The hectic life of an IBEW business manager offers few reprieves and little free time.
But for Eric Patrick, leader of Rockford, Ill., Local 196, such hard work was rewarded earlier this year when the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance invited him to coastal Louisiana for a fishing expedition.
In the surge of goodwill that accompanies the holiday season, IBEW locals across the U.S. apply their skills to light displays and community celebrations, winning praise in the media and respect from hundreds of thousands of neighbors for whom a visit to the displays is often a yearly custom.
The fate of a proposed $7.7 billion liquefied natural gas export facility in Oregon will likely be decided in the next few weeks and members of the IBEW are lobbying for the project’s approval.
When workers vote “union yes,” it’s often a hard-won victory. But tougher still can be the path to a first contract, where the skills of newly-minted activists are put to the test against the possibility of continued company resistance and difficult negotiations.
Bridging differences between members is often difficult enough for local unions. Deciding how apprenticeships will be filled can sometimes be a point of controversy.
Unions representing more than 1 million federal workers in Canada – including the IBEW – are coming together to take on anti-worker legislation that threatens collective bargaining rights and on-the-job safety
Longtime members of N.Y. Local 1212 who perform all video, editing and broadcasting at the U.N. were deeply worried.
A record 67.5 million women are working today, but many women suffer from low-pay and a gender-based wage gap that makes it hard to get by.
Math isn’t just important for balancing checkbooks and passing tests. It’s vital to a career in the electrical trade.
Stan Osnowitz, an unemployed journeyman electrician member of Baltimore Local 24, said he hates being unemployed. “It is a waste of my abilities. I love being an electrician,” he says. Out of work since July after working for three years straight, Osnowitz is one of more than two million unemployed job seekers who could lose federal jobless aid if Congress does not act to extend it before the end of the year.
Missouri Republicans are looking to start the New Year off on the wrong foot, with another legislative battle over right-to-work-for-less legislation.
Here are just five ways Comcast has given workers a raw deal in one of its most financially successful years on record.
Fed up with poverty wages, fast-food workers across the country are holding a one-day strike Dec. 5.
A new, custom-built deer blind in Texas Hill Country set the stage for kids with mobility issues to experience the thrill of the hunt safely and comfortably, due to the completion of a conservation project organized and sponsored by the Houston-area union community and the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance.
When FairPoint Communications bought Verizon’s New England landline holdings in 2008, the company announced that fears among IBEW members who had worked for Verizon that the new company would outsource and cut jobs were unwarranted.
Too often when school boards face budget shortfalls, music education is the first to go.
But for Washington, D.C., students, music in the classroom is alive and well thanks to a donation from Local 26 and CBS EcoMedia.
Most Americans reject slashing Social Security benefits, but that hasn’t stopped well-funded lobbyists on Capitol Hill from continuing to push Congress to make Social Security cuts.
Ontario Conservative Party Leader Tim Hudak’s antipathy toward unions is no secret, but a recently leaked internal campaign document reveals just how anti-labour a potential Tory government could be.
Across the breezy expanse of Iowa, clean wind-powered energy is abundant.
But for workers in this booming industry, safety on the job can be scarce. That’s one reason why nonunion employees at the TPI Composites plant in Newton are looking to the IBEW for representation.
Dick Yuengling, president of the nation’s oldest brewery, has rarely kept his contempt for unions under wraps. In 2006, he supported a move by workers in his Pottsville, Pa., brewery to decertify their Teamsters bargaining unit.
The deadline was already extended to Nov. 30, so you have no excuses!
How the nuclear power industry will find enough qualified workers to build, operate and maintain plants in the future was the topic of an online conversation featuring International President Edwin D. Hill and senior executives from industry.
Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. announced Nov. 12 a multibillion-dollar effort to overhaul and expand its electrical transmission network, ensuring reliable service and enhanced capacity to meet the demands of a growing economy.
As any member can tell you, the IBEW isn’t just about good wages or strong contracts. It’s also about commitment to community.
Alaska possesses one of the stronger labor movements in the United States, with a union density rate only second to that of New York State.
As the economy continues its steady recovery, demand for telecommunications workers is picking up. But many of the best jobs are only open to people who keep up with the industry’s rapidly changing technology.
