October 2014
print Print  email Email Archive


Also In This Issue Ed Hill:
Union Busters Win When We Don't Vote read_more

At the Races:
Illinois, Alaska, Kansas, New Hampshire, Maine read_more

Where You Live
Marches On read_more

Buying the Election?
Following the Money read_more

Secret Networks
Taking Unions
'Out at the Knees' read_more

Nice Try
IBEW Defeats
Outsourcing Plan read_more

Deep South Success
First U.S. Clean Coal Plant a Big Win for Miss. IBEW read_more

Firefighters & Live Wires
Raising Awareness for Emergency Personnel read_more

North of 49°
Union Program Opens Up Opportunities for Women in the Trades read_more

Au nord du 49° parallèle
Un programme syndical ouvre des portes aux femmes dans les secteurs de travail qualifiés read_more

Fee Payers Notice read_more




  Cover Photo

A Candidate of Our Own:
IBEW's Norcross Runs for
U.S. House

One of the only journeyman wiremen ever to run for Congress took a break from the campaign on Labor Day to lay a wreath at the grave of Peter McGuire, a giant of the 19th century labor movement, and the man credited with creating the only national holiday honoring working men and women.

Folsom, N.J., Local 351 Assistant Business Manager Donald Norcross has been coming to McGuire's grave in Arlington Cemetery in his hometown of Pennsauken every Labor Day for decades. First he came as child with his father, George Norcross Jr., a legendary figure in the South Jersey labor community, then as a member of Local 351, as president of the Southern NJ AFL-CIO Central Labor Council, state senator and now as the Democratic candidate in New Jersey's 1st Congressional District.

"The fight for a decent life for working families began with people like McGuire. All these years later, we're still fighting for it," Norcross said about the founder of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners who called for a national day of rest in 1882. McGuire died in Camden in 1906.

The 1st District is a heavily Democratic semi-circle across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. Unlike many congressional districts gerrymandered to hold one race or class, the district has a bit of everything from the wealthy suburbs near Cherry Hill, the former industrial powerhouse of Camden — now best known for being one of the poorest and most violent cities in America — and sandwiched in between, the working class neighborhoods where Norcross grew up with his three brothers George III, Phil and John.

"My parents said we could be anything when we grew up, whether it was a Ph.D. or an electrician," Norcross said. "The measure of your success was if you worked hard and served your community."

If he wins, Norcross will be in the select company of union tradesmen who served in Congress, a group that includes at least one other IBEW member. In 1922, Frank J. McNulty was elected for a single term to represent New Jersey's Eighth District. At least one other member of the trades currently serves in Congress: Steve Lynch of Massachusetts, an ironworker. read_more

  Local Lines

Officers Column Hill: Hanging Together —
or Separately? read_more
Chilia: At Risk in
November read_more

TransitionsJack Heyer;
Howard Ritchie Jr.;
Joseph M. Carrillo read_more

CircuitsReid-Murphy Exhibit Opens at IBEW Museum;
RENEW Members Boost Leadership Skills, Look to Future;
IBEW Helps Build Baylor Football's New Stadium;
Canadian National Railway Awards Member's Community Service read_more

LettersOn the Election;
Excellent Apprentices;
Apprentice of the Year;
Why Vote? read_more

Who We AreRetired Portland IBEW Leader: 'Still in the
Dogfight' read_more

In MemoriamNOTE: In Memoriam will return next month