IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson issued the following statement on the occasion of the passing of IBEW International President Emeritus Edwin D. Hill:
“The labor movement has lost one of its greatest visionaries and leaders. We join with President Hill’s friends and family in mourning his loss. But while this is a moment of great sadness, we draw inspiration and joy from President Hill’s nearly six decades of service to working families and the union that was the cause of his life: the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
“A native of Center Township, Pennsylvania, and journeyman wireman by trade, from a young age Ed Hill made the IBEW his calling. A second-generation member, he entered the labor movement at its height, a time when it seemed to many that organized labor would only keep growing stronger in the decades to come.
“But despite the enormous challenges faced by labor and the IBEW in the years to come, including recessions, the growth of aggressive corporate union-busting and the election of politicians hostile to labor, Ed Hill never gave up and he never gave in.
“While cherishing our traditions, standing still was never an option for him. He was a leader who understood the need to always be on the forefront of changing trends as the only way we could meet and overcome all the challenges faced by the IBEW.
“The programs he pioneered and implemented – from the Code of Excellence and market recovery, which created alternative job classifications to help our contractors successfully bid on projects, to business development initiatives and an expanded investment in membership development – ensured that the IBEW not only survived through the toughest of times but expanded and grew.
“Ed’s number one job was to ensure that the legacy of the IBEW and the dreams of its founders would be there for subsequent generations of electrical workers and he did that job to the utmost of his ability.
“The IBEW today is one of the strongest and most influential unions in North America – respected on worksites, in corporate boardrooms and on Capitol and Parliament Hill – and so much of that is due to Ed’s leadership, vision and hard-work.
“Even upon his retirement, he never stopped serving, working with Electricians Without Borders to help the people of Haiti rebuild after the 2010 earthquake wreaked massive damage across the nation.
“Ed was a mentor and friend to myself and so many others in the IBEW, and he will be dearly missed.
“Our hearts and prayers are with the Hill family at this time.”