October 2019

  October Issue 

Safety, Right-to-Work, Prevailing Wage at Stake in Virginia Election Nov. 5

With every vote counted in 2017, pro-worker lawmakers in Virginia were one botched ballot away from shared control of the House of Delegates.

Ohio Member Turns Fly Fishing Passion into Dream Trip, Television Appearance

Like many skilled trades workers, Paul Hughes wondered how he would make ends meet following the economic collapse in 2008. Construction came to a near standstill in his hometown, so the Columbus, Ohio, Local 683 member became a traveler and took to the road.

Sign Modernization Upgrades Manhattan Commute

Railroad branch members in New York and Connecticut have been installing modern electronic message signs that provide real-time service information to Metro-North’s customers.

Kentucky Race Gives Working Families Chance to Fight Back Against Governor Who ‘Hurts Us’

Labor and its allies have battled strong headwinds in Kentucky recently. The election of Gov. Matt Bevin in 2015 and a GOP takeover in the House the following year meant a single-party state government intent on rolling back union rights.

In Louisiana, an IBEW Friend in the Governor’s Mansion

John Bel Edwards is the only union-friendly governor in the Deep South, and he is on the ballot in Louisiana Oct. 12.

Federal Workers Under Attack as Agencies Told To Enforce Anti-Union Executive Orders

A court injunction that temporarily protected federal workers from a hostile government agenda expired last week, prompting the Trump administration to order agencies to enforce anti-union policies the president issued in May 2018.

Canadian Election Offers Chance for Members to Show Who ‘Shares Our Values’

Toronto Local 353 Vice President Jeff Irons views the upcoming Canadian federal elections much like an organizing drive.

IBEW Supports Nuclear Powers America Act

In an age of shrinking bipartisanship and climbing global temperatures, the Nuclear Powers America Act might just be the bipartisan legislation the country needs to cleanly and reliably power future generations.

Finalized Overtime Rule Leaves Out Millions of Working People

The Trump administration announced its final overtime rule on Sept. 24, ending a yearslong process that sought to undo the original, more generous, 2016 rule.

Study: West Virginia’s Prevailing Wage Repeal Lowers Wages, Not Costs

Students at Mountain Valley Elementary School in southern West Virginia’s Mercer County were forced to wait more than a month beyond the start of the school year for their facility’s grand opening. Construction delays were at fault, the state’s Affiliated Construction Trades reported in August.

Union-Busting App Backed by Billionaires

It’s an important signal that unions are working when the rich and powerful spend billions trying to silence them.

September 2019

  September Issue 

Anti-Worker Lawyer Eugene Scalia confirmed as Labor Secretary

After decades spent attacking the rights of workers struggling for justice and safety on the job, corporate lawyer Eugene Scalia is a vote away from taking the reins of the U.S. Department of Labor.

Landmark California Law Offers New Protections, Greater Economic Security for Misclassified Workers

A trailblazing California law that IBEW members fought for will extend job rights and benefits to hundreds of thousands of workers long misclassified by employers as independent contractors.

Colorado Member With Lifetime of Service Seeks Public Office

Service to others was central to Eppie Griego long before he became an active member of Pueblo, Colo., Local 12.

Pennsylvania’s New Juneteenth Holiday Extra Special to One IBEW Member

On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers finally arrived in Galveston, Texas, bearing news that had taken six long months to wend its way through the South: Congress had passed the 13th Amendment freeing American slaves.

Hotel Employees in the IBEW? In this Iowa Community, They’re a Perfect Fit

Dubuque, Iowa, Local 704 Business Manager Tom Townsend won’t take any credit for a successful organizing effort and first contract for workers at the city’s Hilton Garden Inn along the Mississippi River.

Gallup Says Union Support is at a Near-Five-Decade High

Reports of labor’s demise have been greatly exaggerated according to a new Gallup poll.

All in the Family: Trayer Workers Put ‘Rolls-Royce’ Switchgear in Linemen’s Hands

Every step of the way at Trayer Switchgear near San Francisco, IBEW members treat the products they make as if their own family will use them.

Delaware, Oregon Provide Protections for IBEW’s Public Employee Members

The IBEW joined with other unions in two states – one on the East Coast, the other on the West – to pass legislation that strengthens public employee unions following last year’s Janus decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Patience Pays as New Missouri Members Finally Get First Contract

Barack Obama still was president when Springfield, Mo., city employees votedin the fall of 2015 to join Springfield Local 753.

Has the NLRB Lost Its Way?

"Everybody needs a law that is precise and certain."

Standout Detroit Tree Trimmer is Special, But Not for the Obvious Reason

Lisa Bagalay was, by all accounts, an exceptional member of Detroit Local 17's Line Clearance and Tree Trimmer apprenticeship program.

August 2019

  August Issue 

VEEP Bridges the Gap Between the Military and What’s Next

The transition from military to civilian life can be a difficult one for servicemen and women. Gone are the regular paychecks, the structure, the camaraderie and the shared sense of mission. That first step after military discharge often feels like a leap into the unknown.

A Win in Ontario, but Labor’s Battles Continue

Toronto’s leaders stood defiantly in June against an anti-union attempt by Ontario’s Conservative Party to reclassify the city’s relationship with its construction workforce.

New Reports: Soaring CEO Pay a Growing Threat to U.S. Economy

CEO compensation has skyrocketed 940 percent over the past 40 years in the United States, 78 times the rate of growth in workers’ pay and benefits, according to one of two new studies that challenge the upbeat conventional wisdom about today’s economy.

Urgent Call for Action: Last Chance to Help Save IBEW Apprenticeships

Just days are left to help save the IBEW’s apprenticeships from greedy nonunion contractors who want to cut corners on training.

IBEW, Entergy ‘Sticking’ with Code of Excellence

A simple sticker on the side of a work truck could be easily overlooked, but for IBEW members at Entergy Arkansas, that bit of plastic represents something more: a sign of growing pride on the job and an improved relationship with management; a symbol of the values embodied in the IBEW’s Code of Excellence.

Union Plus Scholarships Awarded to 11 IBEW Family Members

A commitment to the values of the IBEW and organized labor, as well as academic achievement, personal character and financial need each were all factors in determining this year’s IBEW recipients of the Union Plus scholarshipsfor the 2019-2020 school year.

Washington, Tennessee Harden Penalties for Assaults on Utility Workers

Rick Luiten didn’t have to rely on abstract statistics or second-hand anecdotes when he testified in favor of Washington state’s new law imposing tougher penalties on people who assault utility workers.

New Senate Energy Bill Supports Union Jobs, Priorities

An IBEW-backed bill introduced in the U.S. Senate would ensure that the country’s growing number of clean energy construction jobs will be filled by unionized electrical workers and by highly trained brothers and sisters in other union trades.

In Boise, New Telecom Unit Sees Membership Rise in Right-to-Work’s Shadow

About 3,000 employees at DirecTV facilities across 13 states voted for IBEW representation and approved contracts in 2016, a major organizing win for a telecommunications industry that has weathered remarkable change over the last decade.

IBEW Effort Helps Move ‘Butch Lewis’ Closer to Passage

Intensive lobbying by activists from the IBEW and other labor unions paid off on July 24 when a bipartisan majority in the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pension Act by a vote of 264 to 169.

$6.5 Billion Pa. Cracking Plant Puts a Region to Work

One of the largest projects in the IBEW is finally underway north of Pittsburgh.

Crisis in a Bottle: Opioids and the Construction Industry

Opioid deaths in the U.S. and Canada are at epidemic levels, ravaging communities across regional, ethnic and socioeconomic divides. But no industry suffers higher rates of addiction and death than one of our own: construction.

‘It Was Magic How Nine Electricians Meshed So Well’

Five thousand miles from the building codes and safety rules of Ontario, Canada, the team of IBEW electricians had never seen anything quite like the dormitories for older students from a Guatemalan children’s home.

July 2019

  July Issue 

Take a Bow: Study Shows Union Members are Better Informed

If knowledge is power, then political knowledge is the fuel of an informed democracy. And according to a recent study, unions are a valuable source.

N.J. Local’s ‘Good of the Union’ Commitment Bolsters Community

Members of Trenton, N.J., Local 269 put in long, hard hours during the week. But well-earned weekends aren’t just for relaxing; many members are also committed to the wide variety of community service activities the local sponsors through its “Good of the Union” committee.

Capitol Hill Lineworker Events Celebrate Recognition Resolution

In On July 10, Rep. Linda Sanchez of California formally introduced a House of Representatives resolution to designate that date as National Lineworkers Recognition Day.

Florida Activists Fight to Fend Off Deregulation Threat

In Florida, IBEW members are mobilizing to help kill a proposed constitutional amendment that aims to deregulate the state’s investor-owned electrical utilities — a law that, if implemented, could disrupt the livelihood of thousands of electricians who work and live there.

