December Issue

Devastating Northwest Storm Highlights IBEW Linemen’s Skill, Professionalism

On Tuesday, Nov. 17, a powerful windstorm ripped through the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies and the northern High Plains, leaving a wake of destruction, misery and bitter cold.

Boston RENEW Chapter Gains Momentum While Giving Back

Whether it’s tailgating a Patriots game, canvassing neighborhoods for upcoming elections or dressing up as snowman for the holiday party, Kevin Molineaux makes sure that his RENEW chapter is there. 

Advance Your Telecommunications Knowledge With NACTEL in 2016

Telecommunications professionals will have the chance to start the new year off right with the latest industry training courtesy of the National Coalition for Telecommunications Education and Learning. All they need is an Internet connection.

Training the Next Generation: Ohio Locals Partnering with Area High Schools for Apprenticeships

Stephen Lipster, training director for Columbus, Ohio, Local 683, knows all about the aging of the IBEW’s construction workforce, but he’s not worried. Lipster is working with the next generation, and he’s seeing promising results. 18.

Cadillac Tax Gets Two-Year Delay in Last-Minute Budget Bill

A congressional compromise will postpone implementation of Obamacare’s so-called Cadillac tax for two years thanks to a rare bipartisan push during negotiations for a year-end budget and tax package that passed on Dec. 18.

New Ontario Regulations Undermine Trades

Few things offer a path to the Ontario middle class better than a 309A license, awarded to a construction electrician after completion of an apprenticeship. It guarantees Red Seal certification, allowing its holders to move easily for work between the provinces.

Remembering Former International Secretary Jack F. Moore

We regret to report that International Secretary Emeritus Jack F. Moore died on Dec. 12 at the age of 88.

In a First, Woman Member Elected to Maine AFL-CIO Helm

Cynthia Phinney worked as a hand sewer for 12 years in Maine’s struggling shoe industry. She loved the work. She didn’t like the way she and co-workers were treated while management sent jobs overseas. They fought back and got some concessions, but it was a difficult battle without union representation.

Community Service Award Named for Iowa Retiree

John White is now an eponym. Due to his years of service, the recent Davenport, Iowa, Local 1379 retiree was recognized at this year’s AFL-CIO Hall of Fame banquet with a new award, and one bearing his name.

Democrats Pull Presidential Debate from Station Over Labor Dispute

International President Lonnie R. Stephenson on Dec. 11 praised the Democratic National Committee’s decision to drop ABC-affiliate WMUR’s co-sponsorship of the upcoming New Hampshire Democratic primary debate in Manchester.

Code of Excellence Gets the Spotlight in the Sunshine State

The dark days are over – at least for the unionized workers at Florida Power and Light – in the Sunshine State and it’s thanks to the Code of Excellence.

Repeal of Costly Healthcare Tax Gaining Momentum

The U.S. Senate on Dec. 3 sent a broad, bi-partisan message to the White House that Obamacare’s so-called “Cadillac tax” is wrong for middle class Americans.

In Detroit’s Renaissance, Opportunity for IBEW

Detroit has been through tough times, but Local 58 Business Manager Michael Richard thinks the comeback has started. The challenge is for the IBEW and other building trades to take advantage of it.

NACTEL Offers New Degree with Leadership Focus

The National Coalition for Telecommunications Education and Learning is renowned for its education options in the telecommunications industry. Now it has a new degree to add to its curriculum: the Bachelor of Science degree in business technology leadership.

Proposed Clean Lines Project Clears Hurdle

A $2.2 billion dollar high voltage transmission line that would bring wind power from Kansas to Illinois and Indiana took an important step forward when it was approved Nov. 12 by the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Renovated Classic Truck Finds Home with Florida Retiree

Baltimore Local 24 member Larry Tiller searched for months for a truck suitable for himself and a new service dog. He found it while leafing through the November 2015 edition of The Electrical Worker.

Mobility Thrives Where Unions Thrive

Want your kids to achieve the American dream? Join a union.

IBEW-Backed Candidate Wins La. Governor's Race; Member Named Chief of Staff

State Rep. John Bel Edwards won the Louisiana governor’s race walking away. The IBEW-backed Edwards was an unknown from rural Tangipahoa parish when he declared his candidacy. After the votes were counted Nov. 21 he had beat U.S. Sen. David Vitter by 13 points. 


  November Issue

Workers Independent News Joins Public Radio Stations Across the Country

Over 400 public radio stations will now have access to high quality, labor-friendly news courtesy of Workers Independent News. All they have to do is ask for it.

Historical Rebirth: Henry Miller Museum to Celebrate the IBEW’s Founding

Just in time for the IBEW’s 125th anniversary, founder Henry Miller is getting a museum built in his honor.

Hurry! It’s Your Last Chance to Enter the IBEW Photo Contest

Nov. 30 is the last chance to enter the IBEW photo contest until 2017, so enter soon.

