April 2012

Letters to the Editor
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Wisdom from the Rearview Mirror

I'm a journeyman lineman who retired at 65 with 32 consecutive years in good standing. I worked for many contractors from California to Maine to Florida to Washington State. I could never understand the people who whine about paying taxes! The U.S. has the largest armed forces in the world and the most expensive interstate highway system, which I put 400,000 miles on to get to good paying jobs. I was only out of work three months in 14 years.

Watching the politics of the U.S., I don't understand union members who vote to defeat their own welfare.

Now, putting your politics in military form, if I had said that the main objective was to defeat or get rid of the captain of the ship I was to serve on, that would be cause for court martial or mutiny or treason! It is a mystery how Sen. Mitch McConnell isn't censured from Congress. In the service, no matter your judgment of the person, you respect the flag and the uniform, no matter who is representing it.

As far as I'm concerned, voting for right-to-work candidates would put a lot of members out of work. I have worked nonunion (Alberta, Canada) with the threat of firing held over employees' heads.

The way you keep the wages up and brotherhood strong is by supporting all unions. Vote accordingly, work safe, do a good journeyman's job, keep up with technology and innovation, keep a positive work ethic and earn your wage so your employer stays in business.

William A. Winacott
Local 258 retiree, Ormiston, Saskatchewan

One More Smartphone Tool

I am not a IBEW member, but a partner of a IBEW member. I see you got an iPhone app [available for Apple and Android users], thank you so very much for this.

I was also seeing in The Electrical Worker paper that you have no QR code for smartphone readers to get right to your paper on their phones.

I have attached a red QR code that links right to your newspaper once scanned. I feel this would further your communication greatly with smartphones and iPads.

Feel free to use at your discretion. It has been an honor to help out the IBEW in such a small way and to further the IBEW cause.

Brian Michaletz
Johnson City, N.Y.

(Thanks for the QR code. It works, folks, try it! We plan to develop one for the May issue of the Electrical Worker.)

List of Retirees?

I enjoy reading our union paper. It is always a good source for what's happening around our great country. I was a union fireman before I changed career paths, now I am a journeyman lineman. I would like to request that we list recent retirees in the back of the Electrical Worker newspaper. It could state their name, age, years of service, local and what utility they worked for. This I feel is a nice send-off to a career of service!

Mike Karalis
Local 66 member, Houston

(Editor's Note: The International Executive Council approves pensions at each quarterly meeting. We print minutes of each meeting in the Electrical Worker but because the IBEW processes an approximate average of 400 pensions a month, such a list would occupy too much space in a printed 20-page newspaper. But all of those names — listed by local union number — are available on the IBEW Web site, www.ibew.org, by clicking on the International Executive Council link on the "About Us" page.)