Atlanta’s Newest Local is Home for Gas Workers

The IBEW has its first new local in the state of Georgia in nearly 40 years. The birth of Atlanta Local 1997 on June 29 marks a major victory for the rights of working people in the Deep South.

Call for Action: Help Protect IBEW Apprenticeships

The IBEW urgently needs your help to protect our training programs from a pending federal rule that would let businesses run shoddy apprenticeships with minimal standards, oversight and pay.

House Votes Overwhelmingly to Scrap ‘Cadillac Tax’ on Health Benefits

The House of Representatives voted 419-6 to repeal punitive taxes on many union health plans, a major win for union workers and a rare moment of bipartisanship in Washington.

With Election Approaching, New Contract Secures Gains for Federal Workers

With the federal election on the horizon, Ottawa, Ontario, Local 2228 reached tentative agreement with the Treasury Board for a new four-year contract that will guarantee an 8% increase in salary for the more than 1,000 members covered.

IBEW, Unions Rally to Keep Pension Promises

Secretary-Treasurer Kenneth W. Cooper joined hundreds of labor activists representing the IBEW and other unions Wednesday to rally on Capitol Hill encouraging Congress to pass a bill aimed at rescuing troubled multiemployer pension plans.

Thanks to North America’s Lineworkers

An early summer thunderstorm had knocked out power in parts of northwest Washington, D.C.

Hitting the Legislative Jackpot: Nevada Unions Reap Rewards of Hard-Won Election Victories

Led by IBEW members, Nevada’s building trades unions hit a triple in the Legislature this spring, restoring prevailing wage and project labor agreement laws killed by the business lobby in 2015, and ensuring that apprentices from accredited programs fill a percentage of jobs at public construction sites.

Temps Heat up With No Federal Safety Standard

As summer temperatures soar to scorching heights, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is here with recommendations and tips to stay safe on the job, even a smartphone app, but no federal standard as to what “safe” actually means.

The Electrician at the End of the Earth: An Antarctic Adventure

A globetrotter at heart, John Murphy was already adept at swapping his Queens apartment for digs in Europe, Asia, South America and the Caribbean.

The Battery Revolution: Fixing the Grid’s No. 1 Problem

The North American electrical grid is the largest machine ever built by human hands. The interconnecting web of power plants, end users and everything in between has an unknowable number of components that fuel the $20 trillion U.S. economy.

June 2019

  June Issue 

Ottawa-Area Members Pitch in for Flood Victims

When the Ottawa River swelled to record levels this spring, IBEW members were there to help.

First Contract Ratified by BGE Workers

After four failed organizing drives and two years of negotiation, the 1,400 members of Baltimore Local 410 ratified a first contract on Sunday with Baltimore Gas and Electric.

Wyoming Organizer Honored for Leading Local 322 Volunteers in Conservation Projects

Bruce Johnson, a Casper, Wyo., Local 322 organizer and avid outdoorsman, has been named the IBEW Conservation Steward of the Year for his leadership on volunteer projects protecting elk and their habitat.

‘It Matters’ Campaign Encourages Voter Registration, Participation

A major initiative is underway to ensure that every IBEW member eligible to vote is registered, aiming to educate members that participating in the electoral process directly translates to power on the job and at the negotiating table.

Free College, No Catch: IBEW Members Say Degree Program Hasn’t Cost Them a Nickel

With just four or five classes to go, Todd Bedard is on the verge of having an associate degree in business management – without accruing a penny of student debt.

IBEW Urges Congress to Get Moving on Nuclear Waste Storage

A trio of recently introduced bills before the U.S. House of Representatives could help unlock meaningful, long-term employment for IBEW members in Nevada — and beyond.

In Canada’s Election, a Call to Avoid ‘All-Out War on Unions’

When the Liberal Party took power in Canada in 2015, the IBEW and working families gained access to halls of power on Parliament Hill that hadn’t existed in the previous four years of Conservative rule and five years of coalition government before that.

$200M Agreement Brings Jobs, Stability in Pennsylvania

Steady and plentiful work is on the horizon for members of Chester, Pa., Local 654, thanks to a newly announced, multimillion-dollar project labor agreement covering the ongoing revitalization of the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex in suburban Philadelphia.

‘Rite’ Strategy Leads to Steady Work for New Jersey Local

For decades, Jersey City, N.J., Local 164 electricians were among the hundreds of union tradespeople who built nearly two dozen ShopRite grocery stores in New Jersey and New York.

Clock Ticking on Bill to Preserve Nuclear Jobs in Ohio

Hundreds of IBEW jobs in Ohio could be in serious jeopardy if the state’s Legislature fails to pass a bill to keep two nuclear plants open.

May 2019

  May Issue 

The Future of Organizing: New Technology Builds on the Tried and True

The future of organizing is here, IBEW leaders say, and new tools and technology will play a key role in recruiting the next generation to meet the needs of a growing electrical industry.

We Need Your Help: Call Your Congressman, Save Your Pension

Weeks before Christmas, hundreds of IBEW members swarmed Capitol Hill to kill a proposal that would have crippled multi-employer pension plans.

Chicago Partnership Promotes Apprenticeships as Alternative to College

Identifying and encouraging high school students who might benefit from a career in the electrical trades is the aim of a new partnership between Chicago Local 134 and a school district in the city’s northwestern suburbs.

Faces of the IBEW: Second-Chance Baltimore Wireman Headlines New Ad Campaign

Rico Albacarys didn’t sulk or stew when he was turned down for a Baltimore Local 24 apprenticeship back in 2010. Instead, he got back to work – and the right people noticed.

Syracuse, N.Y., Local 97 Members' 'Flawless' Replacement of Diesel Back-up at Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station

When back-up generators at nuclear power stations stop working, the clock starts ticking before federal rules require the main unit to shut down. So, when the 49,000-pound back-up diesel generator went quiet at the Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station in upstate New York, the nearly 75 members of Syracuse Local 97 in the maintenance department had a monumental challenge on their hands.

Even in Right-to-Work Era, Northern Michigan Manufacturing Local Grows Membership

Growing membership in a manufacturing local is a challenge under any circumstances. American jobs continue to move overseas at an alarming clip, so growth in a right-to-work state makes it even more of an achievement.

New Program Aims to Help Trades Recruit More Women

Expanding programs for women who might be considering a career in the skilled construction trades, or who are already in them, is the goal of a new joint initiative of Canada’s Building Trades Unions and the federal government.

Social Security Workers Fight For their Rights Against Anti-Union Attacks

The Social Security Administration has joined a growing list of federal agencies that are impeding the ability of unions to represent government workers and taking extreme positions in contract talks.

Tell Missouri Senators: Say ‘Yes’ to the Grain Belt Express

IBEW leaders are asking members and friends to contact Missouri state senators this week and urge them to vote against any bill that would derail construction of the Grain Belt Express, an environmentally friendly, electrical transmission project that will deliver wind power from the Midwest to the East Coast power grid.

Pro-Union PRO Act Accelerates Congressional Fight for Workers’ Rights

Pro-union lawmakers are pushing for landmark federal legislation that would pull the teeth of right-to-work laws and impose stronger, swifter penalties on law-breaking employers, ensuring that workers across the country have the right to join unions and bargain collectively for better wages, benefits and working conditions.

With More Allies in State Capitols, A Sunnier Forecast for Unions and Workers

IBEW activists have an extra spring in their step walking the halls of America’s statehouses this year.

Time Running Out for Thousands of Clean Energy Jobs in Pennsylvania

Hundreds of people rallied on the Pennsylvania Capitol steps this week, urging the Legislature to save thousands of clean energy jobs – and fast.

The 2019 Photo Contest is Here

Summer is almost here, and that means it’s time for this year’s IBEW photo contest.

America’s Underground Crisis: Aging Infrastructure Brings Opportunity for Gas Workers

Beneath nearly every American city, a crisis is unfolding. While talk of America's crumbling infrastructure focuses on bridges and roads, ports and airports, below ground the aging pipe networks that carry natural gas to homes and businesses grow more dangerous by the day.

Stay Safe with National Fall Prevention Safety Stand-Down Week

Every year, hundreds of construction workers are killed on the job and more than a third die from falls, the number one cause of accidental deaths in the industry. The tragic loss of our brothers and sisters is made all the more bitter because every death or injury from a fall is preventable with proper training and the use of appropriate fall protection.

Local 1212 Member Mentors Young Members after Stellar CBS Career

Iconic sports venues like Augusta National and Daytona International Speedway came to feel like second homes for Neil McCaffrey during an award-winning career as a CBS camera operator.

