May 2011

From the Officers
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An Honor and a Solemn Duty

I am honored that President Hill has appointed, and the International Executive Council confirmed, me as Secretary-Treasurer of our great union. As a business manager, a member of the IEC and as vice president, I have seen Ed Hill's leadership up close and am privileged to work beside him to protect the legacy of the IBEW and expand our horizons for the future.

I salute the excellent work done by my predecessor, Lindell Lee. Lindell is a strong but quiet man who let his actions do the talking. I thank him for the example that he and those who came before him have set—not just in standing watch over our union's benefit funds—but in expanding them to meet new challenges on many fronts—the marketplace, technology, politics and demographics.

I am blessed to be supported by our fine senior executive assistants and dedicated staffs at the International Office, our fund offices and plan professionals to help meet these challenges.

I learned the value of union benefits early from my mother, who worked so hard as a member of IBEW's manufacturing branch. Her legacy sustained my activism and hope as I took charge of my home local's benefit funds. As our membership base expanded, many of our local unions were able to offer steady improvements.

Our situation has changed. The economy is still suffering. In nearly every section of North America, unemployment has eroded the economic base of our benefit plans. To make matters worse, powerful politicians have the audacity to question whether workers even deserve the benefits we have won over the years.

We are in a fight for the heart and soul of our society. What happens in my home state of Ohio and other places will determine whether we as a people value labor or are content to let our future be dictated by others. I pledge my full energy and devotion to defend our IBEW legacy.


Also: Hill: Paul Ryan's Jobs Killer

Salvatore J. Chilia
International Secretary-Treasurer