The Electrical Worker online
June 2016

From the Officers
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Growing Our Brotherhood

It has been our great privilege over the last several months to welcome nearly 2,400 new hard-working women and men at DirecTV to the IBEW.

Thanks to the dedicated work of volunteer organizing committees from Hawaii to Pennsylvania and a dozen places in between, we've been able to grow this union, giving a voice to these thousands who've had no say in their workplaces for too long.

Whether it was service technicians in Colorado and Arizona or customer service representatives in Montana, it took guts for every one of these groups to stand up and join together, and we're proud to stand with them as they seek their first contract with the company.

Victories like the one at DirecTV don't come easy. They take a lot of hard work from staff organizers and employee leaders, but growing this union is vital to our survival. So is preserving good middle-class jobs for the next generation that will one day take our places.

As you well know, organizing is the lifeblood of this Brotherhood, whether it's recruiting apprentices, expanding use of the construction electrician/construction wireman program or identifying new opportunities in professional and industrial workplaces. It also means strengthening our local unions whenever possible with internal organizing campaigns and membership outreach.

In February, when IBEW brothers and sisters at the Faurecia exhaust systems plant in Indiana needed a lift, they hit the streets, knocking on the doors of hundreds of their co-workers and boosting Bloomington, Ind., Local 1424's membership in that facility by more than 100 people.

That's the kind of initiative we need to be taking all across the IBEW. The stronger we are as a Brotherhood, the louder our voices are when we speak together and demand fair treatment, fair wages and a decent shot at the middle class.

So ask yourselves, am I doing everything I can to organize every worker in my jurisdiction, to offer others the peace of mind and security that comes with my union contract? It takes a 100 percent commitment from every IBEW member, leader and activist to keep our Brotherhood growing and thriving, and I'm asking you to join me in committing yourselves and your locals to organizing in your communities.

Strengthening this great Brotherhood for our children and their children is exactly the kind of legacy we want to leave.


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Lonnie R. Stephenson

Lonnie R. Stephenson
International President