April 2019

  April Issue 

IBEW Members Power Parliament Hill’s West Block

The West Block section of Canada’s historic Parliament Hill recently underwent a major restoration and members of Ottawa, Ontario, Local 586 were there to power it.

Workers Memorial Day is a Time for Remembrance, Action

Union members across the U.S. and Canada will pause on April 28 to remember fellow workers who lost their lives on the job over the past year and to recommit themselves to the effort to prevent workplace deaths and injuries.

Illinois Bans Local Right-to-Work Zones as Elected Leaders Hit the Gas on Pro-Worker Agenda

An IBEW member’s bill to ban cities and counties in Illinois from passing local right-to-work ordinances has become law, two years after the state’s previous governor vetoed the legislation.

Fewer Inspectors, Less Enforcement: OSHA Trend Raises Risks for Workers

As the number of OSHA inspectors shrinks, enforcement action to safeguard workers is on the decline — at the same time that investigations into workplace deaths and injuries are rising.

IBEW Founders’ Scholarship Deadline is April 30

One of the legacies of the IBEW’s founding fathers isn’t directly related to organizing or pulling wire, but it remains very much in the spirit of the Brotherhood and unionism. It’s the IBEW Founders’ Scholarship.

Fastest Growing Jobs in the U.S. Look Good for the IBEW

The fastest growing jobs in nearly a quarter of U.S. states are IBEW jobs according to projections form the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

N.H. Nuclear Security Workers Making the Most of Membership

The IBEW has represented thousands of nuclear energy workers over the years, usually in either the construction or utility branches.

New Brunswick Local Receives National Recognition for Excellence

Fredericton, New Brunswick, Local 37 earlier this year won an award from Electricity Human Resources Canada for its Training Trust Fund, a program that offers members continuing education opportunities in a variety of areas including essential “soft skills” – the first time a union has earned the prize.

Texas Local Energizes the Next Generation

Last April, Houston Local 66’s young members group had four members. Today, they have close to 50 – and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.

Toledo Local Looks to Recruit from New Communities

The Latino population in northwestern Ohio has risen steadily over the last 40 years. For Toledo, Ohio, Local 8’s Ricardo Jiménez, this presents a rich recruiting opportunity that can help the IBEW grow as well.

IBEW Canada Lobbies for Fair Wages Policy’s Return

With Canada’s next federal election only six months away, IBEW leaders and activists are reminding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party majority in Parliament that they have not yet made good on one of their 2015 campaign pledges: to bring back the country’s federal fair wages law.

Trump Budget Takes Aim – Again – at Federal Workers

For the federal workforce, the Trump administration’s budget proposal for 2020 reads like a roadmap to civil service demise, with calls for cuts to annual leave and retirement security, pay freezes and a weakening of collective bargaining rights.

Michigan Members Help Save Historic 'Rosie' Bomber Factory

W. Jeffrey Koepp is like many baby boomers who grew up in and around the Michigan cities of Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor. He’d long heard tales from older family members who’d worked at the nearby Willow Run Bomber Plant of how the B-24 bombers built there turned the tide of World War II against Germany.

March 2019

  March Issue 

IBEW Activists Work to Bring Back Prevailing Wage to New Hampshire

For more than three decades, New Hampshire has been the lone New England state lacking a prevailing wage law. But after voters in November’s elections sent labor-friendly majorities to the state’s Legislature, IBEW members in the Granite State are hopeful that such a statute could finally be making a comeback.

IBEW Helps Alabama Boy Check Wish Off ‘Vision Bucket List’

Ian Oliver has always wanted to know how things work. The nitty-gritty of machinery, how it’s engineered, and what happens mechanically when you pull a lever or flip a switch.

IBEW Helping Railroads Meet Critical Safety Deadline

U.S. railroads already are among the safest in the world. But over the past several years, IBEW members have helped install technology across the country that aims to make them even safer.

Lawmakers Want Answers About NLRB’s Plans to Outsource Work

Two members of Congress are pushing for answers about the National Labor Relations Board’s plans to contract out its unionized staff’s duties reviewing public comments on the controversial joint employer rule.

Stephenson, Richard Lay Wreath at Tomb of Unknown Soldier

There is nothing to break the stark view from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It floats like a white marble ark in a sea of green lawn and small, white-capped grave markers for the thousands of buried troops. All of Washington D.C.’s grand monuments are hidden from sight across the Potomac from Arlington National Cemetery.

‘Skills Need to Change’ for Energy Workers, IBEW Tells Lawmakers

Utility Director Donnie Colston testified before a House subcommittee on March 7, telling members the role the IBEW and other unions can play in meeting the nation’s increased demand for workers in the energy and nuclear industries.

Locals That Battled Energy Deregulation Scheme Share First-Ever Edwin D. Hill Award

Two IBEW locals and their employer have won the inaugural Edwin D. Hill Award for their expansive efforts to protect good jobs and Nevada power customers, a campaign that led to the landslide defeat of a deceptive state ballot measure last November.

Trump Administration Issues Weakened Overtime Rule

The Trump administration has issued its version of an Obama-era rule to extend overtime pay, one that leaves out millions of working people.

Like Father, Like Son: Two Generations of Broadcasting Excellence

Jay Willis is accustomed to making quick decisions as an audio mixer during major sporting telecasts, primarily while working as a freelancer for CBS.

Tax Season: Deductions Disappear for Working Families

Tax season is here, and tens of millions of Americans are finding an unpleasant surprise when they enter the final calculations on their return.

BC Member Selected for Canada’s Future Skills Council

The government of Canada has assembled a new council to address the future of jobs in the country, and Vancouver, British Columbia, Local 213 assistant business manager Lisa Langevin will serve as a member.

Salt Lake City Local Blends Skill-Building With Solidarity

When Salt Lake City Local 354 member Jared Brydson returned from the IBEW’s International Convention in 2016, he was looking for ideas to increase engagement among new members. Then, he and Business Manager Russ Lamoreaux landed on the idea of a boot camp.

Judge: Parts of W.Va. Right-to-Work Law Violate State’s Constitution

West Virginia’s working people scored a big win on Wednesday when Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Bailey ruled unconstitutional parts of the state’s 2016 right-to-work law.

February 2019

  February Issue 

New Law in Ontario Threatens Jobs, Worker Safety

Under the guise of modernizing apprenticeships and cutting red tape, Ontario’s provincial government recently pushed through a blatantly anti-worker measure that instead will end up putting skilled people out of work and placing workers’ safety at risk.

The Rising Tide Lifting Women into Leadership

Sally McKleinfeld has been helping female friends with their résumés for years. Now she’s developed a program to help even more women within New York Local 3.

20th Annual Photo Contest: Results

From long shifts in driving snow to moving portraits and Pacific sunset views, this year’s photo contest winners captured what it means to be a member of the IBEW.

The State of American Democracy

A little less than a year ago, the Electrical Worker told you about a crisis in our democracy. The picture was dark. Tens of millions of American citizens live in gerrymandered electoral districts with borders surgically created to keep incumbent politicians in office. Millions more voters are locked out of the voting booth entirely.

‘Good People Like You Make This World’ Local 465 Gas Worker Rescues Trapped Car Crash Victims

Bringing his utility truck to a stop at a traffic light south of San Diego on a late January morning, Martin Barraza was shocked to see an overturned sedan, its crushed hood and front roof pressing against the pavement.

Superior Training Sees IBEW Members Nab Top Honors at Annual Competition

IBEW electricians from New York, Illinois and Minnesota swept the top honors at the third annual 2018 Ideal National Championship, held Dec. 1-3 near Orlando, Fla.

Missouri Union Membership Up, Bucking National Trend

Missouri added 25,000 working people to its union membership last year, propelled by a major right-to-work win victory where Show Me State workers made a compelling public case for the value of unions.

Safety Standards Slide as OSHA Guts Workplace Injury Tracking

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has gutted an Obama-era rule that required employers to report on-the-job injuries and illnesses.

Longtime Illinois Member Tells New Southern Colleagues: We Need the IBEW

After 38 years in the telecom industry and 35 years as an IBEW member in his native Illinois, Randy Phillips wasn’t quite ready to call it a retirement when he left AT&T in 2011. He came from a strong union family with a tradition of fighting for working people.

IBEW Members To Be Official Guests at State of the Union

Retired Manchester, Maine, Local 1837 member Cynthia Phinney and Chicago Local 134 apprentice Lily Wu have been invited as official guests to attend President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night from the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Generation Z and the ‘Other’ Four-Year Degree

All parents want their children to get a good job that pays them a livable wage. For many, that means attending a four-year college institution. But for many others, there’s an alternate path.

For the 20th time, IBEW Members Work to Provide CBS With A ‘Super’ Broadcast

More than 100 million people in the United States alone will watch the Super Bowl Sunday night on CBS. And, as usual, the network will rely heavily on IBEW broadcasting members to provide a world-class viewing event.

