March 2017
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Also In This Issue A Good Thing?
IBEW weighs in on
possible New England FairPoint sale read_more

Target: Working Families
National right-to-work
bill proposed read_more

Clean Green Dream
Texas plant diverts coal emissions, buries CO₂ read_more

North of 49°
Leadership, Determined Workers Lead to Vancouver Organizing
Win Over 'Fake' Union read_more

Au nord du 49° parallèle
Un leadership et des travailleurs déterminés mènent à une victoire syndicale contre des « faux » syndicats à Vancouver read_more

Editor's NoteDue to space constraints, In Memoriam will not appear in this issue. It will be back in April.





  Cover Photo

More Than 1,400 BGE Workers Join the IBEW

After an 18-month organizing drive, a majority of Baltimore Gas & Electric's 1,418 gas and electric transmission-distribution workers voted for IBEW representation Jan. 12.

"This is a fantastic moment for our new brothers and sisters," said International President Lonnie R. Stephenson. "This will transform not only their lives, but the lives of their families, and I think it will be an inspiration for working people across the U.S. and Canada."

BGE workers will now form a new local — Baltimore Local 410 — chosen because it is the area code served by BGE. It will be the first time Stephenson will charter a new local since becoming international president.

After four failed campaigns over 20 years, the fifth was a success.

"This is the biggest election victory for working families and the IBEW that I can remember in the last 30 years," said Fourth District International Vice President Kenneth Cooper, who was heavily involved in the campaign's design and execution. "This is a very big, a huge deal."

The Long Road

Victory was never assured. Many organizers on this campaign were there for the ones that had come before in 2010, 2000, 1998 and 1996. They knew the challenges only too well: management's vehemently anti-union culture, the paternalistic nature of a formerly local company, the reality that workers were already paid well.

Despite a more hopeful atmosphere this time around, the IBEW and BGE were bound by a past of loss and disappointment.

And word was, if it didn't work this time, there wouldn't be another.

But failure properly channeled holds lessons for success. IBEW leaders and organizers took a long painful look back at the opportunities that weren't seized and recent successful organizing campaigns elsewhere and came up with a winning blueprint. read_more

  Local Lines

Officers Column Stephenson: Growing from the Ground Up read_more
Chilia: The Right-to-Work Con read_more

TransitionsAlan Freeman read_more

CircuitsIBEW Electrician / Congressman Appointed
to Labor-Focused Committee; Millennial Minority Workers Look Forward While Giving Back read_more

LettersMaking America Great;
Tool Bag read_more

Who We AreFired While his Wife was in Labor, Man Gets a Second Chance with the IBEW read_more


Change of Address