In Texas, Meeting the Demand for Skilled Trades

The Lone Star State is known for many things, but union density isn’t one of them. The newly formed Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation, with the help of Houston Local 66, Galveston Local 527 and Houston Local 716 is out to change that.

The Right Asks the Court to Curb Unions

January marks the beginning of an important year for the labor movement. In November, voters will head to the polls to decide America’s next president, the makeup of Congress, and countless state and local offices, any combination of which could have an enormous effect on working people and the middle class.

IBEW Sues EPA to Stop Clean Power Plan

The IBEW has filed suit to prevent the implementation of new federal regulations on power plants. The IBEW petition joins the 27 states, several utilities and two other labor unions that are already challenging the regulation.

Hundreds of Missouri Municipal Workers Join IBEW

The IBEW picked up nearly 300 members in Springfield, Mo., when city workers voted 122-8 to certify with Local 753, a major win in the conservative southwest part of the state.

In Peoria, A Life’s Work Remembered

A section of Spalding Avenue that runs just past the Peoria, Ill., Labor Temple now bears the name of one of the city’s most prominent union leaders.

IEC Chairman Pierson Retiring; Erikson Tapped for Job

International Executive Council Chairman Robert W. Pierson will retire at the end of the year and International President Lonnie R. Stephenson has selected Christopher Erikson, New York Local 3 business manager for the last nine years, to replace him.

New Attitude Sparks Big Growth in Vermont Local

Jeffrey Wimette admits many members of Montpelier, Vt., Local 300 didn’t greet the IBEW’s embrace of alternate job classifications with much enthusiasm at first.

The Benefits of Sisterhood: Wages, Benefits, Empowerment

It’s not every day that AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler and newly elected House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan agree. But both have spoken recently about the importance of work-family balance. What only Secretary-Treasurer Shuler understands however, is that unions are among the best places to actually get that, along with higher pay and a host of other benefits.

Trade Deal Revealed to Much Opposition

The Obama administration finally released the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement on Nov. 5, officially kicking off the battle within his own party as he seeks congressional approval for the deal.

IBEW Members Score Wins on Election Day

They weren’t headline-grabbing wins, but on Nov. 3, IBEW candidates quietly racked up an impressive range of victories in local and state-level elections all over the country.

A Car Show for a Cause in Eastern Ohio

The Urban Mission in Steubenville, Ohio, has an extra $2,000 in its coffers this holiday season thanks to the efforts of Ohio’s newest RENEW chapter.

Secretary of Labor Visits IBEW Training Center

Secretary of Labor Tom Perez kicked off the first National Apprenticeship Week Nov. 3 by touring the Washington, D.C., Local 26 training center.

Judge Delivers Blow to Anti-Union Forces in Detroit

Detroit Local 58 scored an important victory over anti-union right-to-work forces on Oct. 26.

National Apprenticeship Week Kicks Off at IBEW Training Center

National Apprenticeship Week was created by President Barack Obama to let America in on something IBEW members already know-- being paid to learn a trade is smart. 


  October Issue

Remember Rosie the Riveter? She’s Back

Los Angeles Local 11 helped a couple hundred workers at Kinkisharyo International win a voice on the job in 2014. It was one of the first Japanese-owned manufacturing companies to be organized in the United States.

The ‘Real Deal’ Running for Louisiana Governor

The runoff election for Louisiana governor is nearly three weeks away and an IBEW-backed candidate has a good chance of becoming the state’s next executive.

Sisters in Solidarity: The 2016 IBEW Women’s Conference

IBEW women members will don name badges and lanyards for a few days next year to attend the eighth IBEW Women’s Conference.

Montana Local Ratifies First Contract after Two-Year Fight

In March of 2013 maintenance employees at REC Silicon voted for better working conditions and respect on the job. In September 2015, they finally got it.

Keystone Court Race Could Help Level Playing Field for Labor

Pennsylvania has nearly 1 million more registered Democrats than Republicans, according to the commonwealth’s Department of State.

Pentagon Proposes Scrapping Workplace Protections

A new Department of Defense proposal governing work rules for department employees is disturbingly familiar, say many federal union activists.

Chicago’s Renewable Training Field: Powering the Present, Preparing for the Future

Chicago Local 134 has a new tool to meet the challenges of a changing climate head-on, and on Sept. 16, Business Manager Don Finn flung open the doors to his local’s state-of-the-art Renewable Energy Training Field.

Jack Conway’s Election ‘Critical’ to Keeping Right-to-Work out of Kentucky

For Kentuckians, Jack Conway may be the last obstacle standing between conservatives and their dream of a right-to-work law that would prove devastating to the state’s working people.

Canadian Voters Dump Anti-Worker Conservatives

After nearly a decade in office, Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper’s Conservative government was ousted by voters Oct. 19, in a massive wave election that brought the Liberal Party back to power.

NACTEL: Teaching for the Future

Keeping up with the constantly changing telecommunications industry can easily be a full-time job. Luckily, IBEW members have the National Coalition for Telecommunications Education and Learning to help, and to offer up-to-date training.