January 2019

  January Issue 

Near the IBEW’s Birthplace, St. Louis Members Build Affordable Housing

The Ville neighborhood on St. Louis’s near north side is an historic one for the region and the IBEW.

IBEW Collaborates with Entertainment Unions to Fight Harassment on the Job

In support of broadcast members, the IBEW has joined with about a dozen other unions within the entertainment industry to share resources as part of a pledge to combat workplace harassment.

Tradeswomen Find Solidarity in Numbers at Annual Women Build Nations Conference

It took Briane Montoya two days, but she finally found another woman who was an outside lineman like her. For someone who’s often the only woman on her job site, it was a big moment.

Texas Local Helps Corrections Officers Impacted by Government Shutdown

As the federal government shutdown drags on with no end in sight, more and more federal employees are going without. IBEW members, including those at Corpus Christi, Texas, Local 278, are stepping in to help.

Agency Created to Protect Federal Workers’ Rights Slams Door on Staff Union

A little-known federal agency charged with protecting the right of government workers to organize is refusing to recognize its own union.

Closed Local’s Hall Gets a New Lease on Life

The union hall of a disbanded Ohio local is finding new life as a museum and learning center, thanks to an innovative partnership forged between the local’s former leaders and a nearby university.

Same Care. Less Time and Money

You have the flu. Modern medicine’s solution is for you to drag yourself to the car, try not to kill anyone as you drive through a pounding headache, then wait who-knows-how-long on a sticky plastic couch to see a doctor you don’t know for a prescription. And you’ll pay for the privilege.

Maryland Members Help Preserve a Historic Railroad ‘Station’

As Interstate 68 curves through Cumberland, Md., the speed limit drops from 70 miles per hour to 40, providing drivers an opportunity to glimpse a historic church that once served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.

BC Organization Looks Past Recruiting Women to the Next Step: Keeping Them’

Typically, the solution to the stagnant number of women in construction – it’s been stuck at roughly 3 percent for decades – is to recruit more women. The BC Centre for Women in the Trades is taking a different approach: retention.

‘Congress: Do Your Job So We Can Do Ours’

On Jan. 10, the 20th of day of federal government shutdown, employees gathered outside the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C. and in cities across the country to issue a message to Congress and the White House: Do your job so we can do ours.

Team Effort Delivers IBEW Representation For 200+ at Eversource

Fed up with their deteriorating office environment, a majority of the employees at a utility call center in Connecticut recently voted to join the IBEW in a united effort to improve their working conditions.

Unions Rally to Reopen Government

On what is expected to be the 20th day of the federal government shutdown, the AFL-CIO is organizing a rally to call for an end to the partial government stoppage. More than 30 unions, including the IBEW, are co-sponsoring the event.

Federal Employees Start 2019 With Shutdown, Uncertainty

The new year has started off on a precarious, if all-too-familiar, foot for the nation’s federal employees.

Nebraska Wireman Wraps Up an 89-Year Career

Every year, the IBEW hands out hundreds –yes hundreds—of 70-year pins to men and women marking seven decades as members of the Brotherhood.

Department of Energy Program Could Help with Soaring Medical Expenses

For IBEW members employed by the U.S. Department of Energy and dealing with a work-related illness, there could be a new way to get help with your medical bills.

December 2018

  December Issue 

Local 1245 Families, Work Crews Face Camp Fire’s Devastating Aftermath

A staggering 86 members of Vacaville, Calif, Local 1245 found nothing but ash and rubble left of their homes in late November when they were allowed to return to the scene of the Camp Fire, the most catastrophic and deadly fire in the state’s history.

IBEW’s Cronk Elected B.C. Labour Federation President

The IBEW has a powerful new advocate on the British Columbia Federation of Labour. First District International Representative Laird Cronk was elected president of the organization on Nov. 29.

Dir. of Business Development Kasmark Elected National Lighting Bureau Chairman

IBEW Director of Business Development Ray Kasmark recently was elected chairman of the National Lighting Bureau, a non-profit lighting-education organization backed by IBEW and a number of other associations and government agencies.

IBEW Photo Contest: It's Time to Hear from You

The annual IBEW photo contest is a showcase for members to show off their skills with a camera and shine a light on their too-often overlooked jobs.

Embracing Apprentice’s Charity Drive, Local 413 Electricians Help Fill Santa’s Sleigh

With visions of presents under every child’s tree, one of Santa’s busiest elves and the big-hearted electricians at his day job are helping spread Christmas magic across California’s Santa Barbara County.

Michigan and Wisconsin GOP Weaponize Lame Duck Sessions to Thwart Voter Will

It is not every day that someone goes to work and returns home a hero, but for three members of Milwaukee LocIt’s not every day that a governor is booed at the annual Christmas tree lighting. Then again, it’s not every day that a political party goes into overdrive trying to consolidate power in a lame duck legislative session.

IBEW Members Honored for House Fire Rescue

It is not every day that someone goes to work and returns home a hero, but for three members of Milwaukee Local 494, that’s just what happened when they helped save two men and a baby from a house fire.

New York Governor to Local 3: ‘Your Fight is Our Fight’ against Charter/Spectrum

New York Local 3’s fight with Charter/Spectrum is nearing the two-year mark. Members and their allies are far from rolling over, however.

IBEW Leaders Mobilize on Capitol Hill to Kill Pension Attack, For Now

The call went out Monday Nov. 26: our pensions are under attack.

IBEW ‘Visionary’ Ed Hill Passes Away

International President Emeritus Edwin D. Hill, a transformative trade unionist who modernized and shepharded his beloved IBEW through one of the deepest and most painful recessions in history, died Saturday, Dec. 1. He was 81.

November 2018

  November Issue   

Stephenson Pushes Partnership, Apprenticeships to Business Leaders

IBEW International President Lonnie Stephenson was in Columbus this week to promote the role unions can play in helping companies solve their labor shortage problems

Labor Standards Updates Aim to Improve Canadian Workers’ Lives

Canada’s government announced changes to the country’s federal labor standards Nov. 1, and advocates say they will improve working conditions for the thousands of Canadians who work in federally regulated industries.

NLRB Continues Attacks on Working Families

The National Labor Relations Board was originally established to protect the rights of working people, but a series of recent decisions by the board – now dominated by Donald Trump appointees – rolls back years of employee protections, limiting the ability of workers to come together to win better wages and benefits and restricting their freedom to speak out on the job.

IBEW Congressman Promotes Apprenticeships on “This Old House”

Since taking office as New Jersey’s First District representative in Congress, Folsom, N.J., Local 351 member Donald Norcross has been one of the highest profile proponents of apprenticeships in the nation. Norcross answered questions from young apprentices on the show about how his life was changed by joining the IBEW.

Cool Heads, Big Hearts Prevail as IBEW Crew Races to Help Injured Man

The scene at the construction site seemed to unfold in slow motion, shop steward Bill Cole recalls, thinking about the moments after an accident involving an unstable jersey barrier left a worker shrieking in pain

Chicago Local Raises the Bar For Outside Training Excellence

Since the 1960s, thousands of Chicago Local 9’s apprentices and experienced journeymen alike benefited from the quality courses that the local provided at its Forest Park training center.

Code of Excellence Ensures Indiana Local Maintains Work at State’s Refineries

Oil refineries along Lake Michigan have been a steady source of good union jobs in Northern Indiana for generations, but they aren’t the guarantee of a comfortable, middle-class life they once were.

PLAs Embraced in B.C., Attacked in Manitoba

Project labor agreements are effective tools for helping ensure that all workers on a particular job receive fair wages. They boost apprenticeship opportunities and provide paths for local contractors to bid successfully on PLA-covered projects. But not everyone agrees about their value, as evidenced by recent developments in British Columbia and Manitoba.

‘The Voices of Working People Were Heard Loud and Clear’

With ballots still being counted in some races, this much is certain: At least 743 past and present union members will give voice to workers in statehouses, Congress and other political offices when new sessions convene in January.

Election 2018

A Message From International President Lonnie R. Stephenson

In the Wake of Janus: Preemptive Organizing Pays Off for IBEW Locals

From union-bashing flyers to deceptive emails, targeted ads on social media, intrusive phone calls and even unwelcome visitors at the door, the crusade against America’s public workers has gone into overdrive since the Supreme Court’s bruising decision in Janus v. AFSCME in June.

Trouble at the Polls? Insist on Casting a Provisional Ballot

Fast forward to Election Day tomorrow. You’re checking in at your precinct when a poll worker tells you you’re not in the book, that you’re not listed as a registered voter.

IBEW Members ‘All in’ for Midwest Governor’s Races

With Election Day almost here, IBEW members are doing all they can to get out the vote for races across the country. In the Midwest, that includes a handful of governor’s races critical to the futures of working families.

