October 2013
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Also In This Issue Nuclear sub won't be repaired: Defense Dept. read_more

Calif. city workers gain voice with IBEW read_more

Sharp solar panels, made with IBEW bug read_more

Nice try, but dirty tricks don't work, Comcast read_more

New employment in W.Va. gas extraction read_more

Top-down win in Conn. read_more

Fee Payers
Objection Plan read_more

PBF Summary Annual Report read_more

IBEW e-news: new mobile app underway read_more

National ad spotlights skills, community read_more





  Cover Photo

Utility Companies Recruit Wiremen for Emergency Response Teams

A massive storm whips through a region. The local utility company brings in pole inspectors, engineers or other managerial personnel from out of town to assess damage and dispatch linemen and tree trimmers to restore power.

These "bird doggers," as they are known in the field, have no knowledge of the roads and landscape. They can't devise detours to evade downed trees or buildings to rapidly guide equipment to hospitals and other critical locations.

As the widespread power outage drags on, a barrage of public criticism slams the utility and even the IBEW local union representing men and women who are putting their lives on the line to restore power.

This scenario — too often repeated as more frequent storms torment North America — has forced leaders on both sides to ask, "Can't we do better?"

In New Jersey, Michigan and Connecticut, IBEW local unions and their employers have decisively answered that question with innovative thinking and action.

They are training Brotherhood wiremen — many of them unemployed — as members of emergency response teams to not only assess storm damage, but to assist utility customers — fixing damaged connections to their homes, hooking up generators, etc.

These skilled union bird doggers are part of the community. They know the terrain. They have a personal interest in quick recovery from storms.

In arduous battles against ice storms, derechos and hurricanes, the developing model of cooperation between IBEW's construction and utility branches marks "a glowing combination of union solidarity and community engagement," says International President Edwin D. Hill. read_more

  Local Lines

Officers Column Hill: All in to Win? read_more
Chilia: Storm Responders in Your Neighborhood read_more

LettersA Selfless Act read_more

TransitionsChristine Pynaker;
Ernest J. Viveiros read_more

Organizing WireDel. Bus Mechanics
Join IBEW read_more

In MemoriamJuly 2013 read_more
August 2013 read_more

Who We AreAnnual Motorcycle Ride is a Mile-Long Banner for Brotherhood read_more


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