April

  April Issue 


Driving Down Wages in the Construction Industry

When the Davis-Bacon Act became law in 1931, there was a belief that government should use its buying power to enhance the welfare of working people. It was a way to ensure a good wage and that those wages would go to the local economy. That point of view is slowly losing sway as the race to the bottom continues in the construction industry.  

With Talks at a Standstill, New York Officials Step Up for Striking Charter Employees

New York Local 3 isn’t getting anywhere with Charter/Spectrum officials in its battle for a fair contract for striking workers. 

Back to Work at 71, Houston Electrician Rides Bike to Honor Son, Help Others

It was 2009 and Tim Tsotsonis wanted to work as an electrician again after a nearly 22-year absence. And he wanted to help others as a way of saying thanks for the help his family received caring for son Alexander, who has cerebral palsy.

BGE Workers Get Their Union: Baltimore Local 410 Chartered

The IBEW officially has a new local: Baltimore Local 410. 

Trump Stops Rule That Protects Investors from Their Financial Advisors

A rule designed to help working people better save for retirement has been halted by the Trump administration.

Denver Local 111 Float Lights Up St. Patrick’s Day Parade

More than 1 million people came out for Denver’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade March 11.

Nuclear Physics Gets a Boost from the IBEW

Scientists from across the globe may soon be uncovering the secrets of the universe, and they’ll have hundreds of IBEW members to thank.

Boston Local Hosts Second Annual Girls in Trades Conference

Continuing a new tradition, Boston Local 103 hosted more than 350 girls from eastern Massachusetts area high schools on March 2 for a conference and career fair to encourage their interest in the skilled trades. 

Two Strangers and a Life-Saving Act of Brotherhood

This is a story about two brothers.

Local 3 Members Walk Picket Lines after Talks with Charter Cable Stall

New York Local 3 members employed by Charter/Spectrum Communications had worked under an expired agreement for nearly four years. 

Kansas Members Help Vets, Change a Red State’s Mind About Unions

Jeff Thomson appreciates the importance of skilled workers on projects that provide affordable housing for people in need. That’s why he was thrilled when members of Hutchinson, Kan., Local 661 volunteered to help renovate a duplex that will be home to two military veterans and their families.

In Wisconsin, Bill to Limit PLAs is Another Shot at Labor

The Wisconsin GOP and Gov. Scott Walker have become the poster children in recent years when it comes to an anti-working family agenda. They’re about to strike again.

 

March

  March Issue 

Opportunities for Career Growth Through Higher Education

If you’ve ever thought about furthering your education, IBEW partner Excelsior College may have the online program for you.

Construction Roars Back Post-Recession; Boom Challenges Manpower Realities

Construction is on an upswing in Evansville, Ind., a city of about 120,000 people nestled in a bend in the Ohio River.

Texas Members Join Effort to Rebuild State Park

Four members from Dallas-Ft.Worth, Texas, Local 20 took time out to help make improvements to a nearby state park as part of the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance Work Boots on the Ground initiative. 

Secretary-Treasurer Chilia to Retire; VP Cooper Appointed

After nearly 50 years of service to the IBEW and the North American organized labor movement, International Secretary-Treasurer Salvatore J. Chilia announced his retirement March 20.

Boston IBEW Members Hailed for Helping to Save a Life

Three members of Boston Local 103 resuscitated a passenger on the platform of the city’s subway system March 2.

The GOP Plan to Upend Health Care and Give Billions to the Rich

Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan have a plan to overhaul the American health care system, but their proposal preys on the old, the sick, the poor and the middle class while rewarding the super-rich and drug companies with a $600 billion tax cut.

Trump Releases Budget Priorities; American Workers not Among Them

President Donald Trump released his first budget proposal March 16, calling for the largest cuts to the federal government since the drawdown after World War II.

IBEW Members Chosen for Leadership Conference

Aaron Zboch-Alves and Greg McFarlane are following a tradition of new leadership in the IBEW’s First District. 