Tennessee’s Bredesen Will Work for Working Families

A former mayor and governor, U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen has a history of putting IBEW members to work.

Tester’s Track Record for Montana’s Working Families

With only a few days before Election Day, the senate race in Big Sky Country is a toss-up between Democratic incumbent Jon Tester and Republican challenger and state auditor Matt Rosendale.

Ax to Fall on Retirement Security If GOP Retains Power in Congress

The federal deficit is skyrocketing, wages are stagnant, and corporations are hoarding most of their windfall tax savings instead of investing in jobs and innovation.

Walking the Talk: Past Union Member Jacky Rosen Stands with Workers

Jacky Rosen didn’t have a track record on workers’ rights or anything else when she ran to represent Nevada in the U.S. House two years ago.

October 2018

  October Issue 

Missourians Said No to Right-To-Work. Why Elect a Senator Who Loves It?

Missouri voters struck a massive win for working families in August, voting down the state’s right-to-work law by a more than 2-1 margin.

In Indiana, Donnelly Fights for Working Families, Eschewing Politics and Party

Sen. Joe Donnelly appreciates organized labor’s strength, especially at one IBEW local union in northwestern Indiana.

An Opportunity for Working Families in Arizona

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona is retiring, and the candidates vying to replace him in the U.S. Senate couldn’t be more different – especially when it comes to issues affecting working families.

Don’t Gamble with Election Day: Most Americans Can Vote Early

Even as record numbers of early voters turn out to cast their ballots before Election Day, many Americans don’t know they have that option or are confused about the rules.

The Surprising Texas Senate Race: A Clear Choice for Workers

The Texas senate race wasn’t supposed to be close at all, but with just weeks before Election Day, all eyes are on an airtight race in the Lone Star State.

Boost Your Telecom Career With NACTEL

Are you looking to advance your career in the telecommunications industry?

Knocking for Change: IBEW Members Hit the Streets to Turn Out Midterm Vote

Fighting for pro-worker candidates on November’s ballot, IBEW members across the country are knocking on doors, making phone calls, writing postcards, leafleting job sites – anything and everything to get out the vote on Election Day.

North Dakota's Heitkamp Fights for Working Families

Winning statewide office as a Democrat in North Dakota should be impossible.

Lake Erie Wind Farm Could Mean Cleaner Air, More Jobs for Ohio Members

Members of Cleveland Local 38 could be floating to the jobsite within a few years if a new six-turbine freshwater wind farm on Lake Erie gets the go-ahead from regulators.

After Hurricane Michael, IBEW Line Workers, Tree Trimmers Begin the Hard Work of Recovery

The most powerful hurricane to make landfall in the Florida panhandle in at least 150 years smashed houses, sent a storm surge dozens of miles inland, tore up thousands of trees and cut power to an estimated 1.3 million customers. At least 11 people have been confirmed dead.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf Delivering for the IBEW

Pennsylvania IBEW locals have received more than $2 million in state grant money to expand their training centers as a part of Gov. Tom Wolf’s push to support apprenticeships.

Taking a Stand

November's Election and the IBEW Members Leading the Charge for Change

Canadian Members Press Parliament for ‘Lineworker Appreciation Day’

A push is on in Canada to designate July 10 as National Lineworker Appreciation Day there, and IBEW International President Lonnie Stephenson is encouraging all members in the union’s First District to help make it happen.

Members of Congress Stand with WUSA-9 Workers; Urge Station to Bargain in Good Faith

As Washington, D.C., Local 1200 marks a year battling for a fair contract at CBS-affiliate WUSA-9, members of Congress and other area leaders are urging the station’s corporate owners Tegna Inc. to show its workers the respect they deserve at the bargaining table.

Social Security, Medicare on the Ballot in November

A prominent member of Republican leadership recently announced support for cutting Medicare and Social Security benefits to pay for the ballooning budget deficit created by last year’s sprawling federal tax cuts.

The Deadly Effects of Right-to-Work Laws

It’s well documented that right-to-work laws lower pay and benefits. What they also do, according to a new study, is increase the chance of dying on the job.

Brotherhood Mayors Nationwide Defend City Workers’ Rights from Janus Assault

Taking a stand for the workers who keep their cities running, more than 40 mayors coast-to-coast have signed a pledge affirming their commitment to public employees’ rights and the unions that fight for them.

September 2018

  September Issue 

Brotherhood Knows No Bounds: Aussie Electrician Honors Late IBEW Friend

Garry Rogers and Todd Edgerly hit it off the first day they met, two electricians who lived half a world apart.

After Volcanic Eruption on Big Island, Hawaii Members Power Tiny Houses

Residents displaced by an historic, months-long volcanic eruption have a safe place to stay thanks in part to members of Honolulu Local 1186.

How Dangerous Could Supreme Court Nominee Kavanaugh be for Job Safety?

If Brett Kavanaugh, the president’s nominee for U.S. Supreme Court Justice, is confirmed, what will that mean for working people, particularly those in dangerous jobs?

Hard Work Pays Off for New Jersey Altice Employees

Altice USA became one of the dominant cable companies in New Jersey two years ago when it acquired Cablevision. But the company’s attitude toward its workers after the deal wrapped up convinced technicians that IBEW representation was right for them.

NLRB Moves to Undo Joint Employer Standard

The Republican-dominated National Labor Relations Board took a big step backward on Sept. 13 when it announced it was proposing a new rule on its joint employer standard, a decision that could negatively impact millions of working people, including some IBEW members.

IBEW Members Mobilize to Fix Florence’s Power Cuts

Even before Hurricane Florence made landfall last Friday, thousands of IBEW members from more than 17 states and parts of Canada had already been mobilized and were making their way toward the storm’s projected route, ready to repair damage the storm was expected to leave behind.

IBEW Congressman’s Report Makes Strong Case for Pro-Worker Reforms

Folsom, N.J., Local 351 inside wireman and business agent before his 2014 election to Congress, Rep. Donald Norcross is more familiar than most U.S. House members with the roadblocks to economic security for tens of millions of American workers.

California Members’ Effort Pushes Last-Ditch Wildfire Bill Across the Line

Firefighters across California are still battling dozens of wildfires as the state deals with one of its worst — and costliest — wildfire seasons ever.

For California Members, Heroism Under Fire

Five IBEW members have been honored for acting heroically to save lives last fall during one of the deadliest mass shootings in United States history.

A New New York Icon: Union Built & Worry-Free.

The Hudson River crossing between Nyack and Tarrytown, N.Y., is a terrible place to build a bridge. The river is three miles across, one of the widest spots on the entire river, where, in places, the bedrock sits deep beneath hundreds of feet of sandy riverbed.

Last Chance to Enter the IBEW Photo Contest

The Oct. 1 deadline for IBEW’s 20th Annual Photo Contest annual photo contest is just around the corner.

Trump Axes Pay Raise for Federal Employees

President Trump has made his decision on whether federal workers should get a pay raise next year. The answer is, “No.”

From Texas Courthouse to Capitol Hill, Obamacare’s Life-Saving Provisions at Risk

A Republican lawsuit being argued in federal court in Texas this week would gut Obamacare and strip affordable coverage – or any at all – from tens of millions of Americans with everything from high cholesterol and asthma to cancer, heart disease and other life-threatening medical conditions.

New Study Confirms: When Unions Thrive, Every Worker Wins

This Labor Day, a new study confirms something union members always suspected was true: unions are good for workers. All workers.

August 2018

  August Issue 

Trump Administration Issues Shock Visa Denial to Canadian Members

Despite a well-documented labor shortage in the midst of a construction boom, the U.S. Department of Labor shockingly rejected an application for Canadian members to work on construction of the Plant Vogtle nuclear station in Georgia.

In Right-to-Work West Virginia, Procter & Gamble Bets on IBEW Members

It’s been described as Procter & Gamble’s biggest construction project ever, and dozens of electricians represented by Cumberland, Md., Local 307 are working diligently to make the half-a-billion-dollar manufacturing facility a reality.

In Kentucky, an Executive Order Threatens Worker Safety

Kentucky workers got a little less safe in July when Republican Gov. Matt Bevin issued an executive order eliminating an independent board that oversees the state’s worker safety program.

Trudeau’s Pipeline Rescue a Boon for IBEW Jobs

Canada’s recent decision to buy a western provinces pipeline and oversee its controversial expansion has many in the IBEW’s First District hoping for an increase in job opportunities for members in British Columbia and Alberta.

‘Unsung Heroes’: IBEW Linemen Bring Relief to Fire-Weary Californians

As California’s brutal wildfires devour forests, destroy homes and leave thousands of people without power in suffocating heat, the welcome sight of IBEW linemen is never far behind.

