The Electrical Worker online
May 2019

From the Officers
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You're Our Best Organizer

In this month's cover story, you'll read about our brothers and sisters in the gas industry, where there's enough work in many places to last an entire career.

Changes in technology — in this case, replacing old infrastructure with safer materials — have fueled a building boom like none we've seen for a long time. If you're a young person looking for a path to the middle class and you're not afraid of a little hard work, opportunities are there for the taking.

It's the same story across the IBEW. In both inside and outside construction and at many utilities, there are more jobs out there than we're able to fill. With more members, our signatory contractors and employer partners can bid more jobs and our market share can grow.

Added to that, in many parts of our industry, huge numbers of baby boomers are within sight of retirement, and we're working hard to make sure there are men and women ready to step in and keep those jobsites up to speed.

We spend an awful lot of time and resources at the international, district and local levels thinking about how to organize and recruit the next generation of electrical workers to fill the jobs of the future. We've invested in new tools, advertising and membership development staff to identify and recruit new members, and we've invested in new training programs to make sure every new member lives up to the high standards each of you have set.

Making sure this union is growing is one of the most important duties I have as your International President.

But I can tell you one thing for certain: there is nothing we as leaders can do; no voice more powerful than yours talking to your friends and neighbors or to young people in your communities about the life-changing power of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

When each of us is initiated into this Brotherhood, we commit to the principles laid out in the IBEW Constitution, the first of which is to organize all workers in the entire electrical industry.

I'm asking you to live out that commitment every day. If you know a young person who needs a little direction, point them to a career in the electrical trade. If you know an electrician who's working nonunion, tell them how the IBEW made your life better.

There's no one more qualified to speak about the benefits of joining this union than you, and we can't accomplish this monumental task without you. Thank you for what you do each and every day, and keep up the good — and important — work.


Also: Cooper: Why We Can't Ignore Politics Read Cooper's Column

Lonnie R. Stephenson

Lonnie R. Stephenson
International President