Bill Seeks to Limit Bargaining Rights for More Americans

The IBEW has joined with other unions in opposing proposed federal legislation that would thwart legal protections for employees who work for private businesses that Native American tribes have even a small financial interest in.

White House Plans Giveaway to Wall Street

From 2008 to 2009 the U.S. economy collapsed into the steepest recession it had seen since the 1930s. The $8 trillion housing bubble burst, thanks to largely unregulated, reckless financial dealings by big banks and Wall Street. Nearly 9 million Americans lost their jobs, 7 million more lost their homes and more than $2.8 trillion in retirement savings flew out the window nearly overnight.

In Washington, D.C., Another Contractor Stiffed by Trump

An IBEW signatory contractor filed suit against the Trump organization for skipping out on $2 million of work done on the luxury Washington D.C. hotel in the Old Post Office Building.

Besieged by GOP Attacks, Iowa Workers Fight Back

February was a devastating month for unions in Iowa. Following November election wins in the House and Senate, Republicans, already in control of the governor’s office, commanded the entirety of the state’s legislative process for the first time in two decades. And they wasted no time in coming after unions.

In Albuquerque, IBEW is a Family Affair

In December, four Beebes stepped to the front of Albuquerque, N.M., Local 611’s hall to take their oaths before their union brothers and sisters.

Looking to the Past for the Future of Organizing

With new advocacy groups popping up all over the internet, members of Congress using Snapchat and worldwide marches starting on Facebook, it may seem old-fashioned to think that organizing lessons can be found in not just a book, but one about someone born at the beginning of the last century. 

Hate Not Welcome: IBEW, Building Trades Members Volunteer to Repair Vandalized Cemetery

Members of Philadelphia Building Trades and IBEW Local 98 are volunteering their time and resources to make it known that hate has no home in the City of Brotherly Love.

February

  February Issue 

War on Unions has a New Front in Iowa

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad signed a law Feb. 17 dramatically reducing the power of public-sector union members to negotiate with the state. 

In Win for Working Families, New Hampshire Says ‘No’ to Right-to-Work

New Hampshire’s nickname is the Granite State, a salute to the hard rock that is plentiful there and used in construction. Perhaps it’s only fitting its people held firm against right-to-work laws.

Fresh off a Victory, Working People React to Labor Department Nominee Acosta

On Feb. 16, Donald Trump nominated lawyer Alexander Acosta to replace failed labor secretary nominee Andrew Puzder, who was forced to withdraw his name from consideration less than 24 hours earlier.

What IBEW and Congress Can Do About the Future of the Energy Grid

America’s energy infrastructure was on Capitol Hill’s agenda last week, and the IBEW was there to provide some expertise.

Record Snow Turns Out Calif. Lights; IBEW Turns Them Back On

With winter comes snowstorms, and with normal snowstorms come power outages and emergency work for the tens of thousands of IBEW lineworkers. Even a few inches of snow and ice can knock out power for hundreds of thousands of people.

From Pets to Vets, Delaware Members Give Back

The members of Wilmington, Del., Local 313 are willing to do their part for their neighbors, whether they’ve got two legs or four.

Millennial Minority Workers Look Forward While Giving Back

The young members of the Electrical Workers Minority Caucus are growing their ranks and the next generation of the IBEW, and that includes a commitment to service.

Protect Your Paycheck: Fight Back Against National Right-to-Work

Emboldened by the frenzied first days of single-party control of the federal government, Republicans in Congress took aim on Feb. 1 at a longtime target – working people.

Leadership, Determined Workers Lead to Vancouver Organizing Win Over ‘Fake’ Union

Leif Andersen heard fellow workers on a jobsite at the BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver last spring talk about their union failing to listen to their concerns and continually siding with management.

NACTEL– Education is the Gateway to the Jobs of the Future; Virtual Open House Feb. 7

There is a constant demand for telecommunications workers but the best jobs –the ones that become careers-- are only open to people who understand the industry’s rapidly changing technology.

