The Electrical Worker online
August 2012

From the Officers
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Winning Campaigns Show Promise

The organizing campaigns featured in this issue of The Electrical Worker are a testament to what can be achieved through teamwork across all levels of our organization.

From Fredericton, New Brunswick, to Jonesboro, Ark. — nearly 1,800 miles to the south — local unions are joining with the Membership Development Department in an unprecedented effort to bring the benefits and values of trade unionism to workers who need a voice on the job.

While the climate for organizing unions can be as different as the terrain and culture of our nations, states and provinces, the fact is that organizing is always hard work. Just ask the folks at Local 37 who lost four campaigns at NB Power before they won. I am so proud that — across our continent — organizers are applying the same work ethic and professionalism that supplies power to our cities and builds our hospitals and skyscrapers to the task of growing our labor movement.

None of us expected that our organizational culture would change overnight. But — with the help of new resources approved by the membership at two successive International Conventions — we are moving forward. That means leaving behind the self-satisfied complacency of local union leaders who refused to organize or were intimidated by employers and lawyers who were professionals in "union avoidance."

Professionalism is now ours, brothers and sisters. New tools like Project Tracker have helped give life to new projects under the Arkansas Recovery Agreement and have put more journeymen to work in El Paso.

The large swath of nonunion linemen joining Wichita Falls Local 681 to build transmission lines carrying wind power across Texas shows the value of locals paying close attention to the development of alternate sources of energy and other economic and political trends.

With an expanded research staff and Web presence, Membership Development is now poised to move into national campaigns against major employers. At the heart of our successes will be the growing communication among all of our organizers — including new volunteers — and the willingness to experiment with new methods and tactics.

Brothers and sisters, I know in every shop we have members with the intelligence, the passion and the work ethic to help us grow the IBEW. If your local leaders aren't asking for your assistance, volunteer. A larger, more influential IBEW is within our grasp and we need your help.


Also: Chilia: The Right Prescription Read Chilia's Column

Edwin D. Hill

Edwin D. Hill
International President