The Electrical Worker online
August 2016

From the Officers
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Why We Endorsed Clinton

Earlier this summer, the international officers of the IBEW made a major decision, to endorse Hillary Clinton for president.

We have heard from many members who support that decision. We have also heard from those who disagree and question why we are supporting Clinton.

In the interests of clarity and transparency, we want to address those concerns here.

There will be two candidates on the ballot Nov. 8 with a chance of becoming our next president.

One of them is Hillary Clinton. As senator from New York she boasted a 94 percent lifetime score from the AFL-CIO. That means on the issues that matter to us as union members — from right-to-work to prevailing wage — she supported the labor movement 94 percent of the time.

She also voted for judges and regulators committed to preserving collective bargaining, workplace health and safety regulations and workers' rights on the job.

During her campaign she has called for the biggest investment in our industrial and energy infrastructure since World War II, a long overdue move that would result in millions of jobs, including many good construction and energy jobs.

And on economic policy, she has specifically called for strengthening unions and collective bargaining as one way she as president would help grow the middle class.


The other candidate is Republican nominee Donald Trump.

As we report in this issue, he has had, at best, a mixed record working with unions as a real-estate developer. We also know that he praised right-to-work laws and once said that American workers "make too much money."

But here is the biggest reason why we think Trump does not deserve any IBEW members' vote.

Last spring he issued his list of potential Supreme Court nominees endorsed by conservative, anti-union groups like the Federalist Society. Judges like Wisconsin's Diane Sykes, a close ally of Gov. Scott Walker.

Just before Justice Antonin Scalia's death, the court was on the verge of making a ruling in the Friedrichs case that would have made the entire public sector right-to-work.

The next justice to replace Scalia will be the swing vote on the court. It just takes one bad decision to set a precedent that could set back the labor movement decades.

Can you imagine the damage someone like Sykes or any of Trump's picks would do to this country?

It is not just bad politics to endorse someone like Trump. It is suicide.

Sen. Bernie Sanders had the support of many IBEW members and for good reason. He put pro-worker issues front and center, from opposing bad trade deals to raising wages and cracking down on big money in politics.

We are pleased he entered the race and support his efforts to make sure the Democratic Party keeps its focus on those issues in this fall's campaign.

But Democratic voters made their decision and nominated Clinton. And that means you all have a big choice to make.

You only need to look at what happened in Wisconsin or West Virginia, two states that have gone right-to-work recently, to understand that elections have consequences.


Your vote is your decision and your decision alone.

But one of our responsibilities as officers of this union is to study where each candidate stands on the issues and make a recommendation on who to support.

It is not about partisanship or personalities. It is about who will make it easier to collectively bargain, to organize and grow.

A vote for Trump is a vote to put a union-buster on the Supreme Court — simple as that.

A vote for Clinton is a vote for a candidate who has stood by unions in the past and sees us as partners in the future.

The IBEW has provided so many good things for ourselves, our families, and our nation.

We can't risk a president willing to throw that all away.

Edwin D. Hill

Lonnie R. Stephenson
International President

Salvatore J. Chilia

Salvatore J. Chilia
International Secretary-Treasurer