IBEW to Congress: Don’t Lift the Crude Oil Export Ban

America’s ban on crude oil exports should stay in place, IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson urged members of Congress in an Oct. 8 letter.

IBEW Pres. Lonnie Stephenson: ‘Don’t Drown Green Power in Red Tape’

The prairies of Wyoming are one of the most fertile places in the United States for the development of wind power.

IBEW Member Rep. Donald Norcross Named to House Leadership Post

The sole electrician in the House of Representatives has just been named to one of the highest ranking positions for the Democratic Party. Rep. Donald Norcross, who represents the 1st District in New Jersey and is a member of Folsom, N.J., Local 351, was selected to the position of assistant whip by House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer.

Boston Broadcasting Local Racks Up Two Organizing Wins

Organizing in the broadcast industry has been difficult since the Great Recession but Boston Local 1228 just scored two wins. Over the last three months, 20 directors and production assistants at WMUR in Manchester, New Hampshire, and nearly 30 sports broadcast technicians voted to join the union.

IBEW Reaches Agreement with Frontier Communications

Frontier Communications and the IBEW announced agreements on Oct. 2 regarding the company’s planned $10.54 billion acquisition of Verizon’s wireline service in California, Florida and Texas.

First Contract Win for Comcast Sales Reps

Nearly two years ago, Kathy Smith heard from some Comcast direct sales representatives in south Florida that had reached out to the IBEW.

IBEW Member Speaks at White House Summit

The business manager of Buffalo, N.Y., Local 41 Michael Gaiser is a key attendee at a daylong White House summit Oct. 7 on the importance of raising workers’ voices.

IBEW: Obamacare’s ‘Cadillac Tax’ in Need of an Overhaul

Opposition to Obamacare’s so-called “Cadillac tax” is growing in Congress and on the 2016 campaign trail, and IBEW officials are helping to lead the charge for its repeal.

Union Volunteers Lend a Hand to Tennessee Paddlers

Visitors to Harrison Bay State Park outside Chattanooga, Tennessee, will find a fancy new boathouse on their next outdoor adventure thanks to union volunteers, including members of Local 175.



  September Issue

Vets Reporting for Civilian Duty in Los Angeles

Transitioning from military to civilian life is a well-documented struggle, and returning soldiers often feel like they’ve slipped through society’s cracks.

Just How Good is it to Be a Union Member?

If you’re a union member there is a lot to be thankful for this Labor Day.

New Election Rules Boon to Organizing

The National Labor Relations Board’s new rules governing union representation elections spring have shortened the time between a petition for an election and a binding vote by nearly 40 percent, according to NLRB statistics released in August.

IBEW Input Helps Shape Obama’s Pollution Plan

Huddled in near-freezing temperatures on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in January 2013, observers might have been forgiven for neglecting to think about global warming. But when President Barack Obama stepped to the podium to take the oath of office and lay out his second-term agenda, he made clear that his priorities were squarely focused on the looming threat of climate change.

RENEW: Busting Union Stereotypes in the South

For Caleb Long, hard work, public service, and the importance of education were values instilled early on in life. Long’s father, Eddie Long, is a 41-year veteran of Chattanooga’s Local 175, and growing up in a union household meant security and a chance to chase not only a college education, but a master’s degree as well

Hawaii Members’ ‘Ohana’ Given the Spotlight on Local Television

What started as a 30-second campaign to highlight the work of Honolulu Local 1260 has turned into a monthly segment with a spotlight on the members.

Hot Rod is Ready to Roll, Aid Portland Local

Merle Munger retired in 1998 after 35 years as an inside wireman. But he wasn’t about to stop working or aiding fellow electricians in need -- particularly those at Local 48 in Portland, Oregon.

Portland’s Latest Bridge Welcomes Traffic, but No Cars

Portland, Oregon’s newest bridge is a monument to “the people” and a striking addition to the city’s skyline, but it won’t move a single car from one side of the Willamette River to the other.

Orlando Industry Night Aims to Build Disney Magic

Orlando is booming, and with growth comes jobs—lots of jobs. For Local 606, central Florida’s explosive growth has presented the sort of problem many business managers would love to have: too many projects and not enough workers.

Calif. Members Lose Homes in Raging Wildfires

The Valley Fire, one of the worst in California’s history, has destroyed nearly 1,600 homes, charred hundreds of square miles and claimed the lives and property of many people in Northern California, including the homes of some members of Vacaville, Calif., Local 1245.

Former Secretary-Treasurer Walters Dies at 73

Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus Jon F. Walters, who retired in 2008 after a 48-year IBEW career, died on Sunday at his home in Blackfoot, Idaho, his son-in-law, Willy Kniffen, said. He was 73.

Long-Shot Legislation Act Aims to Strengthen Protections for Working People

A new bill in Congress is aiming to make joining a union easier and more like a civil right.

What’s Really Causing the Loss of Manufacturing Jobs?

