The Electrical Worker online
August 2012

New Tactics, New Spirit
index.html Home    print Print    email Email

Go to

Grow or die. That was the message that led delegates to the 38th International Convention in Vancouver to vote for greater support for the IBEW's organizing efforts.

New resources, new tactics and new spirit — supported by unprecedented teamwork between all levels of the union — are making a difference in the lives of members and others who want to join our union family.

In construction, IBEW-developed software programs are tracking projects in the pipeline across the nation, giving local unions and signatory contractors the jump on competitive bids to put unemployed members back to work. And efforts to recruit young workers are building strong ties with surrounding communities that enhance our ability to win new work.

In the professional and industrial sectors — at utilities and other workplaces where some employees are already working under the protection of IBEW contracts — internal organizing campaigns are strengthening the ability of currently organized workers to protect their gains.

The IBEW has launched eight new national campaigns calling upon major employers to recognize the rights of workers — who are feeling the pinch of an economy and a too-often hostile political environment — for a voice on the job.

Each campaign has its own Web site and a structure able to quickly respond to misrepresentations and opposition from our adversaries. We will be reporting on the progress of these campaigns in coming months.

In this issue of The Electrical Worker, we report on some recent winning organizing efforts.

Today, in the midst of the 2012 campaign season — where anti-union forces are spending billions on candidates who would like to see our unions destroyed — IBEW's unwavering commitment to grow the labor movement is a promise kept to our courageous founders who came together to challenge a comparably arrogant and powerful corporate elite back in 1891.

Growing our organization means more members pitching in, reaching out and hooking up with their local unions' membership development efforts. A stronger, larger, more influential IBEW will benefit all of the union's members.

As in the past, our adversaries still have the power to defeat some of our friends in public office and roll back some of labor's gains.

But — if we are united — they will never, ever stop workers from seeking a brighter future by organizing on the job.

Read more: Winds of change for outside linemen Texas

Read more: New plans, new members in Arkansas Arkansas

Read more: In Canada, fourth time’s the charm Canada

Read more: Broadcasting workers win voice in Boston Boston

Read more: Top-down, bottom-up organizing in El Paso El Paso


From construction sites to utilities and beyond, ambitious organizing tactics are bringing IBEW representation to working men and women nationwide — while boosting the union's rolls and helping ensure long-term success.

IBEW Organizing Software Builds Union Power

New IBEW organizing software makes finding out about upcoming construction projects and organizing campaigns in your area as easy as clicking a mouse.

Two new IBEW programs are harnessing the power of advanced software and data processing to build market share and grow the IBEW.

Project Tracker: Compiling data on upcoming projects, Project Tracker helps business managers and signatory contractors throughout North America track the latest construction jobs in their area, listing contact information for general contractors and owners. The system draws its data from reporting systems at McGraw-Hill and Industrial Info Resources. McGraw-Hill reports on all projects with a minimum dollar value of $100,000, IIR on projects at a minimum of $1 million. The system is free of charge for all locals.

OARS: The Organizing Accountability Reporting System is an online program that lets organizers from British Columbia to Florida share information on IBEW campaigns in their area — from upcoming elections to reports on union-busting activities. IBEW organizers can now share information straight from the field with their fellow organizers throughout the United States and Canada, giving union drives a big boost.