The Electrical Worker online
January 2020

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Save Our Pensions

I just watched President Stephenson's video concerning the Grassley-Alexander plan. I wrote to both of my senators, and my wife is doing the same. This Grassley-Alexander plan is infuriating and so very wrong. You work hard all your life, save money and retire, relying on your union pension and Social Security to live on. All those years of hard work, only to have some thoughtless and careless people decide your pensions should be taxed more than they already are.

Jim Fliris Jr., Local 134 retiree

Making a Difference

I just watched a television ad about the IBEW and loved it. I was a college teacher for 30 years and a union member for most of that time. We would never tell people that college isn't for everyone, but I came to know that many people who are properly trained and represented can make a real difference in their communities. Thank you for keeping a positive image before the public.

Mike Schliessmann
Wimberley, Texas

[Editor's Note: See the IBEW's three new national television commercials at

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

Our Safety-Conscious Culture

Responding to " The Numbers Are In: Union Construction Jobs Are Safer Than Nonunion" [also In Circuits of this issue]:

I have worked both union and nonunion construction. I have also been a union safety representative for the Teamsters, and as a salaried safety coordinator for a NECA contractor before I got into the IBEW. Union is by far more safety conscious than nonunion in my experience. Starting out in the construction industry in 1998, I wasn't even aware that OSHA existed beyond the mandatory posters that were required in the jobsite trailer, and that was on a prevailing wage Army Corps of Engineers project. Fast-forward 15 years and it was still the same experience for me nonunion. I love the safety culture that has been fostered in the union.

Ryan Kesterson, Local 332 apprentice
San Jose, Calif.

A True Cost of 'Precision'

Responding to " Rail Workers' Safety, Jobs in Jeopardy as Precision Scheduled Railroading Expands" [ also in last month's Electrical Worker]:

Lost my job at Union Pacific two years ago to this PSR garbage. It's horrible what's happening to working families at the hands of greedy executives and shareholders who are bleeding that company for all it's worth at the expense of their employees and customers.

Andrew Kramer, Local 2 member
St. Louis

Never Too Late

Commenting on an image posted as part of the "IBEW Changed My Life" series:

Twenty years I worked as a nonunion electrician. I applied and was accepted into the lineman union apprenticeship. I finished and I'm proud to say I'm a union journeyman lineman. Best decision I ever made.

Daniel Shade, Local 126 member