The Labor Department’s jobs report released last week revealed some interesting data about the health of the economy and the industries represented by the IBEW.
For many decades, IBEW members have skillfully brought news and entertainment to local audiences across the nation, working for major broadcasting companies like CBS, Fox and ABC.
Nova Scotia Power’s announcement that it was considering outsourcing at least 250 utility jobs is being criticized by workers and consumer activists as a threat to good jobs and reliable service.
As millions of Christmas and holiday season displays take shape across the nation, picking the best is surely a difficult task. But some shine brightest.
The federal Davis-Bacon Act – along with its state and local counterparts — helps keep construction jobs good jobs and maintain high standards in the industry by requiring contractors receiving public funds to pay the local prevailing wage.
The 2010 midterm elections brought to power a wave of anti-worker governors and legislators. Some are notorious for their attacks on workers’ rights: Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Rick Scott in Florida, Rick Snyder in Michigan.
Amtrak has long been the whipping boy of congressional right-wingers, who decry federal spending on the nation’s passenger rail line as wasteful.
You hear it from the mouths of young people every day: I can’t afford college. The debt would be too big. I’m not sure what to do.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government launched a sneak attack on federal workers’ rights earlier this month with the introduction of a new budget bill.
After a generator failed at a Montana coal-fired power plant on July 1, the operator, PPL Montana, announced that some members of Colstrip Local 1638 would later be placed on furlough for at least 90 days.
The nation’s economy showed disappointing growth in September, with only 148,000 jobs compared to 169,000 jobs created in August.
The Northeast Line Constructors chapter of the National Electric Contractors Association has donated $1 million to support the national outside apprenticeship program. Chapter Manager Mike Gilchrist said the donation was the groups way of saying thank you to the linemen and contractors who helped rebuild after Superstorm Sandy destroyed billions of dollars of property and cut off power to more than 8 million homes across New Jersey, New York and New England.
Labor unions and allies in the city of Watsonville, a fertile agricultural center on the central coast of California, have had much success in 2012 convincing progressive candidates to run and win seats on their city council. Many council members had labor union backgrounds, says Castroville Local 234 Business Manager Andy Hartmann.
A Michigan judge took an anti-union city manager to task last week, ruling that Lowell City Manager Mark Howe lied and unfairly targeted union activists – just to punish workers for joining the IBEW.
The construction industry is making a strong comeback in Arizona, with the number of construction permits up in 2012. But the state actually lost construction jobs over the summer. The reason, says many industry observers: worker misclassification, which is a way for contractors to keep employees on the worksites but off the books.
Leaders of the Danish Union of Electricians, along with their counterparts on the employer side, visited the IBEW International Office Oct. 1.
In the midst of the chaos of Hurricane Sandy, National Grid, employing thousands of IBEW members in New York and New England, decided to roll out a new computer system to account for overtime pay and expenses.
Rice Electrical Services and Controls is the latest member of the St. Louis Local 1 family after the business terminated its contract with a rogue electricians union – the Associated Electrical Contractors Local 57.
The officers of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers sadly report that IBEW Government Employees Director Chico McGill passed away Sept. 27. With a generous spirit and an outsize personality, he was throughout his career an outspoken voice for workers.
The annual IBEW photo contest is a showcase for members to demonstrate their skills with a camera and shine a light on their too-often overlooked jobs. For 15 years, the IBEW Journal and The Electrical Worker have printed hundreds of photos of and by IBEW members at work—turning the lights back on after storms, building architectural marvels and performing hundreds of other jobs that contribute so much to communities across North America and even beyond.
In today’s economy, education is vital to getting ahead. And the National Coalition for Telecommunications Education and Learning is the place for telecommunications professionals looking to gain an edge through advanced online learning.
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers President Edwin D. Hill issued the following statement today:
“The draft regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Agency regarding emissions from newly-constructed power plants threaten economic growth and America’s energy future. Read more...
More than 100 young IBEW members from across the United States and Canada will be in Washington, D.C., Sept. 27-29 for the first ever Reach out and Energize Next-gen Electrical Workers conference.
We know the professionalism and skill that members of the IBEW bring to the job every day.
Now hundreds of millions of TV viewers know as well.
Coming on the heels of last year’s national ad campaign, a new IBEW spot – titled “Power Professionals” – went on the air this month.
