The Electrical Worker online
June 2014

Letters to the Editor index.html Home    print Print    email Email

Go to
Calling All Hands: Organize

Whether you are union or nonunion, we are still brothers. Henry Miller, the first president of the IBEW, welcomed all into our brotherhood. Our current president, Ed Hill, said "nothing is acceptable for keeping people out who want to be part of us." (IBEW Journal, November 2003). There are many great, qualified people who wish to join us, yet many are restricted. The little voice inside tells us that this is wrong. I have heard remarks against the nonunion segment of our industry. Maybe an apprenticeship was for whatever reason out of their grasp. Maybe they were refused. We linemen are all in this together. Let's help bring those who need a little more help back into the light. All those who wish to join us deserve fair and just treatment.

With necessary upgrades to our transmission and distribution infrastructure, the future that is coming for linemen is awesome. With all this we will need linemen, instructors, trainers, inspectors, contractors and our numbers will increase immensely.

Lean in to your strengths and help others. The trials and adversity we face today build character and prepare us to be the champions that we are for the cause.

Mike Glueckert, Local 44 member
Butte, Mont.

A So-Called Patriot?

Received my Electrical Worker paper today and could not believe the letter to the editor by a so-called "brother" from Local 57 in Salt Lake City. I had to reread it ("Scott Walker, True Patriot?" April 2014) several times to believe a member of the IBEW could write such an idiotic and untrue article. He implied that Gov. Scott Walker was a true patriot because he was giving millions back to the people of Wisconsin as he had promised in his campaign. Does it not matter to him that so-called patriot Scott Walker has taken away the rights of working people in the state of Wisconsin? The so-called patriot Gov. Scott Walker has cut jobs of hard-working union and nonunion workers, screwing with people's pensions and denying previously negotiated benefits. Does the brother from Salt Lake City know that the funds for the so-called patriot Scott Walker's winning campaign came from organized, out-of-state labor haters?

Robert E. Fritz, Local 53 retiree
Hartford, Conn.

For the last two months there has been discussion about the pros and cons of Gov. Walker's politics. For me the obvious issue is: if you don't like what he is doing, then get to the polls and vote. His winning voter margin was so small that a decent turnout of union voters could have defeated him.

I respect all the brothers and sisters who write about this issue. But if we don't get union members to vote, we won't have a forum to speak our minds. Make sense of what is in all of our best interest. The future of labor needs our vote.

William Larsen, Local 159 retiree
Madison, Wis.

Solidarity, Brothers and Sisters

I came late in my working life to our union, looking for work that paid a livable wage, with benefits for myself and my family. The IBEW was there for me. For that I wear my pride of membership and gratitudeĀ on my shoulder for those before me, for those who gave the last full measure in the labor struggle in our country and around the world, to the men and women who perform the mundane tasks necessary for the functioning of such an organization.

During the winter of 2010-2011 as our brothers and sisters in labor were in the field in Madison, Wis., and Columbus, Ohio, and elsewhere, my heart would swell with pride with account after account in this paper of brothers and sisters who traveled cross-country to stand with the workers under siege. I stuck clippings on the fridge door for my daughters to see what true patriots look like. More than worker solidarity, I saw in these men and women a modern version of Christ's parable "...a public sector worker lay along the road, beaten by corporations and their lackeys... a politician came along and crossed to the other side...a private sector worker did the same, then a worker came along, and lifted the injured worker and carried her... Now tell me who was the good neighbor?"

For those who day in day out reap the benefits resulting from the struggle of labor over the years but cannot recognize that there aren't public sector workers and private sector workers but just our neighbors, perhaps then I respectfully submit that they should reconsider their union membership.

John Andrechak, Local 44 member
Butte, Mont.