February 2018
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Also In This Issue Puerto Rico:
IBEW volunteers pitched in to help an island in tatters read_more

DOE Medical Testing read_more

NJ Co-Gen:
Sticking together paid off for 37 new IBEW members read_more

Member Orientations:
How to create engaged union activists with a simple welcome read_more

North of 49°
B.C. Challenge: Keeping Women in the Trades read_more

Au nord du 49° parallèle
Le défi de la C.-B. :
garder les femmes
dans les métiers read_more





Change of Address



Cover Photo

State of the Worker

Family-wage jobs. Safe workplaces. Retirement security. Tax fairness. Quality, affordable health care. A voice at work.

In these days following President Donald Trump's Jan. 30 State of the Union address, the state of America's working families is in danger.

Pay hasn't kept up with inflation. Rules protecting health and safety on the job are being rolled back daily. The new federal tax law is even more generous to the rich than the original, unpopular proposals, and expiring middle class tax cuts set a financial time bomb for working Americans. Banking laws and consumer protections are being shredded, threatening workers' retirement savings and their dreams for the future.

Collective bargaining still protects union members' wages and benefits, but even the strongest contracts can't fend off the torrent of political attacks on workers' rights, safety and livelihoods.

And most employees have no union armor at all. Companies determined to keep it that way are spending wild sums to derail organizing drives, abetted by GOP lawmakers and brazen anti-labor political appointees who can't make worker protections disappear fast enough.

In such a climate, it's little wonder that 61 percent of Americans polled in August 2017 told Gallup that they approve of unions — the highest pro-labor sentiment in 15 years.

And there's the silver lining: the surging backlash against politicians who are hurting American workers and their families. It's people marching in the streets; millennials joining and organizing unions; voters electing worker-friendly candidates to city councils and state assemblies, even a historic win in Alabama that conventional wisdom said was impossible.

"This victory proves working people are a powerful political force, even in states where most people count us out," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said after the Dec. 12 special election that sent Democrat Doug Jones to the U.S. Senate. "Working people are tired of the status quo, and Alabama proved that we have the power to change it and improve the lives of everyone. This is only the beginning of a potent movement to win back the freedoms of workers in America." read_more

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Officers Column Stephenson & Cooper:
Don't Get Mad. Vote read_more

TransitionsNicholas Greco;
David L. Sager read_more

PoliticsIllinois Member Jumps into Political Arena Ready to
Fight for the Middle Class;
Organizer Spotlights Workers' Rights in Run for Arkansas Statehouse read_more

Organizing WireIdaho Democratic Party
Staff Join IBEW read_more

CircuitsMembers Take Home Top Prizes at National Electrical Competition;
45-to-1: Iowa Public
Workers Score Against
Anti-Union Politicians;
IBEW 'Angels' Brighten Detroit Woman's Dark,
Cold Home read_more

LettersGratitude for Hero Linemen;
Patchwork Lineman;
Rebuilding Puerto Rico;
Anti-union Attacks in the Wolverine State;
Partners: IBEW and the Electrical Industry read_more

In MemoriamDecember 2017 read_more

Who We AreHand in Hand, Helping His Homeland: Florida Member Steps Up for Dominica read_more