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Delegates Continue Action on Resolutions

September 23, 2011

Delegates continued consideration of resolutions presented to the membership by the Resolutions Committee, chaired by Boston Local 104 Business Manager Tiler F. Eaton and Bloomington, Ind., Local 2249 Business Manager Carven B. Thomas served as secretary.

After discussion by delegates, the following actions were taken: 

Resolution No. 28. The Resolutions Committee combined Resolution No. 28 (Funding of Political Action) and Resolution No. 58 (Political Action Committees). The Resolutions Committee recommended that local unions be strongly discouraged from operating their own political action funds, saying that having one IBEW PAC shows the determination, strength and commitment of the members of our Brotherhood to friends and foes alike.
The original resolution was amended to endorse the establishment of a political action committee covering IBEW locals in Canada.

After a question from the floor from A. Michelle Laurie, president of Vancouver Local 258, concerning the different laws governing campaign contributions on either side of the border, President Hill clarified that any fund established in Canada will employ counsel to ensure that the fund is in compliance with Canadian law.

Resolution No. 36. A resolution submitted by International President Hill and Sam Chilia said the IBEW recognizes the important contributions immigrants have made to the United States, but stemming the tide of those entering the United States illegally must be a priority for federal officials. The organization is also on record as rejecting any guest worker program and for establishing strong labor and wage protections for foreign workers here on a visa.

The resolution’s reference to E-verify – an online program used to check an employee’s legal status – became a topic of debate. In support of a failed amendment to delete all references to E-verify, Victor Uno, business manager, Dublin, Calif., Local 595 said: “Many delegates here do not know what an E-verify program is. I cannot support a resolution that calls for a program that we do not use in the local.”
 An amendment offered by Anchorage Local 1547 delegate Chris Tuck proposed to add the words “that must contain safeguards against false positives and at the same time protecting the privacy of all workers” to the resolution’s statement supporting “a worker verification program such as E-verify” was passed. 

Resolution No. 35. The resolution called for parity among locals for all Book II re-sign procedures to ease the travel and bookkeeping requirements for members traveling to other jurisdictions for work.
The Resolutions Committee recommended nonconcurrence based on what they said was the impossibility of devising a system of complete parity in locals’ re-sign procedures.

Speaking in opposition to the committee’s recommendation, Detroit Local 58 delegate Susan McCormick said that while she acknowledged that it may be impossible to devise a system of complete parity, “by standardizing the day of the month in which re-signs are required, it will lessen the burden on both office staff and members. “
The motion of nonconcurrence failed and after floor debate, the original motion carried. The convention, thus, votes to set up a system of parity in re-sign procedures.

Resolution No. 24. The convention urges all local unions and their union employers to review and consider adopting and joining the IBEW/NECA Family Medical Care Plan to benefit all IBEW members and the electrical industry as a whole.

Speaking from the floor in favor of the resolution, Billy McDaniel, business manager of Kansas City, Mo., Local 412, trustee of one of three utility plans that are part of the FMCP, called attention to the drastically increasing out-of-pocket expenses facing workers across the nation. The FMCP, says McDaniel, is improving customer service and will be even stronger with more participating local unions.
In other business before the Resolutions Committee, the convention accomplished the following:

Resolution No. 23. The IBEW stands opposed to the privatization of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. Experience in Europe shows that privatization would be disastrous both in cost and in service to the public.

Resolution No. 25. The convention urges all local unions, their officers and staff to promote and educate IBEW members and employees about participation in the National Electrical 401(k) plans.

Resolution No. 26. The convention calls upon the IBEW International Office to provide local unions with information and training regarding the various kinds of pension plans and retirement savings programs to assist in negotiations.

Resolution No. 27. The convention supports the continuing partnership between the IBEW and the National Electrical Contractors Association.

Resolution No. 30. The IBEW calls upon leadership on every level to continue to participate in discussions to unite the AFL-CIO, Change to Win and the National Education Association to help create a unified labor movement to better advance the interests of all working families.

Resolution No. 31. The IBEW goes on record opposing an obscure corporate tax break known as a “Reverse Morris Trust.” The loophole has been utilized by companies, including publicly regulated utilities, to avoid paying millions of dollars in taxes while having adverse consequences for consumers, workers, and the federal treasury.

Resolution No. 32. The convention calls upon all local unions with construction and maintenance jurisdiction to post and update the Construction Jobs Board on the first and third Monday of each month to include all current and upcoming information for each classification of construction members.

Resolution No. 33. The IBEW will continue to fight for legislation that will reverse the economic polarization in the U.S. and Canada  and resist the growing right-wing movements in Canada and the U.S.

Resolution No. 34. The IBEW is a strong ally of the March of Dimes. Members and employees have helped raise nearly $250,000 for the organization since the 2006 International Convention. The convention resolved to strengthen and support these efforts in the future.

Resolution No. 37. The IBEW supports its railroad members working for America’s freight railroads who have been working without a contract since January 1, 2010, and calls on management to fairly negotiate a contract that is equitable for all employees. 

Resolution No. 39. The IBEW recommends that in honor of the 125th anniversary of the Brotherhood, the 39th International Convention be held in the city of St. Louis – site of the first convention of what became the IBEW.

Resolution No. 40. The IBEW calls on all locals to educate and engage their members on the issues and candidates to further the union’s grassroots political action program.
Combined Resolutions

Resolution No. 38. The Resolutions Committee has combined Resolution 38 (Business Development) and Resolution No. 59 (Business Development and Strategic Investments). The IBEW will adopt a national business development team to aggressively seek and secure work for all IBEW members by building strategic partnerships and engaging in customer outreach.


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