IBEW, Jobs to Move America On Track to Good Jobs in New York

The IBEW has worked successfully with Jobs to Move America to ensure public transportation projects create good paying jobs for working families in the communities they serve. The next success story might be in New York.

Right-To-Work Battle Heats Up in N.H., Mo.

The march by GOP-controlled states to take away rights from working families continues as newly emboldened representatives and governors – elected with sweeping majorities – make their first order of business to cut paychecks and limit the voices of workers.

These Seattle Members are Powering a Massive Infrastructure Project

Bertha is a very big part of a very big project, and Seattle Local 46 members are helping to steer her, and the project, to the finish line.

January

  January Issue 

GOP Wants to Cut Prevailing Wage for Highway Projects

America’s bridges, roads and tunnels are in a sorry state, desperately in need of major investment, but Republicans on Capitol Hill are trying to make sure union labor has no part in rebuilding the country’s infrastructure.

Billion Dollar Texas Build Lays Path for ‘Clean Coal’

On Jan. 10, America’s first large-scale “clean coal” power station was declared operational, and IBEW members from Houston Local 66 are playing an integral part in making the groundbreaking technology work.

IBEW Electrician/Congressman Appointed to Labor-Focused Committee

New Jersey Rep. Donald Norcross -- the only active member of the IBEW in Congress—has been appointed to serve on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

‘All She Had to Do was Call 103’: Boston Members Rescue Missing Cat

It was a normal January night like any other. Members of Boston Local 103 were doing routine maintenance on an above-ground part of Interstate 93. They had no idea they were about to turn into local heroes.

‘Cautiously Optimistic:’ IBEW Leaders See Reasons to Like Proposed FairPoint Sale

FairPoint’s purchase of Verizon’s landline business in northern New England eight years ago was beset by problems from the beginning.

Fired While His Wife Was in Labor, Man Rejects Countless Offers for IBEW Apprenticeship

Lamar Austin became an unwitting public figure when he was fired because he missed work to attend the birth of his son on New Year’s Day. News of the incident spread on social media after it was reported by newspaper and television stations in New England.

Labor Nominee Accused of Widespread Labor Violations

Donald Trump’s nominee for labor secretary routinely stole from his workers and fostered an unsafe work environment in pursuit of personal and shareholder profit, according to current and former employees who spoke on Capitol Hill Jan. 10.

Victory: More Than 1,400 BG&E Workers Join the IBEW

After an 18-month organizing drive, a majority of Baltimore Gas & Electric's 1,418 gas and transmission-distribution workers voted to join the IBEW on Jan. 12.

Detroit’s ‘Wobbly’ Kitchen: Serving Up a Healthy Dose of Community Spirit

For many, Sunday morning starts with a lazy cup of coffee, maybe the sports page or readying the kids for church. But twice a month for nearly a dozen members of Detroit Local 58, Sunday starts at the union hall with 120 pounds of raw chicken.

First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Opens off Atlantic Coast

Business Manager Michael K. Daley and everyone with Providence, R.I., Local 99 had reason to celebrate when the first offshore wind farm in U.S. waters became fully operational in mid-December.

Republican House To Federal Workers: ‘Do What We Want or Kiss Your Salary Goodbye’

On their first session of the new year, House Republicans brought back a rule written three years before the invention of the lightbulb that would allow Congress to target specific federal workers and programs. 

Long-Shot East Coast Rail Plan: Faster Commutes, IBEW Jobs

Rail infrastructure between Washington and New York has been suffering for decades, falling victim to heavy traffic combined with a lack of investment. But federal regulators have a plan for sorely-needed upgrades that could shorten commutes and lead to IBEW jobs.

Kentucky Republicans Set to Gut Union Rights

Kentucky is poised to become the 27th state, and the last state in the South, to pass so-called “right-to-work” legislation.

‘We’re in a Union … We Have All We Need’: Why These Members Give Back

This crew of young, volunteer-oriented IBEW members is making their mark, one can of yams at a time.