October/November 2001 IBEW Journal
President Hill opened the session by announcing that the
local Red Cross expressed its deepest appreciation for the
IBEWs offer to set up a blood donation center at the convention,
but that they were overwhelmed with donors and had no staff
to come to the Moscone Center. He also noted that the planned
Ninth District concert for the evening had been canceled.
The convention then heard from Robert Balgenorth, president
of the California Building and Construction Trades Council,
AFL-CIO. Balgenorth, a member of IBEW Local 441, Santa Ana,
California, lauded the Brotherhood for its leadership on every
fight of importance to the states construction work force.
He said the construction trades will continue to play a major
role in helping the state solve its energy crisis through
the building of efficient, environmentally friendly power
plants. [ Balgenorth Speech
President Hill then announced that the First District Caucuscomposed
of Canadian localswas deadlocked in its attempt to nominate
an International Vice President. The vote in the one-local,
one-vote format was reported as 41-41. He noted that under
Article III, Section 3, of the IBEW Constitution, the full
convention has the power to decide through a per capita vote
any election where the caucus cannot reach a decision.
Several delegates spoke on this matter. One urged that only
Canadian locals be permitted to vote on the election issue.
President Hill responded that the Constitution was specific
and that he did not have the power to break it. Three Canadian
delegates then rose to ask their U.S. counterparts to abstain
voluntarily from voting, should the full convention be called
on to decide the First District Vice President.
The Resolutions Committee then presented its first report.
A critical tool for manufacturing members was affirmed by
the convention when it concurred with the committees report
recommending the expansion of the Enhanced Training Opportunity
Program (ETOP). The committee recognized the importance of
ETOP and encouraged the establishment of the training program
for every IBEW-represented bargaining unit.
[ ETOP Opens Doors Wide from
May Journal ]
"This training will help our current employers to be
more productive in the world marketplace," said a delegate.
"And in the unfortunate situation where we lose employers,
we have downsizing, or reduced manufacturing facilitiesour
membership will have training that will allow them to gain
work that will help to maintain the standard of living that
the IBEW has brought to them."
By a voice vote, delegates agreed with the committee that
the convention endorse ETOP as the training program of choice
for manufacturing members and that employers be encouraged
to utilize ETOP.
Without discussion, delegates agreed with the Resolutions
Committee and approved a resolution in support of nuclear
energy through legislative initiatives, regulatory reform,
research and development and other measures. The committee
submitted and the delegates voted in favor of substitute language
stating that nuclear energy is "a" practical and
economical large-scale source of electricity that does not
pollute the air, instead of the "only" practical
and economical large-scale source of electricity that does
not pollute the air.
Delegates agreed with a Resolutions Committee report that
encourages all construction locals to participate fully in
the IBEWs Internet-based construction Jobs Board. The committee
also recommended the International Office expand the concept
to other applicable branches of the Brotherhood.
The convention then heard from International President Emeritus
John J. Barry, who received a sustained standing ovation.
President Hill introduced Barry as one of the great leaders
in IBEW history and spoke about the man himself. "He
may look imposing if you only saw him presiding at a meeting,"
President Hill said, adding that he was privileged to know
the human Jack Barry who felt deeply about his work. "Ive
seen him with a tear in his eye" for what happened to
IBEW members, he said.
President Emeritus Barry said that IBEW members properly
take a lot of pride in their work and products, but nothing
outshines the union they have built. He recalled that 15 years
ago, at the 33rd International Convention in Toronto, he told
the convention "the time to talk is over, the time to
fight, to be more aggressive and to show more spirit"
is at hand. Barry thanked everyone in the union for their
commitment, particularly to organizing, that made that call
[ Barry Speech ]
The convention then adjourned for the day.
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