The Electrical Worker online
November 2012

From the Officers
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Defending our Democracy

As of this printing, one of our nation's most decisive and historic presidential contests was still raging. Regardless of the outcome, the election laid bare the best and worst elements of our nation's political life.

On the topside, Americans celebrated — and IBEW members participated in — the grassroots mobilization and door-to-door discussion and debate that give vigor and spirit to our nation's still young democracy. The IBEW proudly began this process in Philadelphia on Aug. 11 rallying alongside thousands of trade unionists in support of America's Second Bill of Rights.

On the downside, as misleading and negative ads jammed our TV screens, it was frighteningly obvious that our proud democratic tradition is under siege from a swelling stockpile of money and manipulation that only the nation's most powerful corporations and their super PACs could afford.

In the last issue of The Electrical Worker, we warned against the consequences of making bad choices in 2012 by voting for candidates who had openly advocated for weakening or destroying our unions and our right to organize and collectively bargain.

We expressed a clear preference between the candidates. But we respect our members' rights to vote as they choose. The day after a hotly contested union election, we come back together to continue working to improve our organization and the lives of our members. That is our challenge today.

We can start by honoring the spirit that occupied Philadelphia on Aug. 11 — where we told both political parties — Democrats and Republicans — that we need a new agenda and a new conversation to meet the needs of working families in America.

This issue of the Electrical Worker features the inspirational example of local unions and leaders who are defending our besieged democracy by working hard every day for an economy where prosperity for North America's working families is shared, not monopolized by the few; where opportunity is extended to those who play by the rules, not just to those who manipulate them.

I am proud of all of our members who are carrying the spirit of our labor movement into the future.


Also: Chilia: Government Aid for Manufacturing or
Dangerous Sell-Outs? Read Chilia's Column

Edwin D. Hill

Edwin D. Hill
International President