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New Mexico  Reporter Remembers IBEW Grandfather


September 20, 2010

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Staci Matlock, a reporter for the Santa Fe New Mexican dedicated her Labor Day story to her now-deceased grandfather Steve Matlock, a 40-year member of the IBEW and lineman for Southern Pacific Railroad who joined the union in 1921.  She said:

World War II made my grandfather’s job even more imperative. Railroads and the linemen who kept open communication lines between stations were essential to moving soldiers and equipment across the country. The IBEW membership almost doubled to 361,000 members by the end of the war.

After quoting the spouse of a union member on the benefits of membership, Matlock says, “Even nonunion people like myself have benefited from the work of labor organizers through the years, probably in ways we no longer recognize or remember.”  Returning to her grandfather’s story and example, she says:

It is likely my grandfather’s four decades with the railroad would have been even harder and less well-paid if it had not been for his union.  Its strides to improve conditions meant he could provide for his family and ensure his labor did not go unrewarded.

Click here for the full story.