IBEW Members Join
"Show Us the Jobs" Tour
Jeff Deckard (right) and Boyce Christensen (second
from left) are
welcomed to Washington by Secretary-Treasurer Jerry O’Connor
and President Edwin Hill at the destination of the Show Us "The
Jobs" bus tour.
Jeff Deckard, an unemployed member of IBEW Local
683 in Columbus, Ohio, traveled to Kentucky for his last job. Boyce
Christensen, vice president of Local 354 in Salt Lake City, Utah,
has only had twelve months of work since 2002.
Travel for both of them took a new twist in March when they joined
unemployed workers from every state and the District of Columbia
on the "Show Us The Jobs" bus tour. Deckard says: "I
went on the tour because I was hoping that it would get publicity
and show that President Bush's jobless recovery means that corporations
are doing fine, but working people are hurting."
The tour, sponsored by the AFL-CIO and Working America, an organization
that reaches out to all working families, visited eight states and
eighteen cities. Deckard and Christensen shared the bus with unemployed
software programmers, students and small business owners. They attended
town meetings, pancake breakfasts and addressed press conferences.
They met workers who were losing jobs as plants move offshore and
heard from mayors of America’s new ghost-towns.
Christensen says: "This was a life-changing event. At the
start of the tour, we would get up one by one and talk in terms
of ‘I’ and ‘me’. But four days later, we
started using words like ‘our’ and ‘ours.’
We became family...I’m from a pretty conservative place. I
had never gone to a rally before. But when we got to Washington,
D.C., I got hoarse yelling ‘Export George Bush!’"
IBEW members can read Boyce Christensen’s online journal
from the bus tour at Show
Us The Jobs.