It held steady for nearly 30 years, but no longer. With the turn of the new century came a rapid decline in manufacturing employment. A new report from the Economic Policy Institute blames these job losses on trade deficits, not productivity growth as many believe. But that might not tell the whole story.

Scott Walker Vows to Spread his Union-Busting Policies Nationwide

Republican presidential hopeful Scott Walker declared all-out war on unions at a town hall meeting in Las Vegas on Monday, Sept. 14.


  August Issue

New Labor Ruling Changes the Game for Millions

The days of companies hiding behind subcontractors and taking an intentional arms-length approach to employment matters appear to be numbered, following an Aug. 27 ruling by the National Labor Relations Board.

Work Safe, Please. But Just in Case…

The IBEW prides itself on having the best trained workers in the business, and no skill claims a higher priority than safety.

Get ‘Outdoors’ this Labor Day from the Comfort of your very own Couch

If hunting and fishing top your list of leisure activities, the Sportsman Channel has a Labor Day lineup for you.

Unions Locked in Close Fight over Missouri Right-to-Work

Labor supporters in Missouri are spending less time relaxing this summer and devoting more of their time to knocking on doors, writing letters to legislators and filling town-hall meetings across the state.

Saving Your Bottom from a Hot Seat, Saving Energy

Every summer, drivers are confronted with a dire choice. They can jump straight into the car, blast the A/C and hope nothing important gets too burnt before the temperature drops below the melting point of tin. Alternatively, they can open all the doors and risk sun poisoning standing around waiting for a breeze to make the car tolerable.

Calif. Local Battles Statewide Wildfires

With no end in sight to California droughts, multiple wildfires continue to rage. Among the 14,000 firefighters grappling with multiple fires across the state, are Vacaville, Calif. Local 1245 members.

Time for a Change? Building Trades Weigh in on the Canadian Elections

It’s the closest three-way race since the 1980s and the longest election in over a century. If the building trades have their way, it will also be Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his conservative party’s bon voyage. 

La. Prison Program Offers Skills, Redemption

Larry Thomas, a solid high school linebacker, shared the dream of millions: an NFL career and a big paycheck.

Department of Energy, Unions Form Partnership to Maximize Jobs from New Emissions Rules

The U.S. Department of Energy on Aug. 6 announced the formation of a working group in partnership with labor designed to maximize job creation from President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

Feds Require CEOs to Report Wage Gaps

CEOs raking in massive pay packages will soon have to disclose just how much more they make than their employees.

IBEW Leader Recounts Encounter with Payroll Fraud

Hundreds of thousands of full-time workers are misclassified as independent contractors, depriving them of labor protections, overtime pay, Social Security and unemployment insurance, among other lost benefits.

IBEW’s Activist Retirees Come to Washington

IBEW members know how to mobilize, and that doesn’t stop when they retire. They are a formidable force who know the issues that affect working families. They also vote, in large numbers. That’s why they were in Washington, D.C., July 7-10 to attend a national conference of the Alliance for Retired Americans.

IBEW Voices Concern Over Obama’s Pollution Plan

IBEW leaders pledged to carefully review President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which sets a goal of dramatically reducing carbon emissions from America’s power plants.


  July Issue

It’s Time for the IBEW Photo Contest

What makes a good photo? Is it the lighting or the contrast? Is it the colors or the subject?

Retired? Have Health Care? Thank the Federal Government

July 30 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare and IBEW is joining the AFL-CIO and supporters across the country to celebrate. A National Day of Action will include rallies, birthday parties, teach-ins and more in support of the federal program that guarantees health care for every American over 65. The Alliance for Retired Americans is planning more than 120 events over the next two weeks in 35 states.

Northeast Verizon Workers Authorize a Strike

Nearly 11,000 IBEW members working for Verizon in the Northeast voted to authorize a strike if negotiations fail to produce a new contract by the current deal’s expiration Aug. 1. The parties remain far apart, with Verizon publicly demanding reductions in health and retirement benefits and a reduction in job protections that pave the way for greater outsourcing of jobs.

OSHA Issues Confined Spaces Rule

A new Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule on confined spaces in construction will affect anyone who works in spaces such as manholes, pipelines and tanks, just to name a few. It also adds new requirements to the safety training employers are required to provide their employees.

Donations Boost Lineman Safety in South American Country

With tree trunks sometimes serving as utility poles, the small South American country of Suriname is largely in need of critical energy infrastructure upgrades. Fortunately, rigorous efforts by electricians in the nation of 540,000 are continuing to get a boost from the IBEW.

Union Members Restore N.Y. Presidential Birthplace Cabin

A little known tourist attraction in New York’s Finger Lakes region is the birthplace of the 13th U.S. president, Millard Fillmore. Born on Jan. 7, 1800, in Moravia, the replica house sits in the namesake park Fillmore Glen four miles from the family log cabin that is no longer standing. But the imitation house was falling into disrepair, until the members of the Union Sportsmen Alliance went to work last spring.

