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August 2018

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The Right-To-Work Scam

I'm a retired member of Local 969, coming up on 64 years in the IBEW. After reading in the Electrical Worker about right-to-work in October 2017 and "How Politicians are Killing Democracy One District at a Time" in May 2018, right-to-work has my attention once more.

To prove what I thought, I met with the Aspen, Colo., Chamber of Commerce in my hometown, where I once had a business. I asked them, 'If I joined the Chamber, could I receive all the benefits of membership without paying my dues?' You'll be shocked to hear they said 'No.'

It's funny that an organization that's one of the largest supporters of the idea of right-to-work isn't interested in letting me have a free ride with them when that's what they want unions to do for non-members.

I'll never understand why IBEW members don't vote for their paychecks and working conditions. What ever could be more important?

James H. Ward, Local 969 retiree
Grand Junction, Colo.

Trump Should Step in to Save IBEW Jobs

[Responding to "Take Our Jobs to Mexico? Massachusetts Members Fight Back," from July 2018's Electrical Worker]:

President Trump should step in and stop the Philips Lighting plan to move their Fall River, Mass., plant and its 160 jobs to Mexico. He promised he'd keep American jobs in the USA.

Joseph Petrvalsky, Local 213 retiree
Vancouver, B.C.

Grateful for the Brotherhood

I was awarded my 60-year pin for service in May of this year at Local 68's old timers' luncheon. I served my apprenticeship in Chicago at Local 134 and ended my career in Denver when I retired in 2001. It gives me great pleasure to be a member of such a fine organization. I learned many things about life and many life skills from my relationships with other members.

The training that I received in the IBEW, the Red Cross and the Boy Scouts of America helped me save a life on the way to the union picnic in 1998. I helped pull a gentleman from an airplane that had crashed just seconds before we got there. I received the IBEW's lifesaving award soon after. It was one of the proudest moments of my life.

Today, at 79, I'm spending my retirement — made possible by the IBEW — assisting teachers in all grades as a substitute teacher in Colorado.

Thanks to the IBEW for making all of this possible.

Wally Von Helms, Local 68 retiree
Denver, Colo.

IBEW_Facebook  From Facebook: Every month the IBEW Facebook page receives thousands of comments from our dynamic and engaged community of members and friends.

Janus Was the Tip of the Iceberg

Before you vote next election, here is something to consider. The recent Supreme Court decision on Janus was a step in quieting the working class voice. This is not about dues — look deeper.

Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security are next. Unions stand up for the working class. Efforts to diminish unions are simply a step in taking away your voice. Don't think this is just about dues. President Trump has already voiced his opinion that child labor laws are too strict. The 40-hour workweek and overtime will be on the list too. Republicans in 20 states filed a lawsuit in federal court in Texas early this month to rule that the pre-existing condition provisions of the Affordable Care Act are unconstitutional. Do you see the tangled web here?

Make America Great is a smoke screen/diversionary tactic. 'Look over here' so you don't see what is going on over there.

Fight back! Union Yes!

Karen Lane, Local 827 vice president
East Windsor, N.J.