The Department of Defense has canceled repairs for a damaged nuclear submarine and ended a program that monitors orbiting space junk, two striking examples of consequences of a federal austerity program that could lay off dozens, potentially hundreds, of IBEW members.
The IBEW’s efforts to tap into good jobs in the booming energy sector are seeing big results in West Virginia, with hundreds of members hard at work building and maintaining the infrastructure needed to get the Mountaineer State’s rich natural gas load to market.
Two years after the launch of the first IBEW app, the IBEW is putting the finishing touches on a new news app for digital readers.
Volunteers from Richmond, Va., Local 666 joined members from the plumbers and pipefitters and the Virginia Building and Construction Trades Council on Aug. 21 to help create more accessible walkways for York River State Park visitors with mobility issues.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans are expected to be in Washington, D.C., Aug. 24 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
Diesel bus mechanics employed by the Delaware Transit Corp. never had much need for a union. That is until one of their own was fired – all because of his breakfast.
ADT alarm system installers know that when they finish work at a new customer’s home, they’re offering something priceless – greater peace of mind for the whole family.
A toll-free call center connection to someone in India has been a punchline for comedians and TV sitcoms for years, but for the thousands of Americans who have lost their jobs in call centers, outsourcing is no laughing matter.
The United Food and Commercial Workers, which left the AFL-CIO eight years ago to join the Change to Win Coalition, is rejoining the nation’s largest labor federation.
A coalition of 20 unions including the IBEW has already seen progress from a campaign to challenge the furlough of 650,000 Department of Defense civilian employees. Since July 1, the Federal Workers Alliance has been urging members of Congress to eliminate 11 unpaid furlough days that are part of the federal government’s budget sequester. The furloughs amount to a 20 percent reduction in pay.
Family members of IBEW members have been awarded scholarships worth $6,250 by the Union Plus Educational Fund. The grantees were among more than 100 winners, representing 36 unions who were awarded up to $4,000. They were chosen out of a pool of more than 5,300 applicants based on their academic performance, financial need and a 500-word essay describing their career goals and their relationship with the labor movement.
One year before his city made headlines as the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, Detroit Local 58 Business Manager Mike Richard was meeting with his member of Congress to underscore the need to give Detroit and Michigan residents the first crack at construction jobs on several Detroit-area projects that were in the planning stage.
Raise the Minimum Wage - President Obama reiterated his call for raising the federal minimum wage in his speech on the economy last week.
D.C. Apprentices Get Organized - Washington, D.C., Local 26 journeyman wireman Adam Reed started out in the work force at just about the worst time imaginable.
In the midst of the Great Depression, a still photographer shot a picture of 11 ironworkers eating lunch on a steel girder 840 feet above the streets of New York City. The photo, entitled “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper,” was staged. But the workers who demonstrated the lengths and heights people will go to for a job, were real. And their lack of safety equipment symbolized the sacrifices workers made just to find any job and feed their families.
Union sportsmen take a back seat to no one when it comes to expert, responsible hunting and fishing and working to preserve habitats for wildlife from neglect or abuse. But the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, a union-dedicated outdoor organization, is setting an even broader example by infusing the principle of solidarity into a new program that brings together volunteers—including IBEW members—to tackle conservation projects in parks across the U.S.
Toronto, Ontario, Local 636 utility workers and Hydro Ottawa partnered earlier this month to help power up a group home that serves residents with physical disabilities and seniors.
Electrical workers and their employers are raising the alarm about loopholes in the Affordable Care Act that threaten to undermine quality coverage for more than 26 million Americans.
Pittsburgh Local 5 members are being credited with saving dozens of local senior citizens from a fire that tore through a nursing home June 25.
The President’s statement on energy today is a step in the right direction on the long road to reaching a balanced, workable consensus on energy issues.
A recent poll shows a strong majority of citizens opposing the use of more foreign guest workers in the trades. And labor leaders are bringing that message to lawmakers as they debate new immigration proposals that would have far-reaching effects on the industry.
Some say religion and politics don’t mix. But politicians often call upon their religion as an inspiration or justification for their actions. Nowhere is this truer than in North Carolina, where both houses of the state legislature are under Republican control by Tea Party conservatives who often cite scripture to support their agenda.