Canadian Senate Approves Anti-Worker Bill

Conservative senators approved anti-union bill C-377, late last month, forcing labor unions to publicly disclose all their financial transactions to the federal government — everything from office supply purchases to salaries — creating onerous reporting requirements for union leaders and staff.

Ind. 911 Dispatchers Unite for Fair Contract

When an emergency happens, quick thinking by 911 dispatchers can mean the difference between life and death.

Canadian Government, Industry Join IBEW to Promote Women in Trades

Go to any IBEW conference, rally or gathering of activists, and you’ll frequently see a popular slogan on T-shirts and bumper stickers: “A woman’s place is in her union.”

IBEW to OSHA: Investigate Potential Radiation Dangers

Telecom employees who climb cell towers for a living already take enough risks. In the past decade, more than 90 workers have lost their lives from deadly falls, sometimes from over 1,000 feet.

First Agreement Sets Pace at Rail Contractor

New bargaining units in the IBEW’s railroad branch are rare. U.S. freight and passenger carriers are already union dense. While some smaller commuter carriers have been organized, big opportunities can be opened up at some of the companies that manufacture and service rail equipment.

RENEW Reaching New Heights in Rockies

Denver Local 111 member Nate Gutierrez was an 18-year old looking to change his life and advance his prospects when he started an apprenticeship with the IBEW. As a journeyman lineman he was working 40 hours a week, but he wanted to do more

Canada’s Members in Public Office

In the June issue of The Electrical Worker, we featured members who serve in public office in the U.S. They are not alone. Across Canada, dozens of IBEW members serve their communities and provinces in elected and appointed offices. Here are some of their stories.

Supreme Court: EPA Overreached on Power Plant Rule

The Supreme Court on June 29 struck down a proposed Environmental Protection Agency rule that would have potentially shuttered more coal fired power plants, undermining the viability of the electrical grid while playing havoc with thousands of good-paying jobs.

Members Enrich Canadian Leadership Tour

Good public policy and consensus should be the products of study and collaboration by a nation’s leaders. All too often, however, the leaders doing the studying and collaborating are detached from the day-to-day lives of people affected by their decisions.

W.Va. Republicans Ax State’s Prevailing Wage Law

Anti-worker West Virginia lawmakers effectively scrapped the state’s prevailing wage law on July 1, following a tense legislative session which saw working family supporters standing up to a recently emboldened GOP that won control of both houses in the state Capitol last November.


  June Issue

Union Plus Scholarships Awarded to IBEW Family Members

Each year, Union Plus helps the children of union members in the pursuit of higher education. Out of over 5,000 applications 106 were chosen this year, including 11 representatives of the IBEW.

In Ohio, the IBEW Spirit of Giving

IBEW members’ good works are expressed through volunteer efforts by hundreds of brothers and sisters in communities throughout the United States and Canada each year.

NLRB Wins Aid Montana Plant Bargaining

Two years ago, maintenance workers at REC Silicon in Butte, Mont., voted 30 to 22 to be represented by Helena Local 233. It was the IBEW’s first organizing campaign following three failed attempts by other unions at the company that produces silane gas and polysilicon used in the production of computer chips.

As Senate Set to Pass Fast Track, Activists Keep Up Momentum Against TPP

In a move that dismayed the growing chorus of labor leaders, environmentalists, clergy and other activists who had sounded the alarm on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Senate voted 60-37 on June 23 to help clear the way for fast-track approval for the trade deal.

Hard Bargaining in Southwest’s Copper Mines

Hardball. That’s the best way to describe generations of collective bargaining between unions and the U.S. copper mining industry.

‘This Fight is Not Over’
Fast Track Moves to Senate for Likely Tuesday Vote

Following a House vote two weeks ago that momentarily derailed fast track authority for the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership, a new vote on June 18 sends the trade deal back to the Senate, which is expected to vote Tuesday.

‘We Told Them the Truth’
N.J. Comcast Techs Beat Back Decertification Vote

Trying to organize shops at Comcast is, for many union activists, the ultimate David vs. Goliath situation.

Industry Night Blitz Winning in South

For more than 34 years, Billy Roach had worked as an electrician on heavy industrial and commercial construction projects for nonunion contractors around his hometown of Baton Rouge, La.

Worker Misclassification: Unfair, Expensive and All too Common

Misclassification of workers costs taxpayers billions of dollars, harms companies that follow the law and is much more widespread than previously thought, a new report from the Economic Policy Institute says.

Showdown in the Show Me State

The battle lines are clearly drawn on right-to-work legislation in Missouri. On June 4, Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed a bill from the Republican-led legislature that would have made Missouri the 26th right-to-work state.

House Defeats Obama on Trade Authority

Months of rallies, lobbying, letters and phone calls by members of organized labor and dozens of coalition partners paid off on June 12 as the House rejected a fast track trade package for the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership sent over from the Senate.

