January 2016
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Also In This Issue Supremely Troubling
Huge implications for high court's decision read_more

Workers Radio Gets Boost
NPR to start carrying labor news reports read_more

Red State Elects
Families Governor

In La., IBEW member named staff chief read_more

Clean Power Problem
IBEW joins federal case against EPA regs read_more

North of 49°
New Ontario Regulations Undermine Trades read_more

Au nord du 49° parallèle
Les nouveaux règlements de l'Ontario compromettent les métiers read_more

Convention Qualifications Notice read_more





Change of Address



Cover Photo

New York City Local Reclaims Lost Ground

For decades, New York City construction sites have been union construction sites. Period. Competition among contractors was fierce, but except on the margins, victory never went to those who skimped on safety, cut benefits or underpaid.

Until five years ago.

The recession ended in the United States and billions of investor dollars seeking safe haven were plowed into Big Apple real estate.

"The business changed more in the last half-decade than in my whole career," said New York City Local 3 Business Representative Elliot Hecht. "When I was an apprentice, anything that had a wire on it was being installed by us. Times changed."

Nonunion contractors established a beachhead in the construction business. The financial institutions that had dominated New York City development for decades were sidelined, along with the developers and contractors they worked with. Nonunion contractors started winning smaller residential and hotel jobs, especially the ones outside the Manhattan core.

And then real estate development in New York City went insane. Today, permit applications are at levels not seen in more than half a century and hotel developers are adding rooms faster than at any time since the Jazz Age almost 100 years ago.

And nearly 90 percent of the hotel and residential permits in the last 18 months have been pulled by nonunion contractors.

"This is the biggest change in this industry in my lifetime. It is surprising that it happened so fast, but no one is confused about what is behind it," said Nicholas Coletti, executive director of the New York Building Trades Employers' Association. "We're too expensive."

Many big city trade unions have seen this change over the last 40 years, and many of them sat on the sidelines and watched as their contractors lost ground.

Like all successful New Yorkers, Local 3 took action.

"The men and women who built Local 3 had to fight for the market share we inherited. There is no way we are going to pass on less than we inherited," Hecht said. read_more

  Local Lines

Officers Column Stephenson:
Making History in 2016 read_more
Giving It All We've Got read_more

TransitionsRobert W. Pierson;
Christopher Erikson;
Robert W. Dunleavy;
James D. Denton;
Debra Harget read_more

Organizing WireMontana Local Ratifies
First Contract after
Two-Year Fight;
New Attitude Sparks Big Growth in Vermont Local;
Hundreds of Missouri Municipal Workers Join IBEW read_more

CircuitsIn Peoria, A Life's Work Remembered;
Renovated Classic Truck Finds Home with Florida Retiree;
Diversity, Youth in RENEW Conference;
Sisters in Solidarity: The 2016 IBEW Women's Conference;
Proposed Clean Lines Project Clears Hurdle;
In Detroit's Renaissance, Opportunity for the IBEW read_more

LettersThe IMF's Pro-Labor Message;
Higher Ed, the IBEW Way;
Honoring our Founder;
A Debt of Gratitude;
Time to Throw the
GOP Out read_more

October 2015 read_more
November 2015 read_more

Who We AreIn a First, Woman
Member Elected to
Maine AFL-CIO Helm read_more