Like nonprofit organizations across North America, the Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay, Wis., is scraping for funds to keep its programs alive even while the need to help struggling citizens grows due to a still difficult economy.
What if the controversy raging over the National Security Agency’s surveillance of domestic phone calls is overshadowing an abuse of privacy that could undermine our nation’s democracy in a myriad of ways that the NSA spying never could?
In what organizers are calling a stellar campaign victory, a determined group of skilled technicians working for SimplexGrinnell in Winnipeg stood up for rights on the job and voted IBEW May 22.
In a genre best known for caped crusaders and mutants saving the universe, one IBEW local is using comic books to tell the story of another kind of hero: the union men and women who made the American middle class.
On June 3, with a little over one year to go before their contract with FairPoint Communications expires, business managers and co-workers representing 1,700 IBEW members in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont traveled to the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Charlotte, N.C.
Two Harbors, Minn., power and water workers are going public about stalled efforts to renew their two- year contract.
Dublin, Calif., Local 595’s new training center formally opens on May 30, instantly becoming one of the most efficient and technologically advanced commercial buildings in the country.
With sadness, the IBEW announces the death of First District Vice President Phillip Flemming on May 25. He was 68.
Federal shipyard workers across the United States won a temporary respite May 14, when the Pentagon announced that they were exempting employees from mandatory unpaid furlough days.
Front and center of a new Memorial Day dedication in Minnesota is an IBEW member and one of the once-anonymous Marines who were the first to raise the American flag on Iwo Jima.
Summer is coming. For many, this means vacations on the beach, kids lounging at home and trips to the pool. But for utilities, summer means raging thunderstorms and hurricane season.
The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, originally sponsored by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, has maintained conservation as a core mission since its founding in 2007.
The mile-wide tornado that tore through Moore, Okla., May 20 killed dozens and left a swath of destroyed homes, businesses and schools in its wake.
When it comes to attitudes about unions and our members, Americans often summon the negative images spread by our adversaries, rather than considering the contributions of union members who could be their neighbors like the firefighters, police personnel or nurses. Or electricians.
Seventh District International Vice President Jon Gardner will retire from office on June 1.
For the IBEW's Darrell Taylor, organizing water treatment workers at the Alberta oil sands has been a lot like the tricky process of extracting raw fuel from the soil - slow and steady, but promising in the end.
Effectively bridging the different perspectives and experiences of three and, sometimes, four generations in the same workplaces can be a daunting challenge for seasoned leaders and emerging activists alike.
Eric Varela’s story is all too common. After serving as a combat infantryman in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division, Varela returned to California in 2008 to record high unemployment.
When Dave Royle was a student at central New Jersey’s Woodbridge (N.J.) High School in the late-1980s, he was well known for his smile.
Missouri’s House Workforce Development and Workplace Safety Committee approved “paycheck protection” legislation on April 10. The bill would weaken public-sector unions by prohibiting members from having dues earmarked for political action from being automatically deducted from their paychecks.
When Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican, joined with his Democratic colleague W. Va. Sen. Joe Manchin, to propose a bill on background check for gun owners, he was hailed as a “voice of reasonable compromise.” Not so fast.
To honor those who have lost their lives as a result of job-related illness or injury, dozens of countries around world have designated April 28 as Workers Memorial Day.
The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) today salute the nation’s men and women who risk their lives daily to keep electricity flowing to the nation’s homes and businesses.
Labor unions and progressive activists are speaking out and organizing in opposition to President Obama’s proposal to reduce Social Security benefits as part of his budget proposal announced on April 10.
Labour activists in Western Canada are calling for a moratorium on the federal temporary foreign worker program, saying that the system is rife with abuse.
Celebrated poet Maya Angelou once said, “Living a life is like constructing a building; if you start wrong, you'll end wrong.”
If the same statement can describe a career, Michelle Braga, a 17-year-old Pittsburgh-area vocational-technical high school student who is aiming for an IBEW journeyman wireman apprenticeship, is on the right track in both spheres.
The best way to keep working is to keep up with the work, an increasingly demanding task with telecommunications technology.
IBEW members in Canada are cheering TransCanada Corp’s. proposal to build a pipeline to transport crude oil from Western Canada to refineries in the east.
The Philadelphia City Council passed a bill last week that would require virtually every employer in the city to provide their workers with paid sick days – earning the enmity of Comcast, a major player in Philly politics.
