The Electrical Worker online
September 2016

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IBEW's Trump Investigation

Thanks for the excellent article in the August issue on Trump's business practices, "Does Trump Build Union: An IBEW Investigation," that supplied a lot of useful facts as well as a behind-the-scenes look at two IBEW business managers from different regions, teaming together. I posted a link to it on Facebook that many people shared, which meant to me that — while they "knew" this economic argument, they were glad to get evidence to back up their case.

Susan Eisenberg, Local 103 retiree

Saluting Another Trailblazer

In reference to the August Electrical Worker feature "Trailblazer Still Opening Doors for Others," I would like to say kudos to Jeri Porter. I have worked the same jobs as the Porters in the past and known them since the late '70s. Great people and did our trade proud. My wife, Vicki Rugg (Neketin) is also a journeyman wireman and started her apprenticeship in 1975 on the Alaska pipeline. I met her in 1979 at Hanford working the nukes. What a great lady/wireman and tough as nails.

She served on the executive board and negotiating committee for Local 413. She has gone through the same things as Jeri and somehow was able to do her job and represent the IBEW with pride. She is now retired and enjoying life in Arroyo Grande, Calif. I would work beside her anytime (and have).

Michael Rugg, Local 413 retiree
Arroyo Grande, Calif.

Labor's Candidate?

I have been a member of the IBEW for over 40 years and for the life of me, I can't remember ANY Republican that has come out in favor of organized labor. If I have missed one, please inform me as to who it was. Throughout the years, I have had to travel with my family in order to make a decent income to share with and educate them. I have been able to afford the luxury of seeing to it that all of my six kids received a decent education and a household where their mother was able to stay at home and aid them in their education and upbringing. This could not have been accomplished if we depended on the Republican Party to be of value to us. No matter who the Democratic Party candidate is, that person will be of value to organized labor, it's a proven fact!

All union workers and those that are unfortunate to not be working under a union agreement should be voting Democratic across the board this November. Your employment future and the status of your family life is in your hands.

George A. Laiacona Jr., Local 728 retiree
Galveston Island, Texas

Getting Rid of Unions the Easy Way

I'm a lineman originally from Boston Local 104, and I retired in 2007 after 25 years as a member of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Local 759 in Florida.

I read my monthly Electrical Worker newspaper and felt the need to send my personal views of right-to-work laws. I give my permission to reprint the following letter printed in the Sun Sentinel newspaper:

Florida's right-to-work law is nothing to be proud of.

Workers in Florida are not required to join a union. Unions that have fought for health and welfare benefits, safe work environment, opportunities for job training and fair wages.

The Sun Sentinel often writes that women do not make the same money as men. In the 35 years I was a union lineman, my sisters in the union made the exact same wage, and there was no difference in opportunities for advancement. A lineman and a linewoman were equal, and for that I am proud.

The only people benefiting from a right-to-work state are the few who refuse to pay their fair share for union dues, the cost to support the advancement in human rights. Shame on them, knowing they will receive the same benefits as the hard working union men and women.

Employers want to get rid of unions. It costs them money to provide a safe work place, provide for health and welfare benefits and pay a fair wage to the best workforce in America.

Living in a right-to-work state? Nothing I'm proud of.

Joe Boudreau, Local 759 retiree
Pompano Beach, Fla.