December 2010

IBEW Organizers Talk Union at International Lineman's Rodeo
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IBEW organizers collected the names and addresses of nearly 200 nonunion linemen who were interested in learning more about the union at the International Lineman's Rodeo and Expo in Kansas.

The rodeo is the largest yearly event of its kind in the world, bringing together thousands of linemen from all over the planet, making it a perfect opportunity for the IBEW to meet nonunion utility workers.

The IBEW hosted its own vendor booth at the expo part of the rodeo for the first time and International Organizer Brian Heins says interest was high.

"It was an amazing reaction," he says. "We talked to more than 1,000 linemen, both union and nonunion. We will be sending out information about the IBEW to the nonunion folks. "

Heins says that organizers gave away free gift bags and held raffles to attract attendees, but that the IBEW's reputation for good wages and top-notch training was the ultimate attraction.

Veteran IBEW members were also pleased to see the union's booth at October's premier lineman's rodeo, he said.

"They were very happy to see us," said Utility Department International Representative Shawn Reents. "The booth ended up serving as a meeting place for union and nonunion linemen."

International President Edwin D. Hill was also in attendance, talking with a pair of newly-minted nonunion linemen from Texas about what it means to be in the IBEW.

Reents thanks Heins, International Representative Ed Mings and Eleventh District Vice President Curtis Henke for their help in putting it together.

"We hope to do it next year," he says.