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October 2014

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On the Election

As we approach the midterm elections we are beginning to see many of our brothers and sisters looking for excuses to not vote for the Democrats. This is hard for an old Democrat to understand. If anyone who doubts who the Democrats care for would look at the past records of Republican administrations, they would see that the only time there are any substantial gains made for organized labor is under Democratic-controlled Congresses.

One of the main goals of House and Senate Republicans is to eliminate as many organized labor gains as possible. It is understandable that the big business people want to hold back all gains that would cut into their profits, but it is not understandable to me how people who work for big business would agree with those principles. Without labor, they won't make money.

We in the labor movement must understand that we must do everything to increase our standard of living and improve the general welfare of the average American citizen. We must also understand that there are situations that in some cases would hurt the general public but would provide jobs for construction workers; oil pipelines are a prime example of that situation. We must weigh all the possibilities, and try to come up with an answer where all parties benefit if possible.

In the case of the pipeline that will carry oil from Canada to refineries in the United States, that oil is destined to go to China, not the United States. The potential disasters in the path of the pipeline will be on American citizens for the profits of big oil. I also agree that the so-called free-trade agreements are not helping labor at all. It is incumbent upon us to inform our representatives and senators that we are against any so-called free-trade agreements that are not in the interest of American labor.

Robert E Fritz, Local 35 retiree
Hartford, Conn.

Excellent Apprentices

Apprentices from the city of Roseville, Calif. We are a small utility with only a few crews and four linemen. Our apprentices don't get much credit, but the three of them are doing a good job!

Shawn Murphy, Local 1245 member
Vacaville, Calif.


Apprentices from the city of Roseville, Calif.

Apprentice of the Year

My son, Robert Robertson Jr., center, received the Apprentice of the Year award from the Upper Peninsula Construction Council. When this photo was taken, he was a fifth-year apprentice member of Marquette, Mich., Local 1070 (and shown here with two members of Boilermakers Local 169, Area 4). He has since topped out as a journeyman wireman. I am a proud mother.

Donna Robertson, mother of Local 1070 member Robert Robertson Jr.
Marquette, Mich.


IBEW_Facebook  From Facebook: Every month the IBEW Facebook page receives thousands of comments from our dynamic and engaged community of members and friends. Starting this month, the Electrical Worker will share some of the best with its readers.

Why Vote?

I am glad to see the IBEW involved in politics. Union members need to vote these anti-union politicians out of office and we need to educate the public about the good things about unions.

James Jones, Local 716 member

We need to decide what is most important to us, then vote accordingly. For me the most important thing is living wage jobs for my brothers, my sisters and I. The GOP has proven that they will not provide the right candidate to help our country with this issue. If my brothers and sisters cannot see this, living wage jobs will continue to disappear.

Steven DiMatteo, Local 351 member
Folsom, N.J.