March 2018

  March Issue 

First Ship Built by IBEW for Canadian National Shipbuilding Strategy Launches

The first ship built by Vancouver, B.C., Local 213 members under the Canadian government's National Shipbuilding Strategy launched late last year from Seaspan's Vancouver shipyards.

Union Members Send Pro-Worker Candidate to Congress

In a victory for working people that seemed impossible just weeks ago, Pennsylvania union members tipped a deep red congressional district blue in a special election Tuesday.

Indiana RENEW Members Help Local Animal Rescue

The first 24 hours are crucial when you’re nursing an emaciated horse back to health, says Tammy Barnett, co-owner of the Horse Shoe Equine Rescue. That’s why she’s spent entire nights outside, in the freezing cold, monitoring and slowly feeding the neglected animals. Now, thanks to volunteers including members of Terre Haute, Ind., Local 725, those nights are over.

Numbers Tell the Story: Indiana’s Repeal of Prevailing Wage Is a Disaster

Vice President Mike Pence was governor of Indiana in 2015 when the state’s GOP-dominated Legislature passed a repeal of the state’s prevailing wage laws, arguing the measure would save taxpayers money without cutting workers’ salaries.

Pushing Infrastructure on Capitol Hill, IBEW’s Ross Urges Action

Construction and Maintenance Department Director Jim Ross testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy Feb. 27 about how the federal government can improve the state of the nation’s energy infrastructure.

Big Banks Fueled the Great Recession. GOP Lawmakers Want to Let Them Do It Again

Senate Republicans are making a rapid push to weaken banking regulations that pulled the nation out the Great Recession and put tens of thousands of IBEW members back to work.

Reformed: IBEW Local in Pa. Writes a Second Act for a Closed School

It didn’t take a miracle for members of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Local 163 to turn a closed Catholic school into an IBEW-NECA joint training facility, but leaders hope the building’s holy vibes will continue to bless the work being done inside

IBEW Members Bring Holiday Joy to an Island in Ruins

One of Bobbie Lynn Mayfield’s greatest joys is making Christmas special for people who otherwise would have little or nothing under the tree.

Safety Underground: Top-NotchManhole Training Goes Mobile

IBEW members working underground have experienced sweeping changes in recent years. Private contractors are performing an ever-larger share of the work once done by public utilities. Increasingly technical equipment has put more demands on everyone. And concerns about safety linger, in part because there's been little standardization throughout the industry.

IBEW Photo Contest: The Results are in

Nearly 1,776 feet above Manhattan, Joe Buonocore did something very few others would: he looked down.

Instead of vertigo, Buonocore, a journeyman inside wireman and specialist climber for New York Local 3, captured his mind-bending view of fellow Local 3 member Chris Bugeaunu hanging from the spire of One World Trade Center.

February 2018

  February Issue 

Every Vote Counts: How Workers Are Shifting The Political Landscape

“My vote won’t make a difference.”

IBEW, TVA Embark on Historic Code of Excellence Partnership

Embracing the IBEW’s Code of Excellence, the Tennessee Valley Authority and its union workforce announced a historic partnership Feb. 6, intended to strengthen shared values and inspire new levels of cooperation between labor and management.

Bankrolled by Billionaires, Anti-Union
Lawsuit Lands Monday at Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in an ominous case threatening the ability of workers to bargain collectively for fair wages, benefits and job conditions, the latest assault on unions financed by some of America's richest families and corporations.

Supreme Court to Decide Future of Public Sector Unions

On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in what some are calling the most important union rights case of the century. And many labor leaders and working people are bracing for the worst when a decision is handed down later this year.

Rebuilding Paradise: IBEW Crews Bring Light,Livelihood Back to Virgin Islands

As cruise ships began to return to St. Croix last November, tourists seemed surprised to see so many work crews busy on the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

State of the Worker

Family-wage jobs. Safe workplaces. Retirement security. Tax fairness. Quality, affordable health care. A voice at work.

Retiring Early? Don’t Make This Mistake

Thinking about retirement can be overwhelming. The list of things to consider often seems endless.

Day of action set to support working people’s rights

Two days before the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in a case that could have a devastating effect on working people's collective-bargaining rights, IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson is encouraging members across the country to take part in a national "Working People's Day of Action."

Unions Key as Pennsylvania Special Election Nears

The race to fill southwestern Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional seat ends March 13 and tens of thousands of union members will play an outsize role in determining the winner.