IBEW Shows the World the New World Trade Center

It takes a certain sort of courage to return to a site of trauma. The attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, are etched onto the nation’s memory, but for those who lost someone that day, the pain can be even more acute. So on May 18, when members of New York Local 1212 stepped into the One World Trade Center, their four lost brothers who were working on 9/11 were with them.

FairPoint to Lay Off Hundreds in New England

Nearly 2,000 FairPoint workers throughout New England went on strike for five months last October after the company sought millions in concessions, canceled health benefits for strikers, slashed pensions and sought to outsource jobs to low-paid, out of state contractors.

History Committee Recognizes Minn. Local’s Roots

Steve Yurista spends a lot of his time training and participating in long-distance canoe races. It’s all about stamina, preserving his energy for the long haul, he says.


Lonnie R. Stephenson is New IBEW President

As he takes the helm of one of North America’s leading unions, Lonnie R. Stephenson, IBEW’s new international president, credits President Emeritus Edwin D. Hill for setting a “clear path” to follow in growing the union’s numbers and influence.

IBEW Volunteers Fight Hunger in Pierce County

Members of Tacoma, Wash., Local 483 donated a record 4,015 jars of peanut butter to the Emergency Food Network in Pierce County on May 13.

International President Edwin D. Hill Retires

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers announces the retirement of International President Edwin D. Hill, effective June 1.

IBEW President Edwin D. Hill Retires
Sixth District Vice President Lonnie Stephenson Named New President


  May Issue

Ohio Gov. Kasich Cuts Rights for Home Care Workers

Gov. John Kasich has stripped child care and adult home care workers of collective bargaining rights they have enjoyed as a result of an executive order issued by his predecessor, Democratic Gov.Ted Strickland, seven years ago.

Rebuking Ill. Gov., Pro-Worker Lawmakers Go on Right-To-Work Offensive

As a self-described member of “the 1 percent of the 1 percent,” Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner doesn’t exactly have his finger on the pulse of working people, his critics say.

IBEW Members Commemorate Okla. Bombing

At 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995, when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed, Local 1141 journeyman Mikey Smith was at work a few blocks away when he heard the explosion.

Transportation Unions: Fund Amtrak for the Long Haul

Among the list of national priorities supported by red and blue voters is funding America’s passenger railroad, Amtrak. Almost 31 million passengers took an Amtrak train last year. That’s up 4 percent over the previous year.

Right-to-Work in Delaware? No Thanks, Lawmakers Say

A GOP-led move to create so-called right-to-work zones in Delaware has been scuttled by the state Senate’s Democratic majority.

White House Calls for Greener Grid

The Obama administration released a report April 21 that calls for billions in funding to move the nation’s aging energy infrastructure into the 21st century.

Senate Energy Bill Recognizes Union Apprenticeship Programs

General Motors Goes Greener with Help from Ohio IBEW

New car buyers are more concerned than ever with gas mileage and emissions. But if you want to go truly green, it helps not just to look at the car’s carbon footprint, but also the factory where it’s built.

Coalition Says: Improve Our Infrastructure

Man-made disasters can be far more devastating than those over which we have no control if we ignore warnings or apply the wrong solutions.

Long Beach Unanimously Passes City-wide PLA

The Long Beach, Calif., City Council unanimously approved a project labor agreement that guarantees prevailing wages on all projects over $500,000 for the next five years. Three weeks after the city-wide agreement on April 7, the independent Long Beach Harbor Department also ratified a $700 million dollar PLA.

Organizing Win at Windsor Hospital Reaps Gains

An IBEW office and clerical bargaining unit at Windsor Regional Hospital in Ontario was put to the test in October 2013 when the hospital initiated a merger with Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital.

Fast Track/TPP Battle Goes into Congressman’s Neighborhood

The legislative battle over whether to grant the Obama administration “fast track” authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership is spilling out to the neighborhoods where members of Congress expect to escape controversy.

L.A. Member Launches Co-Op Solar Company

Somerset Waters, a journeyman wireman member of L.A. Local 11, believes one of the keys to success for a company, or any enterprise for that matter, is placing trust in one’s co-workers

Sixth District Activist
RENEWing a Family Tradition

No one had to persuade Adam Hentschel to join the IBEW. He’s a fourth generation union member.


  April Issue

Record-Breaking IBEW Angler Appears on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’

Greg Myerson is a giant in the sport fishing world, breaking the record for the largest striped bass and beating his own record three times since. The record he set in 2011 still stands at 54 inches long and 81.8 pounds.

With Wis. Prevailing Wage Under Attack, New Report Cites Law’s Benefits

Anyone watching the political landscape in Wisconsin knows how easy it is to see the ill effects of Gov. Scott Walker’s policies toward working families.

Cities Take on Fight against Trans-Pacific Partnership

“All politics is local.” It’s one of those truisms that can be engraved on a bumper sticker, or tossed out in the middle of a debate over how power is won.

American Water Donates Thousands for Union Conservation Efforts

At a time when much of the U.S. is experiencing record levels of drought, good environmental stewardship is needed.

