March 2020
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Also In This Issue Photo Contest Winners read_more

North of 49°
Canadian Members Find Good Wages, Good Friends at Massive Pennsylvania Project read_more

Au nord du 49° parallèle
De belles occasions pour nos membres canadiens
au grand projet en Pennsylvanie read_more

IBEW My Story
Leyton Torda read_more





Change of Address



Cover Photo

Outside Organizing for the 21st Century:
A Golden Age, a Silver Tsunami
and an Ironclad Plan

With a significant victory in New England, the IBEW announced a new era in outside construction organizing.

JCR Construction, one of the Northeast's largest nonunion transmission line contractors, had been the target of unsuccessful organizing attempts for decades. But since the 2016 International Convention, the way the IBEW organizes new members and new companies has been changing.

"When I say we are making this brotherhood into an organizing union again, that doesn't just mean locals organizing more. I mean we'll use all the resources at our disposal in a coordinated fashion to maximize our success," said International President Lonnie R. Stephenson.

Director of Membership Development for Outside Construction Ed Mings began the latest JCR campaign a year ago as the first director-level outside organizing specialist in nearly two decades. Since then, he and Special Assistant to the International President for Membership Development Ricky Oakland have worked to bring the overwhelmingly successful new organizing model from the professional and industrial and inside construction sectors to the outside as well.

"Our market share is down to 35% and International President Stephenson said, 'We have to organize this branch,'" Oakland said. "As a brotherhood, we have the resources, but we have to be smart about how we attack this. The locals know the workers, the contractors and the work. The international organization brings coordination and leverage."

At stake is a fundamental battle to regain power in an industry that is in a gold rush.

Renewables like wind and solar are being built at a record pace. The high-voltage transmission lines connecting them to population centers are the main bottleneck to faster expansion. Distributed generation that sends power into the grid from every direction requires radically rebuilding distribution networks. There is also the new national first responders' network and the 5G mobile networks to build out, in addition to the regular repair and replacement of the existing distribution infrastructure. Hundreds of billions of dollars of work is here, and it is happening now, just as the industry runs headlong into a demographic dilemma years in the making. read_more

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Officers Column Stephenson & Cooper:
Why We Chose Joe Biden read_more

TransitionsSusie Barber;
Richard 'Dick' Deering;
Donna Myron read_more

PoliticsWorkplace Organizing Gets Boost with PRO Act Passage;
Idaho Locals Helping Lead Statehouse Battles for Good Jobs, Workers' Rights;
Kentucky's New Labor-backed Governor Moves Quickly to Protect Workers;
IBEW Leader Appointed to Key Role in Michigan's
Labor Department read_more

Organizing WireIn Quest for 'Someone to Advocate for Us,' New Jersey Librarians Turn to the IBEW read_more

CircuitsIBEW Members Deliver Another Super Performance on the World Stage;
Code of Excellence Boosts Safety and Morale at Colorado Utility read_more

LettersA Pitch for the Brotherhood;
Organizing Takes Courage read_more

Who We AreIBEW Members
Dominate 'Super Bowl
for Electricians' read_more