Powering the Padres: IBEW Members, Contractor Put Petco Park atop the Majors

Thanks to the hard work and expertise of San Diego Local 569’s members, the city’s Major League Baseball franchise kicked off the 2018 season leading the league – at least when it came to solar power.

With California Utilities in the Balance, IBEW Locals Seek Sensible Wildfire Solutions

Last year’s California wildfires killed dozens of people and left more than 2,100 square miles of costly destruction in their wake. Now, with the 2018 wildfire season already underway, IBEW members in the Golden State are working with utility companies and lawmakers to craft fair legislative solutions to help lessen wildfire frequency and severity and to ensure that future wildfire victims will continue to have access to their due compensation — all without bankrupting utilities in the process.

IBEW Members Help Kill Right-to-Work in Missouri

In a resounding victory for the IBEW and working families, Missouri voters overwhelmingly rejected a right-to-work law on Aug. 7 that had been passed by the GOP-controlled state legislature and signed by former Gov. Eric Greitens.

Union-Run Health Clinics: Solidarity Through Affordable Care

In union-dense New York City, Local 3 has long operated a medical clinic for members from its headquarters in Queens. Its nearly 30,000 members could populate a respectably-sized small town, so it’s little wonder the local has the means to offer its Pension Hospitalization and Benefit Plan participants a wide range of services, from apprentice entry exams to X-rays.

One-Party Government Tips the Scales Against Workers

With crucial midterm elections drawing near, America's working families are being squeezed tighter every day by anti-worker policy decisions from every branch of government.

IBEW Member Helps Kids Go Back to School

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Local 728 member Phil St. Jean isn’t one to walk by when he sees someone in need, especially not when it’s in Dominica, his home country.

In On Aug. 7, Missouri Voters Have Their Say on Anti-Worker Right-to-Work

Opponents of Missouri’s anti-worker Proposition A seem to have done everything right. First, they collected more than three times the signatures needed to get a referendum on the ballot to repeal the state’s right-to-work law.

In Win for Workers, IBEW Strikes Tentative Deal with Verizon

This time, it looks like there will be no repeat of contentious contract negotiations with Verizon.

July 2018

  July Issue 

Executive Orders Are the Latest Salvo Against Federal Workers

The Trump administration has issued three executive orders seemingly designed to undercut the federal workforce and its workers’ right to representation.

B.C. Local Provides Life-Saving Overdose Training to Members

Illicit drug overdoses are claiming a staggering number of lives in British Columbia, and Vancouver Local 213 members are learning how to help.

D.C. Local Pays Tribute to Veterans Through Service

It was already approaching 80 degrees in Washington, D.C., as more than 70 IBEW members gathered near the western edge of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool early on Sunday, July 1. 

Rising Prices, Flat Wages: The Economy’s Booming, So Why Are Working People Still Broke?

The average American workers’ paycheck has a few more dollars in it than it did a year ago, but it doesn’t stretch as far.

Pro-Worker Labor Rule Dropped, Handing Power Back to Union-Busters

An Obama-era rule designed to grant more transparency to union election campaigns has been rescinded by the Department of Labor.

Southern California Members Keep Cool Despite Sweltering Temperatures

The IBEW and others in the electrical industry celebrated National Lineworker Appreciation Day on July 10. The timing was fitting in Southern California, where hundreds of IBEW members worked to repair power outages caused by some of the area’s hottest temperatures on record.

‘Working Man Serving Working People’: IBEW Wireman Runs for Pennsylvania Senate

Six days before the filing deadline for Pennsylvania’s May primary, a texting SUV driver swerved into the wrong lane and slammed head-on into Bill Troutman’s van.

With Boston Member’s Book Shines Light on Women in the Trades

A lot has changed since 1998, when Boston Local 103 retiree Susan Eisenberg published her first book detailing the struggles of women like her in the building trades. And yet, as she notes in the preface to the recently-released second edition, a lot has stayed the same.

After Janus: Blue States Move to Protect Public Workers

The multi-year campaign to cripple public sector unions did not begin with the Janus case in 2017, and it did not end with the 5-4 Supreme Court decision in June. Now the billionaires who funded the campaign are turning their attention, and their wallets, to convincing workers to quit their unions.

With Clock Ticking, Canadian Nuclear Workers Fight to Maintain Public Pension Access

The IBEW and other Canadian trade unions are urging the federal government to scrap a measure that would lead to major cutbacks in retirement benefits for the country’s nuclear workers.

IBEW Union Plus Scholarship Winners Announced

More than a dozen IBEW members and family members are among this year’s recipients of Union Plus scholarships. One young recipient on the list, however, never knew his journeyman lineman father.

Supreme Court Nominee’s Track Record: Corporations Win, Workers Lose

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh would cement the court’s big-business, anti-worker majority for years to come, squarely positioning all three branches of government against the rights and financial security of working people. His track record on the federal bench – including a 2016 ruling against an IBEW local – proves it.

It's July 10: Thank a Lineman

July 10 is Linemen Appreciation Day, a moment to celebrate the men and women who keep our country running and memorialize those who have been injured or killed doing their job.

Off-Broadway Play Raises the Curtain on Local 3’s Electchester

Strolling the tidy green grounds along the gently curving streets of Electchester, Queens, you pass classic red-brick apartment buildings, playgrounds, a grade school, a public library, a police substation, a small shopping center, a medical clinic, even a 48-lane bowling alley.

IBEW Leaders Push for Tougher Whistleblower Protections

IBEW officials joined with fellow transportation trades representatives in June to make an impassioned argument for stronger enforcement of federal whistleblower laws.

IBEW, Frontier Reach Proposed Agreement That Raises Wages, Keeps Pension Plan

One of three IBEW bargaining units that represents Frontier Communications employees has reached a tentative four-year agreement with the company that guarantees wage increases and protects the current pension system.

June 2018

  June Issue 

Local 77 Campaign Makes Washington Roads Safer for Utility Workers

It took three tries and a special election, but the resolve of Seattle Local 77 paid off this spring when Washington state lawmakers passed a move-over law to protect roadside utility crews.

Supreme Court Ruling in Janus: ‘An Attack on Every American Who Works for a Living’

In a 5-4 ruling by its conservative majority Wednesday, the Supreme Court overturned 40 years of established law in a case intended to cut the legs from under public sector unions.

50-Year Member, Louisiana Political Heavyweight Calls it a Career

Ben Nevers has filled a wide variety of roles since entering the apprenticeship program at Bogalusa, La., Local 1077 more than 50 years ago.

Heal Them or Harm Them? Fate of Social Security, Medicare Rests in Lawmakers’ Hands

Alarming headlines this month are raising fears that Social Security and Medicare are going bankrupt – which is exactly what lawmakers clamoring to slash benefits want Americans to believe.

Water. Rest. Shade: How You Can Avoid Dangerous Heat-Related Illnesses on the Job

It’s that time of year again. The days get longer. The sun rides higher in the sky. And heat-related illnesses start claiming lives and sending working people to hospitals at alarming rates.

Final Steps in Place for ‘True-up’ Arbitration After Railroad Members Ratify Agreement

IBEW railroad branch members covered under the U.S. National Freight Agreement ratified the proposed 2015-2019 contract in May, International President Lonnie Stephenson announced, and arbitration is set to resolve the few remaining issues.

New Study: Americans Believe in Unions

A majority of people view the role of unions as a good thing, says new research from Pew, and that’s good for working families everywhere.

IBEW Joins ‘Just Transition’ Task Force for Coal Workers

The IBEW has been tapped to join a task force created by the Trudeau government to assist coal workers and communities with Canada’s transition away from coal-fired power plants.

Local 357 Sister Brings Energy, Pro-Worker Platform to Nevada Assembly Race

Jennie Sherwood bursts with enthusiasm as she talks about her run for the Nevada statehouse. And it’s plain to see that the first-time candidate is brimming with a natural energy that she isn’t afraid to let show, even in the often-stodgy business of politics.

Michigan Legislature Repeals Prevailing Wage

In a blow to Michigan’s working families, the Republican-led Legislature voted to repeal the state's prevailing wage on June 6.

Right-to-Work Showdown in the Show-Me State

Missouri voters will still have their chance to repeal the state’s recently-passed right-to-work law, but Republican shenanigans mean the vote will come this summer instead of during November’s general election.

IBEW Activists in Ontario Gear Up for Thursday’s Elections

Elections in Ontario take place this Thursday, and IBEW members have worked hard in the weeks and months leading up to Election Day to educate their fellow working Ontarians about what’s at stake.

IBEW Members Offer Bright Future to Historic Oklahoma Park

The city of Henryetta, Okla., has become a favorite spot for organized labor in a right-to-work state because of its Labor Day Festivities, which are some of the largest in the state.