Kan. Asplundh Campaign Takes Inside Track

They work side-by-side with IBEW members, but they don’t belong to the union. Delegates to the Membership Development Conference pledged last September to reach out to approximately 27,000 of these nonmembers in right-to-work states and convince them of the benefits of standing under the union’s umbrella.

After Obama Veto, New Union Election Rules Take Effect

New rules governing how workers petition and vote for union representation took effect April 14.

This Saturday: National Rallies Against Fast Track

Working families and their allies will be hitting the streets and hoisting signs on April 18 in cities nationwide to send a message to Congress: Just say no to fast track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

IBEW President Hill on TPP: ‘No More NAFTAs’


Minn. Local Helps Revive Community Center

Not many cities in America have seen more ups and downs than Duluth, Minn. Located on the shore of Lake Superior, the city was once the largest port in the U.S, shipping tons of iron ore to the nation’s steel mills and lumber to fuel construction booms.

Alaska Member Wins World’s Longest Snowmobile Race

Anchorage, Alaska, Local 1547 member Scott Faeo and his teammate Eric Quam won the 2015 running of the longest snowmobile race in the world, the Iron Dog, Feb. 28.

Chicago Local Builds Renewable Training ‘Field of Dreams’

If you build it, they will come.

Training Program Helps TVA Coal Workers

In response to declining natural gas prices and new Environmental Protection Agency regulations, the Tennessee Valley Authority – the federal utility created by Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s – has been weaning itself off coal-generated power, retiring 11 coal-fired units and idling seven more in the last few years.

Corporate Lobbyists Campaign Against Workers’ Comp

For millions of injured workers, workers' compensation insurance means a broken bone or sprained muscle doesn’t result in bankruptcy.

Big Hearts in Kansas

After a fall from a horse left him without use of his limbs, the late actor Christopher Reeve, said, “Some people are walking around with full use of their bodies and they’re more paralyzed than I am.” .

Obama Vetoes Anti-Worker Bill, New Rules Take Effect April 14

President Obama on March 31 vetoed a proposed bill that would have scrapped new rules designed to streamline union election procedures.

Ore. Local Honors Minority Legacy

Stories. They pour out when you retire from a job after 26 years.


  March Issue

IBEW to Lawmakers: Hit the Brakes on ‘Fast Track’

Imagine a future where companies looking to make a profit off of overseas sweatshops can sue countries trying to eliminate child labor. The corporations can also sue governments that enact any kind of labor law that puts people before profits. And health care costs in impoverished nations rise as big pharmaceutical companies fight to keep cheaper, life-saving drugs off the market... 

Building Common Ground Between Utilities and Workers

The eighth annual gathering of IBEW leadership and investor-owned utility executives drew nearly 200 attendees from across the country to Washington, D.C. March 17.

Winners and Losers in the Republican Budget
Hint: You’re Not a Winner

The budget plan released by the House Budget Committee March 17 makes infrastructure investment, health care and the nation’s most vulnerable citizens victims while rewarding corporations and the wealthy.

Neb. Local Welcomes New Members

The city of Grand Island, Neb., has voluntarily recognized five community service officers as members of Local 1597.

Portland, Ore., Local Pickets for Fair Contract

We do the challenging work providing your power – and we deserve a decent contract.

Right-Wing Targets Ind. Common Construction Wage.

An Indiana law that leveled the playing field for building and construction workers on public projects for 80 years is on the verge of repeal by the state’s Republican-led legislature.

Locked Out Members Take to the Streets in N.C., Fla.

ADT workers and supporters held an informational picket in Winston-Salem, N.C. March 17, protesting the security company’s ongoing lockout 19 of its employees.

Detroit Local Honored For Volunteer Efforts

One new house built – from start to finish – every day.

Bosch Security Systems Abandons Pa. Members

“I feel horrible and betrayed. It’s depressing, life-changing, stressful. What other words can I come up with?” says Deb Kubala, a 37-year member of Lancaster, Pa., Local 1666.

New OSHA Standards Tackle Utility, Construction Practices

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration settled a lawsuit last month brought by a group of investor-owned utilities, with the end result clarifying new standards that will affect many IBEW members.

Hot Debate over Fast Track

The late writer Kurt Vonnegut once said, “A step backward, after making a wrong turn, is a step in the right direction.”

St. Louis IBEW Helps Kick Off City’s Pro Soccer Season

As any soccer fan knows, the key to success is having a sharp group of professionals at the top of their game.

Asplundh Organizing Vote a Landslide in Indiana

Asplundh tree-trimmers in Indiana recently voted 67 to 6 to join the IBEW, the 22nd successful organizing election at the company in less than two years.

Local 1 Apprentice Thrives in Golden Gloves

A force to be reckoned with. That’s how the St. Louis Labor Tribune describes Local 1 first-year apprentice Jurmain McDonald.

