June 2015
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Also In This Issue 'A Huge Win'
NLRB expands worker protections at Verizon read_more

Council Hearts PLAs
Labor pacts the law in LongĀ Beach read_more

'Never Give Up'
Texas utility workers
win contract read_more

North of 49°
Organizing Win at Windsor Hospital Reaps Gains read_more

Au nord du 49° parallèle
L'organisation pour la victoire syndicale à l'hôpital de Windsor récolte les
gains read_more

IBEW Membership Privileges read_more





Change of Address


  Cover Photo

A Call to Serve
IBEW's Members in Public Office

"I regularly ask our members to get involved in the community outside of the workplace," says South Bend, Ind., Local 153 Business Manager Mike Compton. Compton says his creed of "leading by example" pushed him into a successful campaign in 2006 for a seat on the South Bend City Council.

"I found out after my election that my fellow Democrats do not understand organized labor, especially the building trades," Compton says. And some Republicans, he says, have never had a discussion with a union representative. "My seat on the council gives me the opportunity to educate everyone I work with on the positives of organized labor and to put a friendly face on labor."

Compton is not alone. Dozens of IBEW members serve in public office. At the top of the list is newly elected U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-N.J.). But dozens more serve their communities and states on zoning and school boards, city councils and state legislatures.

Many of these members balance the responsibilities of public office with the pressures and time constraints of jobs, union leadership and family responsibilities. But, like Compton, they say their efforts are essential to winning more influence and respect for working families in places of power and policy. Many say they have established decent relationships across partisan lines. And they urge others to join them.

Even when they lose their campaigns, union members who contest for public office often come away with a sharper understanding of the importance of entering the political arena.

In a blog post on AFL-CIO Now, F.X. Crowley, a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees summarizes the lessons learned in his unsuccessful campaign for a seat on the SanĀ Francisco Board of Supervisors where he lost by 132 votes out of more than 35,000 cast.

"Running for office takes you from behind the curtain to center stage," Crowley says. Even in San Francisco, a city friendly to labor, he says, stereotypes prevail. "One voter said to me, 'You're not like a union guy. You're like the police and firemen I know.' Stereotype or ignorance, the voter's comment shows we had work to do," he adds. Without having members in public office, says Crowley, "It's like having your negotiation go into arbitration. You are at the mercy of the arbitrator. The same goes for politics. You are at the mercy of the elected." read_more

  Local Lines

Officers Column Hill: Taking Out the Trash read_more
Chilia: Run, IBEW Members, Run read_more

TransitionsJerry Westerholm;
Denise Johnson;
Ray Kasmark
Jim Ross;
Eddie Dedmon;
William J. Moore read_more

Organizing WireWith Wis. Prevailing Wage under Attack, New Report Cites Law's Benefits;
New Union Election
Rules Take Effect;
White House Calls for Greener Grid read_more

Organizing WireKan. Asplundh Campaign Takes Inside Track read_more

CircuitsDetroit Local Honored for Volunteer Efforts;
Portland, Ore., Local Pickets for Fair Contract;
American Water Donates Thousands for Union Conservation Efforts;
Sixth District Activist RENEWing a Family Tradition read_more

LettersThe Work/Life Balance;
In Praise of the Movement;
The New Generation read_more

In MemoriamApril 2015 read_more

Who We AreMotorcycle Clubs Fly the IBEW Flag, One Vest at
a Time read_more