Connecticut local embraces RENEW to help paralyzed teen

When the family of a paralyzed teen needed help making their home more accessible, members of New Haven, Conn., Local 90 jumped into action to donate their time and skills.

House Democrats Call for $1 Trillion in Infrastructure Spending, 16 Million Jobs

U.S. House Democrats unveiled a sweeping plan Thursday to invest $1 trillion in the nation’s decaying infrastructure, creating 16 million new American jobs by tackling everything from rickety bridges and railways to safe water, renewable energy and high-speed internet access.

IBEW Members Near Completion on Massive Canadian Hydro Project

One of the largest transmission projects in North America is coming to an end, and when it does, it will have connected two Canadian provinces for the first time and employed approximately 3,500 IBEW members along the way.

Idaho Democratic Party Staff Join IBEW

For decades the Democratic party has relied on organized labor for support at the ballot. Now the staff of the Idaho Democratic party has voted to join Boise Local 291 for support on the job.

U.S. and Mexican Unions: Mexico Violating NAFTA’s Lax Labor Laws

The AFL-CIO and Mexico’s National Union of Workers formally complained to the Department of Labor that Mexico is violating the already low labor standards of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.

Public Sector Unions Under Attack in Florida

A bill designed to wreak havoc among public sector unions in Florida passed the state House on Jan. 25, and it now awaits action in the Senate.

January 2018

  January Issue 

B.C. Challenge: Keeping Women in the Trades

Recruiting women into the trades is getting a little easier, Lisa Langevin has found over more than 15 years as an electrician. But getting them to stay is another story – even as construction is booming across British Columbia.

Call Your Senators: Chamber Weighs Massive Rollback of Labor Rights

Congress is close to passing the largest retreat on labor rights since the implementation of the National Labor Relations Act in 1935, and several wavering Senate Democrats will cast critical votes deciding whether the anti-worker effort succeeds or fails.

New Member Orientations Key to Creating Good Union Activists

There’s an old adage that you only have one chance to make a good first impression. It’s also critical to orienting – and organizing – new members into the union.

Illinois Member Jumps into Political Arena Ready to Fight for the Middle Class

West Frankfort, Ill., Local 702 Business Manager Steve Hughart learned recently that a 96-year-old widow of a retired IBEW member was having trouble accessing her late husband’s benefits. Business agent Jason Woolard didn’t just help her secure those benefits; he went to her home and spent several hours helping get her finances in order.

Controversial, Anti-union Activist Poised for Lifetime Federal Judgeship

A lawyer with a history of working to promote anti-worker policies was among 17 nominees who advanced quickly this week toward near-certain appointments to lifetime terms as federal judges.

Are Fewer OSHA Safety Inspectors Putting Workers at Risk?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is down at least 40 workplace safety inspectors since early 2017, a troubling trend attributable to Donald Trump’s hiring freeze coupled with attrition. Budget cuts under consideration by the White House are likely to make matters even worse for worker safety.

Union Activists Help Kill Right-to-Work in Delaware, but the Fight Goes On

The IBEW and other unions scored a win in Delaware on Jan. 9, when the GOP-dominated Sussex County Council voted 4-1 against a proposed right-to-work law.

‘Building Futures’ Offers Second Shot at Life

The U.S. unemployment rate has remained in the low single digits for the past several years, a sign of a strengthening economy since the 2008 recession ran roughshod over millions of working Americans. But finding a solid middle-class job can still be a struggle for some, especially for someone who has spent time behind bars.

On the Chopping Block: Federal Employee Wages and Benefits

Trump Administration officials have suggested ways to save the government money in the next budget. And, no surprise, some of the savings are expected to come at the expense of working people.

The Week the NLRB Eviscerated Workers’ Rights

The National Labor Relations Board put its first Republican majority in years to quick use, issuing a flurry of decisions in a single week in early December that unraveled important pro-worker gains made over the last eight years.

Union-Made New Year’s Gift Will Play in Peoria for Years to Come

On the coldest New Year’s Eve in the history of Peoria, Ill., members of IBEW Local 34 gave residents a dazzling reason to brave the weather.

A Different Kind of Prison Pipeline

KC Matthews says she hopes to be an electrician someday and it’s thanks in large part to Bob Thomas and the Inmate Ward Labor program at the Central California Women’s Facility.