The Electrical Worker online
February 2017

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Raising the Stakes

The election season has been over for months. But for working families, the real action starts now.

From state houses to Congress, lawmakers are preparing an ambitious anti-worker agenda that drives down wages, while making it harder for working people to come together and bargain collectively, including major cuts to health and retirement benefits and elimination of safety regulations.

There are reports that House Speaker Paul Ryan is eying ending Medicare as we know it, while legislators and governors in states such as Kentucky and Missouri are pushing for the immediate passage of right-to-work laws. And President Trump's pick to head the Labor Department, Andrew Puzder, is a vocal critic of raising the minimum wage who has endorsed an extensive guest worker program to fill American jobs with low-paid foreign workers.

That's why your state representative, member of Congress, governor and president need to hear from you now more than ever.

There are members of the IBEW in every congressional district in the nation. We are the bedrock of our communities, working hard every day and always giving back to those in need.

We can be cynical and assume that our elected officials cannot be swayed. But the truth is the major priority of most politicians is getting re-elected.

That gives every voting constituent a unique power to make their voice heard. It is easy for a member of Congress to ignore appeals from outside their district, but it is a lot harder to ignore one coming from inside.

Even if we can't sway their vote, by putting on the heat, we are raising the stakes and making it clear that those representatives can't count on our support come 2018.

Because the IBEW isn't some beltway lobbying group. It's a brotherhood of flesh and blood members who vote and have the respect of their neighbors and community leaders.

So please: call your representative, or write him or her a letter or email. Even better: attend a local town hall, or visit them in person. And let them know that you are paying attention. And keeping score.


Also: Stephenson: Excellence off the Job Read Stephenson's Column

Salvatore J. Chilia

Salvatore J. Chilia
International Secretary-Treasurer