Workers across the nation rallied March 20 and 21 to protest likely furloughs brought on by the more than $1 trillion in automatic federal spending cuts known as the sequestration.
IBEW leaders are praising President Obama’s March 13 nomination of civil-rights attorney Thomas Perez for Secretary of Labor.
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers President Edwin D. Hill says President Obama’s nomination of Ernest Moniz to be the next U.S. Department of Energy secretary “is the right choice to lead our nation as we enter a new era of energy policy.”
It’s not easy finding common ground in Washington, D.C., these days. Getting Democrats and Republicans – not to mention business and labor – to agree on anything seems an impossible challenge.
Thousands of IBEW members who work for the federal government or for private government contractors awoke Friday morning facing a shaky economic future. The sequestration – the series of draconian federal spending cuts totaling $1.2 trillion – went into effect March 1, meaning that more than 1 million federal workers face unpaid leave or worse unless Congress takes action to rescind the cuts.
It’s one of the biggest challenges facing the economy today: providing retirement security for America’s work force.
If you think the looming “sequester” – the series of automatic federal spending cuts set to go into effect Friday, March 1 – doesn’t affect you and your family, think again.
Few words are as chilling to workers as “corporate merger.” Too often the aftermath is slashed jobs, cut wages and managers acting unreasonably.
It’s one of the most powerful lobbying organizations in the United States today, exercising an outsized influence in the Republican Party and driving policy decisions in state houses and governors’ mansions across the country. And chances are you’ve never heard of it.
The Department of Defense is sending out dozens of contract cancelations and preparing to lay off ten, possibly hundreds of thousands of workers because they can no longer fund projects started after 2009, dues to the inability of Congress to pass a budget.
Years of management favoritism, lack of respect on the job and the threat of declining wages had been wearing on hundreds of Sears service technicians in the upper Midwest for years.
Austin construction workers and workers’ rights activists are accusing hotel developer White Lodging Inc., of cheating employees out of tens of thousands of dollars in wages on one of Austin’s most high-profile construction projects.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has introduced a bill on Feb. 5 that would impose so called right-to-work laws nationally.
Union members and public safety officials are calling on President Obama to finalize an Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard that would reduce workers’ exposure to silica and save lives.
Dial One Wolfdale Electric Inc., was one of the Toronto area’s largest nonunion contractors, performing millions of dollars in commercial and industrial work each year.
The AFL-CIO Now blog is publicizing a list of union-made food and drinks for members to enjoy on Super Bowl Sunday.
Victor Lovelady’s family members say he was a hero long before the project manager for a Houston-based energy firm was killed at an Algeria natural gas plant after being held hostage by Al Qaeda terrorists.
While gridlock reigns in the legislative halls of Washington, D.C., states are churning with anti-union bills, including Pennsylvania, where activists are fighting back.
Kansas lawmakers are considering legislation that would drastically curtail the rights of teachers, firefighters and other public workers to participate in the political process.
On Jan 15, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and leading freight railroad BNSF Railway Co., marked a big step forward for on-the-job safety by signing an accord that protects from retaliation workers who report on-the-job injuries.
The International Executive Council has appointed Fredericton, New Brunswick, Local 37 Business Manager Ross Galbraith Eighth District IEC member.
Summarizing the Obama administration’s accomplishments in remarks to the IBEW Convention in Vancouver, now-retired General Counsel Larry Cohen said:
We again have a Department of Labor that is a department for labor. It is no longer an anti-labor labor department, which it was throughout the Bush administration.
Henry Miller, the first President of the IBEW, died in 1896 without enough money for a decent burial... members of the IBEW established a fraternal death benefit association in 1922 whose essential purpose was to provide the named beneficiary of a deceased member a sum that might permit our member to be interred in a dignified manner.
2012 was a big year for union members with a passion for hunting and fishing. The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance – a national organization of union members committed to outdoor sports and conservation – surpassed 50,000 members, its highest number yet.
Union folks shouldn’t be surprised when our adversaries play word games. Terms like “right-to-work” or “ownership society” sound, to many, as American as the Super Bowl until people find out that the first could cut their pay and benefits and the second would put benefits like Social Security and Medicare in the private hands of Wall Street.