The Electrical Worker online
May 2024

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Partnerships That Work

Organized labor is enjoying a moment, with higher levels of public support for unions than we have seen in more than 50 years.

A big reason is the increasing awareness of all the good things labor does for workers, like boosting wages and fighting for better benefits.

However, an often-ignored benefit of unions is better and stronger labor-management relations.

Contrary to what critics say, strong unions have often gone hand-in-hand with positive workplace relationships.

The IBEW has 133 years of experience proving it. Since our founding, we have prioritized effective labor-management partnerships, from increasing productivity to promoting safety.

As you can read in this issue of The Electrical Worker, some of these relationships, like the one between Saint John, New Brunswick, Local 1524 and Saint John Energy, go back decades.

You can also read about the recognition two of our utility locals received for their partnerships with management at the recent Labor and Management Public Affairs Committee meeting in Washington, D.C.

As we continue to grow and organize, our message to workers and owners alike is that the IBEW builds better relationships between employees and employers.

That message is being heard not only on worksites and in corporate boardrooms but also in the White House. In early March, President Biden issued an executive order calling on federal agencies to work with unions, including the IBEW, to promote increased labor-management cooperation.

As long as employers are willing to treat our members with respect, cooperation — not confrontation — is what the IBEW is all about.

Whether you are an inside wireman, a telecom splicer, a lineman, a broadcast professional or any other classification, every member of this union is dedicated to their craft and getting the job done. But we can't make that happen unless management is on board, working with us every step of the way.

That is why the IBEW is so committed to building vibrant labor-management partnerships, and as we continue to grow in the years to come, I am confident we will see even more examples of IBEW members and management working together for the benefit of all.


Also: Cooper: Bringing Jobs Back Home Read Cooper's Column

Paul A. Noble

Paul A. Noble
International Secretary-Treasurer