The Electrical Worker online
April 2019

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Inspired by Solidarity

I was unprepared for the solidarity and brotherhood I received in Houston at this year's Electrical Workers Minority Caucus conference. Meeting Sister Robbie Sparks, co-founder of the caucus, was definitely a highlight of the convention for me. She is a credit to the IBEW.

I was unsure of how I would or could fit into the EWMC. What a surprise! The inclusion of the caucus is an opportunity for every member who joins and applies themselves. Belonging to a union makes each of us a minority in the American workforce because union membership is at its lowest level in decades.

The national EWMC Conference was full of workshops and small group meetings, all designed to bring members together with common goals and aimed toward growing the IBEW. Brotherhood and solidarity and the opportunity to network with my union sisters and brothers gave me a better understanding and a more positive outlook for the future.

I would encourage every member to get involved at the local level. There are a variety of ways to be more active. Thank you to Houston Locals 716 and 66 for all their hard work put into this event. It was a great experience.

Matt W. Harris, Local 292 member

Electing Labor Allies

I'm writing in response to a Local Lines article from Butte, Mont., Local 44 in February's Electrical Worker. This is a big thanks from one of the local's charter members in the late 1950s for your work in getting Sen. Jon Tester re-elected to the U.S. Senate from Montana in November. He's a real friend of labor.

I am now a retired lineman out of Seattle Local 77 with 63 years in the IBEW. You might say I've been around the block, and I know Donald Trump isn't a friend of us union working stiffs.

Ray Kincheloe, Local 77 retiree

Thanks for a Long Union Career

Upon my retirement, I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to the IBEW for providing my family security and prosperity for four generations. I'm very proud to be able to say that between my grandfather, father, myself and my son, we have over 150 years of membership in this Brotherhood. This was all possible because of the brave brothers and sisters who came before us, and it's truly an honor to be associated with such a great organization.

I'd like to say a special thanks to S.M. Electric and the Cheche family for having the confidence to let me manage projects for them from a very young age.

I'd be remiss not to thank all of the brothers and sisters who worked with me and for me throughout the years at Perth Amboy, N.J., Local 358 and then at New Brunswick, N.J., Local 456. As I've said many times throughout my career, you're only as good as the people working for you. Thank you for all your hard work, friendship and professionalism.

As a very young child, I would slip into my grandfather's work boots and strut around the house with the dream that one day I would follow his footsteps into the trade. Thanks to the IBEW, I was able to realize that dream.

God bless our union!

Dave Hegeman, Local 456 retiree
New Brunswick, N.J.

IBEW_Facebook  From Facebook: Every month the IBEW Facebook page receives thousands of comments from our dynamic and engaged community of members and friends.

Praise for Photo Contest Winners

Great pics! Congratulations to all the winning entries [in this year's IBEW Photo Contest, results announced in last month's Electrical Worker]. Thanks to all for sharing a slice of your work day with us all.

Karen Lane, Local 827 vice president
East Windsor, N.J.