July 2021
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Also In This Issue A Higher Calling
Albany Members Key to Navy Nuclear Training read_more

Taking on the Toughest
Ambitious Organizers Set Sights on Mammoth Contractor read_more

Victory at Last
Comcast Techs Win
Decade-Long Fight read_more

North of 49°
Labour Community Anxiously Awaits Impact of Alberta's Anti-Working Family Bill read_more

Au nord du 49° parallèle
La communauté syndicale attend l'impact qu'aura
le projet de loi 32
de l'Alberta read_more

My IBEW Story Timothy Cayton read_more

Grounded in History Restoring Lady Liberty read_more






Cover Photo

The Ellensburg 6
Linemen's Inspiring Campaign Proves No Fight's Too Small

The story of the "Ellensburg 6" almost seems scripted for Hollywood. Almost.

Six union linemen at a small utility in the eastern shadow of the Cascades face down an employer determined to outsource their jobs by making them miserable enough to quit.

Morale is at rock bottom. Their safety is at risk. So is the central Washington town that counts on its trusted, year-round crew to keep the lights on.

Then, as icy contract talks drag on, a movement erupts. "I stand with the Ellensburg 6" becomes a rallying cry.

Residents and union brothers and sisters far and wide flock to social media. Yard signs pop up everywhere. Shopkeepers line windows with placards. Farmers offer land to pitch jumbo signs along the road. A billboard on wheels rolls up and down the streets. Hundreds of people clamor for virtual seats at a City Council meeting. Drivers honk their salutes as supporters picket City Hall in campaign T-shirts and face masks.

Solidarity and kinship are abundant. In two months' time, the linemen have a new three-year contract with raises the city had bitterly refused.

That's where moviemakers would roll the credits.

The reality is more complicated for Seattle-based Local 77, its Ellensburg crew, and beleaguered members at other public utilities where turnover at the top has swept in rabidly anti-union managers.

In late 2019, the Kittitas County Public Utility District succeeded at browbeating its linemen to the exits and contracting out their jobs.

With the same tactics in play in Ellensburg, the county seat, Local 77 pulled out the stops to avoid an encore. The linemen won their community's hearts, but the city is still waging war.

Now, a new front has opened up 95 miles southeast in Richland, where managers treated their dispirited, underpaid line crews with even more rancor during the COVID-19 pandemic. read_more

  Local Lines

Officers Column Stephenson & Cooper:
An End in Sight read_more

TransitionsJohn Murphy read_more

PoliticsAmbitious N.J. Green Energy Plan is Achievable with IBEW's Help;
The Cost of Eroding Collective Bargaining;
Local 3 Sister Earns Historic Role on New York Joint Industry Board;
Signed Into Law read_more

CircuitsWest Virginia Flaggers Vote to Join the IBEW;
Women Finds Career in the Trades after COVID-19;
St. Louis Local Gives
Back to Community, One Home at a Time;
As Work Starts on One
Major Solar Farm in Ohio, Legislation Threatens
Others read_more

LettersHelping People in Need;
Expanding Solar read_more

In MemoriamMay 2021 read_more

Who We AreBoston Wireman Cycles
Solo Across U.S. in Honor
of Ailing Co-Worker read_more


Change of Address