Video: ADT Locks Out N.C. Workers Seeking Contract

When Andrew Absher started working as a security technician with ADT, he looked forward to a good career that would provide for him and his wife in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Wis. Working Families Fight Right-to-Work

Madison, Wis. – More than 2,000 people rallied at the state capitol building Feb. 24, protesting right-to-work legislation that would weaken the ability of workers to collectively bargain.


  February Issue

FairPoint Workers Ratify New Agreements

More than 1,800 IBEW and CWA members throughout Northern New England have ratified tentative agreements with FairPoint Communications after three days of voting.

PRESS RELEASE  February 19, 2015: ADT Locks Out Winston-Salem, N.C. Employees

FairPoint, Unions Reach Tentative Agreement

After four months on strike, unions representing thousands of FairPoint Communications employees in New England announced Feb. 19 that they have reached a temporary agreement with the company.

Ill. Governor Targets Working Families

Newly elected Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner made union-busting one of his campaign themes in last year’s election.

Line Crew’s Safety Training Saves Infant’s Life

IBEW line workers know more than just how to replace a transformer or properly climb a pole. They are also masters of safety.

Voters Pick Favorites in 17th IBEW Photo Contest

High above the earth, linemen carefully replace high-voltage structure that was battered by Washington’s winter. By framing the scene with towering evergreens and a mountainous backdrop, Seattle Local 77 member Derek Williams turned this moment into the most popular shot of the 17th IBEW Photo Contest.

IBEW Says: Right-to-Work-for-Less is Wrong for New Mexico

Anti-worker politicians in the land of enchantment are pushing to make New Mexico the latest state to go “right-to-work-for-less.”

Why Millennials Are Choosing the Trades

Millennials those born between 1980 and 2000 – face an economic Catch-22. Most good-paying jobs require at minimum a four-year college degree. But those degrees come with a hefty price tag. The average 2013 graduate owes nearly $30,000 in student debt, an onerous burden for someone just starting out in the world.

PRESS RELEASE  February 9, 2015: IBEW International President Edwin D. Hill on Proposed Verizon/Frontier Sale


El Paso Local Hits Wage Theft

Nonunion Texas electrical contractors looking to turn a quick buck on prevailing wage projects often look for projects in El Paso.

Construction Unemployment Lowest Since 2007

Construction unemployment last year was at its lowest level in nearly seven years. At 8.9 percent, 2014 was the first time annual construction unemployment was below 10 percent since 2007, according to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

IBEW Underwrites PBS

After launching successful advertising campaigns during NFL games and cable news channels, the IBEW is extending its message to new audiences.

Poll: Many Americans Will Pay for Grid Upgrades

More than 40 percent of Americans east of the Mississippi, and just over a third of those to the west, are willing to pay at least $10 a month more on their utility bills for grid upgrades according to a poll released this summer by Harris Interactive. The average U.S. utility bill in 2012 was just over $105 a month according to data from the Energy Information Agency.

Lawmakers Push Low Wages in the Mountaineer State

The history of West Virginia is intertwined with the history of the union movement. Some of the biggest labor battles in American history took place in the hills and mines of the Mountaineer State.


  January Issue

At EWMC Conference, Young Workers Serve Community

Giving back. It’s a fundamental premise of the IBEW and the labor movement in general.

This Just In: PLAs Work

A special Massachusetts state commission recently confirmed what the IBEW has been saying for decades: project labor agreements work.

Union Plus Scholarship Deadline Jan. 31

For 22 years, Union Plus has helped union members and their children attend college.

Vote Now for the 2014 IBEW Photo Contest Winners

See that frigid winter landscape? The lineman expertly scaling a pole to perform storm repairs? That’s not just any old snapshot – it’s a perfect example of art in the everyday work of the Brotherhood.

FairPoint Negotiations Continue

Allison Beck, acting director of the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, issued a statement behalf of FairPoint Communications, Inc., the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Communications Workers of America.

Clean Coal Workers Organize in Ill.

Members of Springfield, Ill., Local 51 in Bartonsville have operated and maintained the Edwards coal-fired power plant for generations, all through the national debate over the role that coal will play in our nation’s energy future.

Join Young Workers at the Upcoming RENEW Conference

With IBEW facing a wave of retirements in its leadership ranks over the next few years, new leaders and activists are needed to carry the union forward in a challenging political and economic climate.

St. Louis Local Helps Needy Kids ‘Shop with a Cop’

The holidays are hard times for families in need. But St. Louis Local 1 and the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department helped make some children’s holidays a little brighter.

International and Local Communicators Win 2014 Awards

The International Labor Communications Association’s 2014 Labor Media Awards honored the union’s accomplishments in print, video and Web productions.

FairPoint, IBEW to Begin Federal Mediation

Union leaders representing employees at FairPoint Communications will join the company in talks with mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service on Jan 4. in an effort to restart contract negotiations that stalled last October.

New Season of Brotherhood Outdoors Premiers Jan. 4

The seventh season of Brotherhood Outdoors kicks off Jan. 4, featuring a member of the Sheet Metal Workers union on a big hunt for moose and deer in the wilds of Idaho.