The Electrical Worker online
June 2019

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Preserving History

We were thrilled to see the progress in saving the Willow Run bomber plant in Michigan [Electrical Worker, April 2019], and especially liked seeing that IBEW members had a big hand in it. Naomi Parker Fraley, my husband's mother, was very involved when she was alive with the ladies' effort to save the plant. Joe Blankenship, my husband, has been a member of Riverside, Calif., Local 440 for over 50 years.

Naomi Parker is the woman whose picture, taken March 24, 1942, is believed to have been used by the artist who painted the "We Can Do It" poster for Westinghouse [pictured at right]. She passed away on Jan. 20, 2018.

Marnie and Joe Blankenship, Local 440 retiree
Riverside, Calif.

Editor's note: The "Rosie the Riveter" name, believed to have originated at the Willow Run bomber plant, has always been closely associated with the famous "We Can Do It" poster, although the two were created separately. Look up "Naomi Parker Fraley" online for more information about how she and women like her helped the U.S. win World War II.


"We Can Do It" poster for Westinghouse


As I complete my first year of retirement after 37 years as a journeyman inside wireman in the IBEW, I'm truly grateful for the memories, retirement benefits and the continuing Brotherhood I experience constantly. The IBEW is not just on the worksite, it is in the members. Being a member of a progressive and family-oriented local like Pocatello, Idaho, Local 449 has been life-changing. Participation in our meetings, politics, activities at home and on the road have been some of my fondest memories. We are a unique group of craftsmen, believing in Brotherhood, solidarity, collective bargaining and a better standard of living.

Phil Coleman, Local 449 retiree
Pocatello, Idaho

Thank God for our IBEW. I have been a member of Toronto Local 353 since 1968. As a young man, I served in the Greek Air Forces for NATO as a jet electrician on F-84Fs and T-33As. At the end of my service, I decided to emigrate to Canada, where I joined Local 353 and took many electrical courses and enjoyed many years of good work with my fellow members. My wife and I are very grateful for our union and we are praying daily for the protection and safety of our brothers and sisters.

Ted Thanos, Local 353 retiree

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

Fighting for Safety

[Responding to "Fewer Inspectors, Less Enforcement: OSHA Trend Raises Risks for Workers," in this issue]:

We need to step up and fill this gap with our own brothers and sisters. I insist on safety at every turn not because of some regulatory force but because I want my team to go home safe and sound every day.

Nicholas Northrop, Local 113 member
Colorado Springs, Colo.