The Electrical Worker online
December 2020

My IBEW Story
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David Cardy, Retired Gas Service Technician
Tuscon, Ariz., Local 1116

"I joined the IBEW in 2003 when Tuscon Electric Power bought the company I was working for. We looked at TEP's union staff and saw how the IBEW took care of them and we asked to join pretty quickly.

For me, joining the union wasn't about the money. It was about being treated fairly. Before the IBEW, supervisors could play favorites, giving raises and choice assignments to certain people and stiffing the workers they didn't like. That stopped with our first contract, which I was lucky enough to help negotiate as a steward. Things evened out and got more fair.

The attention to safety changed, too. Before we joined the IBEW, safety was an afterthought. With the union, it was at the forefront, and union members were asked to serve on safety committees that wouldn't have been considered before.

More than anything, with the union I felt secure in my job and I never felt threatened, which was a big deal to me — I'd never been shy about speaking my mind to management.

Three neck surgeries forced me to retire early, but joining the IBEW was one of the best decisions I ever made. I had a great career, and I've got a secure retirement, and my IBEW membership helped make that possible."

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