Los Angeles Claims Its Spot as America's No. 1 Solar City

The stars of Hollywood shine brightly in Los Angeles, but it is the city's world-famous sunshine that has catapulted the City of Angels atop the list of America's most solar-friendly cities.

May 2018

  May Issue 

A Decade’s Difference Pays Off in the Carolinas

In 2007, Charlotte, N.C., Local 379 held its meetings in a two-car garage.

Phoenix Couple’s Cross-Country Ride Aims to Fight Childhood Cancer, Give Thanks to the IBEW

Colleen and Rich Scheid each grew up in northern Indiana, but the two journeymen inside wiremen didn’t meet until 2004, when they were working at the Pastoria Energy Facility near Bakersfield, Calif.

Thomas Van Arsdale, IBEW Treasurer and Titan of the New York Labor Community, Dies at 94

The IBEW regrets to announce the death of former International Treasurer Thomas P. Van Arsdale, one of the giants of the Brotherhood from a family of icons. He was 94.

U.S. House Opens the Door to Another Great Recession

Nearly eight years of high-stakes lobbying by the banking industry paid off this week when the U.S. House voted to dismantle regulations that pulled the country out of the Great Recession, put millions of Americans back to work and protected consumers from financial ruin.

NACTEL Offers Advancement Opportunities in Telecom

Are you looking to advance your career in the telecommunications industry?

Michigan Prevailing Wage Repeal Halted … For Now

Working families in Michigan were dealt a break last week in the Republican Legislature’s extraordinary long-running attack on the state’s prevailing wage, but the state’s building trades warned the reprieve may be only temporary.

IBEW Bringing Broadband to Rural B.C.

Residents in coastal and rural British Columbia, including 44 First Nations, are about to get an internet upgrade thanks in part to members of Vancouver, Local 213.

Take Our Jobs to Mexico? Massachusetts Members Fight Back

Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey and other Massachusetts political heavyweights joined hundreds of IBEW members on the state’s South Coast May 12 to rally against the outsourcing of more than 150 local jobs to Mexico.

Repeal of Tax Hike on Union Members and Traveling Workers Stalls in Senate

A bill to repeal a new tax on union dues and unreimbursed job expenses has stalled in the Senate, a significant financial blow to many working families and union members.

B.C. Brother Inspires at Paralympic Games

The road that took Curt Minard to PyeongChang for the 2018 Paralympics wasn’t an easy one. He almost died — three times. But he wouldn’t change it for anything.

Alabama Frontier Workers Say ‘Yes’ to IBEW, Approve First Contract

Terry Waters and his fellow Frontier technicians in southwestern Alabama and western Florida weren't upset with their employer or working conditions. They did, however, think they could do better.

Sportsmen's Alliance Salutes Local 26 Leader for 'Tireless' Conservation Work

For “tireless efforts to rally fellow union members for conservation,” the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance honored Washington, D.C., Local 26 Business Manager George Hogan this spring for accomplishments that include restoring a popular Potomac River fishing pier.

Education Concerns Spur West Virginia Wireman to Run for Office

For more than 25 years, Paul David Ross has enjoyed a satisfying career as a journeyman inside wireman, a member of IBEW Local 317 in Huntington, W.Va.

How Politicians Are Killing Democracy One District at a Time

The next two national elections could decide the future of organized labor in America.

Nearly 700 Atlanta Gas Light Workers Join the Brotherhood

Nearly 700 Atlanta Gas Light workers will join newly created Atlanta Local 1997 after a successful election held April 19.

The IBEW's 2018 Photo Contest

For two decades, IBEW members across the U.S. and Canada have been sending us the images that tell the stories of who we are and the work we do. We've been proud to share those pictures with you, and this year we're celebrating a milestone - the IBEW's 20th Annual Photo Contest.

Workers Women’s Committees Empowering the Sisterhood, Making Locals Proud

They’re advocates for their union and the building trades, mentors, volunteers and friends who understand what it’s like to be a woman in a male-dominated industry.

April 2018

  April Issue 

The Revolution Will Be Wired Energy Jobs of the Future Pt. II

In 2009, then-President Barack Obama said the future of electricity was the smart grid.

Workers Pause on April 28 to Remember the Fallen

Nearly 5,200 workers died on the job in the United States in 2016, the most recent year for which statistics are available. There were more than 900 workplace fatalities in Canada that same year.

Ohio Local Pitches in to Ease Electrical Burden for Low-Income Families

Just north of Cincinnati, union activism, community service and politics go hand in hand. And Matt Von Stein hopes it stays that way.

Local 15’s Dean Apple Honored for Teamwork on Jobs, Clean Energy

An award honoring a successful labor-management effort to save jobs and fight for a clean energy future in Illinois was presented in March to Dean Apple, business manager at Downers Grove, Ill., Local 15, and to Exelon CEO Chris Crane.

IBEW and Partners Working to Save Pennsylvania, Ohio Nukes

For nearly three decades, energy consumers have been sending a clear message: they want clean, affordable and reliable power. Billions of dollars have been invested in scrubbing coal, switching to natural gas and building renewables.

Revised TPP Still Fails Canadian Workers

The Trans-Pacific Partnership had to be renegotiated after the United States pulled out of the controversial trade agreement in January 2017. Yet, even under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pro-labor government, the proposed deal remains a concern for Canada’s skilled construction workers.

IBEW The Power of Action: Key Anti-Union Bill Fails in Senate

In a major victory for the IBEW and all unions, the U.S. Senate failed to pass the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act on April 16, avoiding what would have been the biggest rollback in workers’ rights since the anti-union Taft-Hartley Act of 1947.

IBEW Members Win in Wisconsin, Build Momentum for November

Labor and working families in Wisconsin got a boost on April 3 when IBEW members and labor allies racked up impressive victories in municipal and judicial elections, sparking enthusiasm they hope will carry into the November elections.

Legislative Conference Energizes, Inspires Labor Leaders in Critical Election Year

More than 300 local leaders converged on Capitol Hill last week to talk with lawmakers about issues vital to IBEW members' jobs and economic security, as well as the broader fight for workers' rights.

Working People Eke Out Win Against Wage Theft

A controversial Department of Labor rule that critics alleged would have allowed employers to steal their employees’ tips was stymied last month, but not before the department suppressed evidence of the potential damage to working families.

Anti-Worker Lawyer Appointed to Chair NLRB as GOP Regains Control of Board

Management lawyer John Ring was appointed chairman of the National Labor Relations Board on Thursday, one day after the U.S. Senate narrowly confirmed him as an NLRB member.

Job-Rich Pennsylvania Pipeline Moves Closer to Completion

A massive pipeline project spanning the southern half of Pennsylvania has helped bring steady jobs for hundreds of IBEW members across the state, but after four long years, the first phase is finally nearing completion with the second close behind.

The 360-degree Saga of the Joint Employer Rule

On Feb. 26, the National Labor Relations Board reversed its previous ruling on the controversial Browning-Ferris case, a stunning backtrack of its December decision to undo the Obama-era rule aimed at protecting working people from unaccountable corporations. Are you looking to advance your career in the telecommunications industry?

NACTEL Offers Advancement Opportunities in Telecom

Are you looking to advance your career in the telecommunications industry?

Working Like Champions: Georgia Members' Skill on Display at this Year's Masters Tournament

Every April, members of Augusta, Ga., Local 1579 work at nearby Augusta National Golf Club during The Masters, providing world-class electricians during one of the golfing world’s highest-profile events.

House Education Committee Members Learn Value of Union Apprenticeships

Members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce toured a D.C.-area IBEW training facility, where they received an education of their own about the value of electrical apprenticeships.

March 2018

  March Issue 

Wireman-Turned-Candidate Puts Working People First in Race for Oregon House

Mike Ellison learned more about politics as a teenager than most people do in a lifetime.

IBEW Urges Bidding Process for Puerto Rico Power Restoration

IBEW leaders on Tuesday urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reverse course on a late-night deal that awarded a $200 million contract extension for power restoration work in Puerto Rico.

IBEW Member Unearths Winning Formula in the Garden State

Michael Soriano had a college degree in hand and had worked in jobs he enjoyed. But nearly 25 years ago, he changed his career path and followed his father into the trades when he began a New York Local 3 apprenticeship.

Young Workers and the Future of the Labor Movement

With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to issue a major anti-union decision later this year, and the National Labor Relations Board rolling back worker protections left and right, the future might seem bleak for unions. But there’s reason for hope.

In Kentucky, IBEW Members Thwart Attack on State's Unemployment Benefits

IBEW members in Kentucky joined with labor allies to put a stop to the state’s attempt to roll back unemployment benefits. The attack on working families would have had far-reaching consequences for members of the IBEW’s construction branch, in particular.

