July 10 is Lineworker Appreciation Day, a time to reflect on the contributions of North America’s lineworkers, who put themselves at risk day in and day out to ensure the smooth function of our modern world.
While others claim different days to honor these brave men and women, July 10 carries a special significance for the IBEW and for our utility partners that make up the Edison Electric Institute: It was the day the IBEW’s founder, Henry Miller, was knocked from an electric pole and killed while performing storm restoration for Potomac Electric Light and Power Co. in Washington, D.C.
“Our founder, Henry Miller, is far from the only lineworker who has made the ultimate sacrifice to keep the lights on and power flowing,” said International President Lonnie R. Stephenson. “A single day will never be enough to show our gratitude for the important work our members do, but I hope everyone will take a moment on Sunday to reflect on the sacrifices these brave men and women make to make the rest of our lives easier.”
In honor of the day, Rep. Linda Sanchez of California, a labor lawyer and former member of Santa Ana, Calif., Local 441, introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives calling on Congress to recognize the work of America’s lineworkers.
“We’re grateful for Sister Sanchez’s leadership on this issue, and join her and all our allies in Congress in thanking lineworkers and their families for their sacrifice,” Stephenson said.
“Whether it’s doing the routine work of maintaining our electrical infrastructure or traveling thousands of miles at a moment’s notice to restore power in the wake of the latest natural disaster, we know we can count on our line crews, and we want them to know they can count on us. Thank you all for your service to our two great nations.”