December 2016
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Also In This Issue The IBEW's New Marketing Tool
Good, old-fashioned
quality read_more

Green Power and Red Ink
Nuclear industry seeks assist in energy marketplace read_more

North of 49°
NextGen Young Workers Conference Inspires, Educates read_more

Au nord du 49° parallèle
La conférence des jeunes travailleurs NextGen cherche à inspirer et à enseigner read_more

NEAP Summary Annual Report read_more

NEAP benefit notice read_more





Change of Address

  Cover Photo

Southern Organizing Strategies
IBEW Organizes Memphis, Tenn., Manufacturing Plant

The IBEW welcomed hundreds of members into the Brotherhood Sept. 27 when the workers at Electrolux's Memphis, Tenn., plant voted by more than 2 to 1 to form a union.

More than 90 percent of the 700-member bargaining unit voted in the election and more than 70 percent of them voted to join Memphis Local 474. The victory came 16 months after the first organizing campaign fell 59 votes short.

It took two votes and more than two years of organizing by dozens of Electrolux workers, IBEW organizers from across the country and union activists from Sweden to ensure victory.

"This is the most important manufacturing victory in a southern, right-to-work state in my memory," said Director of Professional and Industrial Organizing Carmella Thomas.

Factories have been moving south from union-strong industrial cities for decades and have proven very difficult to organize. Even when the companies haven't actively opposed organizing, like Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga two years ago, political pressure and unfamiliarity with unions has made victories rare.

The southwest Memphis plant makes high-end commercial and residential stoves and ranges that cost from $2,000 to upwards of $10,000. It was one of the highest profile economic development projects in the city when it opened two years ago. The company received state and local subsidies worth nearly $180 million to build the factory, according to an investigation by Memphis' newspaper, the Commercial Appeal.

But soon after the facility opened in 2014, there were problems, said Stanley Reese, the head of the volunteer organizing committee. Many people applied for jobs and started taking courses specifically for jobs at Electrolux after they were promised starting salaries of at least $15 an hour. But when they started work, they made closer to $12, sometimes only $11 an hour. read_more

  Local Lines

Officers Column Stephenson: An America That Works for Everyone read_more
Chilia: Our Future is Still in Our Hands read_more

TransitionsOra "Rex" Dutton;
Dan C. Bowers

CircuitsFact Check: Busting an
Old IBEW Pension Myth;
Vermont Member Wins 'Rising Star' Award;
Annual RENEW Event Honors the Fallen

LettersTargeting Working Families;
Pension a Pillar of the IBEW;
Nuclear Still is Key Alternative Energy;
The Win in Tennessee;
Wisconsin Local Opens its Own Museum read_more

In MemoriamOctober 2016 read_more

Who We AreVolunteer Work Earns California Lineman National Honor read_more