Boston Local Delivers Books, Smiles to Aspiring Electricians

Of all the things that enthuse American teenagers, you wouldn't expect new textbooks to be high on the list.

First Ship Built by IBEW for Canadian National Shipbuilding Strategy Launches

The first ship built by Vancouver, B.C., Local 213 members under the Canadian government's National Shipbuilding Strategy launched late last year from Seaspan's Vancouver shipyards.

Union Members Send Pro-Worker Candidate to Congress

In a victory for working people that seemed impossible just weeks ago, Pennsylvania union members tipped a deep red congressional district blue in a special election Tuesday.

Indiana RENEW Members Help Local Animal Rescue

The first 24 hours are crucial when you’re nursing an emaciated horse back to health, says Tammy Barnett, co-owner of the Horse Shoe Equine Rescue. That’s why she’s spent entire nights outside, in the freezing cold, monitoring and slowly feeding the neglected animals. Now, thanks to volunteers including members of Terre Haute, Ind., Local 725, those nights are over.

Numbers Tell the Story: Indiana’s Repeal of Prevailing Wage Is a Disaster

Vice President Mike Pence was governor of Indiana in 2015 when the state’s GOP-dominated Legislature passed a repeal of the state’s prevailing wage laws, arguing the measure would save taxpayers money without cutting workers’ salaries.

Pushing Infrastructure on Capitol Hill, IBEW’s Ross Urges Action

Construction and Maintenance Department Director Jim Ross testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy Feb. 27 about how the federal government can improve the state of the nation’s energy infrastructure.

Big Banks Fueled the Great Recession. GOP Lawmakers Want to Let Them Do It Again

Senate Republicans are making a rapid push to weaken banking regulations that pulled the nation out the Great Recession and put tens of thousands of IBEW members back to work.

Reformed: IBEW Local in Pa. Writes a Second Act for a Closed School

It didn’t take a miracle for members of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Local 163 to turn a closed Catholic school into an IBEW-NECA joint training facility, but leaders hope the building’s holy vibes will continue to bless the work being done inside

IBEW Members Bring Holiday Joy to an Island in Ruins

One of Bobbie Lynn Mayfield’s greatest joys is making Christmas special for people who otherwise would have little or nothing under the tree.

Safety Underground: Top-NotchManhole Training Goes Mobile

IBEW members working underground have experienced sweeping changes in recent years. Private contractors are performing an ever-larger share of the work once done by public utilities. Increasingly technical equipment has put more demands on everyone. And concerns about safety linger, in part because there's been little standardization throughout the industry.

IBEW Photo Contest: The Results are in

Nearly 1,776 feet above Manhattan, Joe Buonocore did something very few others would: he looked down.

Instead of vertigo, Buonocore, a journeyman inside wireman and specialist climber for New York Local 3, captured his mind-bending view of fellow Local 3 member Chris Bugeaunu hanging from the spire of One World Trade Center.

February 2018

  February Issue 

Every Vote Counts: How Workers Are Shifting The Political Landscape

“My vote won’t make a difference.”

IBEW, TVA Embark on Historic Code of Excellence Partnership

Embracing the IBEW’s Code of Excellence, the Tennessee Valley Authority and its union workforce announced a historic partnership Feb. 6, intended to strengthen shared values and inspire new levels of cooperation between labor and management.

Bankrolled by Billionaires, Anti-Union
Lawsuit Lands Monday at Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in an ominous case threatening the ability of workers to bargain collectively for fair wages, benefits and job conditions, the latest assault on unions financed by some of America's richest families and corporations.

Supreme Court to Decide Future of Public Sector Unions

On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in what some are calling the most important union rights case of the century. And many labor leaders and working people are bracing for the worst when a decision is handed down later this year.

Rebuilding Paradise: IBEW Crews Bring Light,Livelihood Back to Virgin Islands

As cruise ships began to return to St. Croix last November, tourists seemed surprised to see so many work crews busy on the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

State of the Worker

Family-wage jobs. Safe workplaces. Retirement security. Tax fairness. Quality, affordable health care. A voice at work.

Retiring Early? Don’t Make This Mistake

Thinking about retirement can be overwhelming. The list of things to consider often seems endless.

Day of action set to support working people’s rights

Two days before the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in a case that could have a devastating effect on working people's collective-bargaining rights, IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson is encouraging members across the country to take part in a national "Working People's Day of Action."

Unions Key as Pennsylvania Special Election Nears

The race to fill southwestern Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional seat ends March 13 and tens of thousands of union members will play an outsize role in determining the winner.

Connecticut local embraces RENEW to help paralyzed teen

When the family of a paralyzed teen needed help making their home more accessible, members of New Haven, Conn., Local 90 jumped into action to donate their time and skills.

House Democrats Call for $1 Trillion in Infrastructure Spending, 16 Million Jobs

U.S. House Democrats unveiled a sweeping plan Thursday to invest $1 trillion in the nation’s decaying infrastructure, creating 16 million new American jobs by tackling everything from rickety bridges and railways to safe water, renewable energy and high-speed internet access.

IBEW Members Near Completion on Massive Canadian Hydro Project

One of the largest transmission projects in North America is coming to an end, and when it does, it will have connected two Canadian provinces for the first time and employed approximately 3,500 IBEW members along the way.

Idaho Democratic Party Staff Join IBEW

For decades the Democratic party has relied on organized labor for support at the ballot. Now the staff of the Idaho Democratic party has voted to join Boise Local 291 for support on the job.

U.S. and Mexican Unions: Mexico Violating NAFTA’s Lax Labor Laws

The AFL-CIO and Mexico’s National Union of Workers formally complained to the Department of Labor that Mexico is violating the already low labor standards of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.

Public Sector Unions Under Attack in Florida

A bill designed to wreak havoc among public sector unions in Florida passed the state House on Jan. 25, and it now awaits action in the Senate.

January 2018

  January Issue 

B.C. Challenge: Keeping Women in the Trades

Recruiting women into the trades is getting a little easier, Lisa Langevin has found over more than 15 years as an electrician. But getting them to stay is another story – even as construction is booming across British Columbia.

Call Your Senators: Chamber Weighs Massive Rollback of Labor Rights

Congress is close to passing the largest retreat on labor rights since the implementation of the National Labor Relations Act in 1935, and several wavering Senate Democrats will cast critical votes deciding whether the anti-worker effort succeeds or fails.

New Member Orientations Key to Creating Good Union Activists

There’s an old adage that you only have one chance to make a good first impression. It’s also critical to orienting – and organizing – new members into the union.

Illinois Member Jumps into Political Arena Ready to Fight for the Middle Class

West Frankfort, Ill., Local 702 Business Manager Steve Hughart learned recently that a 96-year-old widow of a retired IBEW member was having trouble accessing her late husband’s benefits. Business agent Jason Woolard didn’t just help her secure those benefits; he went to her home and spent several hours helping get her finances in order.

Controversial, Anti-union Activist Poised for Lifetime Federal Judgeship

A lawyer with a history of working to promote anti-worker policies was among 17 nominees who advanced quickly this week toward near-certain appointments to lifetime terms as federal judges.

Are Fewer OSHA Safety Inspectors Putting Workers at Risk?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is down at least 40 workplace safety inspectors since early 2017, a troubling trend attributable to Donald Trump’s hiring freeze coupled with attrition. Budget cuts under consideration by the White House are likely to make matters even worse for worker safety.

Union Activists Help Kill Right-to-Work in Delaware, but the Fight Goes On

The IBEW and other unions scored a win in Delaware on Jan. 9, when the GOP-dominated Sussex County Council voted 4-1 against a proposed right-to-work law.

‘Building Futures’ Offers Second Shot at Life

The U.S. unemployment rate has remained in the low single digits for the past several years, a sign of a strengthening economy since the 2008 recession ran roughshod over millions of working Americans. But finding a solid middle-class job can still be a struggle for some, especially for someone who has spent time behind bars.

On the Chopping Block: Federal Employee Wages and Benefits

Trump Administration officials have suggested ways to save the government money in the next budget. And, no surprise, some of the savings are expected to come at the expense of working people.

The Week the NLRB Eviscerated Workers’ Rights

The National Labor Relations Board put its first Republican majority in years to quick use, issuing a flurry of decisions in a single week in early December that unraveled important pro-worker gains made over the last eight years.

Union-Made New Year’s Gift Will Play in Peoria for Years to Come

On the coldest New Year’s Eve in the history of Peoria, Ill., members of IBEW Local 34 gave residents a dazzling reason to brave the weather.

A Different Kind of Prison Pipeline

KC Matthews says she hopes to be an electrician someday and it’s thanks in large part to Bob Thomas and the Inmate Ward Labor program at the Central California Women’s Facility.