.

Detroit’s ‘Wobbly’ Kitchen: Serving Up a Healthy Dose of Community Spirit

For many, Sunday morning starts with a lazy cup of coffee, maybe the sports page or readying the kids for church. But twice a month for nearly a dozen members of Detroit Local 58, Sunday starts at the union hall with 120 pounds of raw chicken.

First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Opens off Atlantic Coast

Business Manager Michael K. Daley and everyone with Providence, R.I., Local 99 had reason to celebrate when the first offshore wind farm in U.S. waters became fully operational in mid-December.

Republican House To Federal Workers: ‘Do What We Want or Kiss Your Salary Goodbye’

On their first session of the new year, House Republicans brought back a rule written three years before the invention of the lightbulb that would allow Congress to target specific federal workers and programs. 

Long-Shot East Coast Rail Plan: Faster Commutes, IBEW Jobs

Rail infrastructure between Washington and New York has been suffering for decades, falling victim to heavy traffic combined with a lack of investment. But federal regulators have a plan for sorely-needed upgrades that could shorten commutes and lead to IBEW jobs.

Kentucky Republicans Set to Gut Union Rights

Kentucky is poised to become the 27th state, and the last state in the South, to pass so-called “right-to-work” legislation.

‘We’re in a Union … We Have All We Need’: Why These Members Give Back

This crew of young, volunteer-oriented IBEW members is making their mark, one can of yams at a time.