The Electrical Worker online
November 2015

Letters to the Editor
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Tuition-Free Opportunity

The officers' articles in the Electrical Worker newspaper are always on target and straight to the point. I really appreciated Secretary-Treasurer Sam Chilia's September editorial, "Respect Apprenticeship," on the value of the apprenticeship program. Well done.

After my wife and I put our children through college, we realize it is no small task — or cost — to get the degree that is required in this country to move on to hopefully bigger and better things. Unfortunately many young adults end up saddled with huge loans that weigh them down for many years or decades to come. I had no idea the number of apprentices educated in the U.S. and how it speaks volumes to walk away debt free and qualified to be a productive member of society. This should be screamed from the rooftops in today's market and bragged about as one of the many positive benefits the IBEW and AFL-CIO offers in the way of opportunities.

To the officers, a quick thank you for being true servants of the workers across this country. Your articles come straight from the heart. Thanks for your hard work in the International. You make all of us proud.

Mike Rockford
Local 38 member, Cleveland

Proof of Brotherhood

On Aug. 14, my wife Dawn was in a very bad accident. I was about an hour away at work at the time when my 11-year-old son called me in a panic and was only able to say to me "Dad, Mom got hit by a car!" I arrived at the hospital, and give the lady at the desk my name. As I stood there I looked through the opening into a common area of the trauma room, where I saw Dawn lying on a stretcher, with a neck brace on, not moving. Then I see a priest walk over to give her a blessing. I thought she was gone, that I simply couldn't get there in time to see her. But she survived. She was rushed into surgery and has many broken bones and horrific injuries that she will have to recover from.

Dawn spent the next three weeks in the hospital, and then was transported to a rehab facility. I was home with our three sons, Anthony, 11, Dominic and Carmine, 10-year-old twins.

I was on unpaid leave from work, taking care of the kids and at the hospital. It was touch-and-go for a while. There was such an outpouring of support from IBEW members, and members of other trades. I was getting phone calls, visits, donations, flowers. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

Everyone knows when you are on a job, there is complaining, about the wage, the contract, the job conditions, whatever it may be at that moment. If there are times when you think that brotherhood doesn't exist anymore , please let me be the one to tell you that couldn't be further from the truth!

Dawn is home now. She is unable to stand up or walk right now, has had some major complications, and still has a long, painful road ahead of her. But, she's alive! This is without a doubt the most humbling experience of my life. Being the recording secretary of this local, next time I sit at the general membership meetings and look out into the membership, I am going to feel very proud to be a member of Local 589. I can only hope to one day return the favor. I know I could never express how much it means to my family and I what everyone has done. I just want to say thank you to everyone who thought of my wife and my kids. I truly am very proud to be a part of this.

Augie Maccarone, Local 589 member
Jamaica, N.Y.


Jamaica, N.Y., Local 589 member Augie Maccarone thanks his IBEW brothers and sisters for their support while his wife, Dawn, recovers from an auto accident.

An Important Reminder

We can't prevent time but through the result of our actions, we can manipulate change in its potential and severity by how we live our lives. My one aspiration and fulfillment in my work is my dedication to family. We all may have different reasons as to why we come to work and do the things we do, but there should be a reason why we work safe.

We are all here to accomplish a task, whether that be to come home to our families every night unscathed, enjoy our hobbies in life, fulfill a personal goal, etc.

Work safe for the values of the union, work safe for your personal interest and work safe for your fellow co-workers whose family is reliant on your preservation.

Ben Parkinson, Local 57 member
Salt Lake City