The Electrical Worker online
August 2017

From the Officers
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The Possible Dream

One of the main reasons we watch sports is to see people strive for the impossible and reach it. In every moment, with commitment, hard work and belief in themselves, people can accomplish outcomes that everyone else says couldn't happen.

Maybe that is what inspired the newest members of Boston Local 1228 to launch their organizing drive in our cover story this issue. Their jobs are to bring the sights and sounds of Boston's sports teams — the Celtics, Patriots, Revolution, Bruins and Red Sox — to millions of fans in New England and the rest of the country.

And for as long as most of them can remember, even though Boston is one of the densest union cities in North America, these were nonunion, freelance jobs. Anyone who has worked that kind of job knows the drill: no benefits, the same work gets different rates for no reason, and getting hired was at the whim of the manager.

Except, in this case, when the technician was hired to work for a visiting team that had a contract with a union back home, they were required to pay the Boston techs the union rate.

Which is to say, more.

Most of the techs were happy with the windfall and left it at that. But some were not. Some wanted to know why all jobs weren't union jobs. And the response was, basically, because it's impossible to change it.

So I want to draw some attention to the new members of Local 1228 for doing what other people said couldn't be done.

Because here is the secret: it never was impossible, it just wasn't easy. These weren't professional union organizers. They were nonunion rank and file workers who decided that they were worth more than they were getting and decided to do something about it. Now they've done it, from zero to 100 percent organized.

That is why I say it so frequently: every member of this Brotherhood has it in them to be an organizer. Every member has it in them to fight for their worth on the job. If you work in a right-to-work state, talk to the people who aren't members about why they should join. If you know nonunion wiremen and linemen, talk to them about the power of joining together in union. And if you know some nonunion broadcast technicians, slip them a copy of this story and help them achieve the not-so-impossible, too.


Also: Cooper: GOP Health Fiasco Read Cooper's Column

Lonnie R. Stephenson

Lonnie R. Stephenson
International President