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The IBEW Logo – A Proud Symbol Must Be Protected


April 12, 2010


The rise of Internet communication and the advent of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are allowing union members to communicate, organize and advocate for workers more effectively than ever before.

That means that it’s more important than ever to protect the IBEW’s brand and our official logo, the fist grasping 10 lightning bolts. It is registered as an official trademark of the IBEW – and we protect it as such.

Unfortunately, some people in cyberspace are inadvertently or intentionally exploiting the union’s official logo.

A search on Facebook for “IBEW” or “International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers,” yields hundreds of results. Many of these pages are run by local unions that have put their own creative and approved spin on the official logo by including alternate graphics or their local number – like Albany, N.Y., Local 236 or Montpelier, Vt., Local 300. These are sanctioned uses of the IBEW logo.

But the most popular social networking site, the official Facebook page of the union, is the only page that can legally display the patented logo. The same holds true for official MySpace, Twitter, and other social media pages.

Many members are using the logo in a benign fashion, as several proud members have started their own Facebook, MySpace or Twitter pages to positively identify themselves with the Brotherhood. Our goal is not to dissuade anyone from showing their IBEW affiliation online. But it is in the interest of the membership that the International Office retains sole ownership and usage of the logo to protect members from confusing information and to maintain the integrity of this treasured symbol.

The IBEW retains the prerogative to initiate legal action against anyone using the IBEW logo without permission. Anyone running for a union office may not use the logo in campaign materials, as it may give the impression that the IBEW is backing that person in his or her election. Unofficial Web sites that touch on IBEW issues using the logo could confuse visitors in search of official information regarding a particular local union or the International President.

Thank you for adhering to these guidelines as we push further into cyberspace together to promote union values and vision.