June 2020
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Also In This Issue New Jersey Locals
Protect Hospital Workers, First Responders read_more

LA Local Provides Masks, Food — Even Entertainment — to Community in Need read_more

Easter in Syracuse
Was For Supporting Frontline Workers read_more

Local 1547 Steers Massive Mask-Making Project for Fairbanks Hospital read_more

Boston Local Donates 20,000 Face Masks to
Area Hospital read_more

Chicago, Iowa Locals
Keep Communities Fed read_more

My IBEW Story Levi Cook read_more







Cover Photo

IBEW Members Leading the COVID-19 Response

Rene Mata is a San Diego Local 465 gas service technician, and for most of his 16-year career, the biggest threats on the job were gas leaks. Explosions are uncommon but perilous, and leaks must be addressed quickly.

"We prepare, and we wear personal protective equipment, but we have a responsibility to work the orders," Mata said.

In the beginning of March, Mata was called to repair a leaking appliance, a service San Diego Gas and Electric provides to its customers.

But the gas leak wasn't the biggest danger Mata faced on this call. The homeowner was a sick man. All the symptoms pointed to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that came roaring out of China in the new year and circled the globe.

While the rest of the world was working from home or physically distancing, Mata was putting on an entirely new kind of PPE and preparing to go where everyone is told to stay away.

"Part of the job is to enter some hazardous situations," he said.

Mata is one of tens of thousands of IBEW members who have been called to keep North America functioning as all around them the familiar is shut down.

Across North America, hundreds of millions of stores, restaurants and offices closed, and the economy was stripped down to its essentials. At the foundation were the men and women of the IBEW.

In Ontario, hundreds of health care workers kept hospitals running. Across the continent, wiremen worked through the night, night after night, to build dozens of temporary hospital facilities and accelerate completion of yearslong hospital expansion projects. In Indiana and Nevada, our members retooled and rewired factories to produce ventilators. Transmission and distribution system operators, the air traffic controllers of the power grid, said goodbye to their families for weeks at a time and bunked down in RVs stationed in office parking lots.

These are just a few of the ways that these jobs, so often hidden or taken for granted, became the bright lights as the economy went dark in a global effort to slow the spread, flatten the curve and save lives. read_more


Officers Column Stephenson:
Leading the Way read_more
Responding to Crisis read_more

TransitionsCurtis E. Henke;
Mark Hager;
Jack McCann;
Alphonse Russo Jr. read_more


Change of Address