The Electrical Worker online
January 2021

From the Officers
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Doing Our Part

The COVID-19 crisis has tested each of us in ways we couldn't have imagined at this time last year. Jobs and plans have been interrupted; friends and family have fallen ill, and many have tragically been lost to this virus. In many ways, it feels like we've lost an entire year to this disease.

But I'm proud to say that in this issue you'll read about the work your very own IBEW sisters and brothers are doing to bring an end to this awful pandemic. These members, who are wiring research labs and storage facilities and setting up emergency manufacturing lines in the union-dense pharmaceutical industry, are quite literally a key part of the effort to save the world from this plague.

Reading this story, it got me thinking about the importance of the work each and every one of you does each day. I doubt that many of us go to work thinking that the electrical or communications lines we're connecting or the switchgear we're manufacturing will end world hunger or bring global peace. But when you look a little closer, you realize that every job we do makes a difference. Often it's small, but sometimes it's life-changing.

After a storm, when power's out and people are suffering, the difference our line crews make can be a matter of life and death. When mission-critical freight needs to move quickly and efficiently, it's our railroad members who are up to the job.

When hospitals, bridges, data centers and power plants need to be done quickly and done right, customers know to call the IBEW. And when information needs to move across the continent at a moment's notice, our telecommunications and broadcast members are there to make it happen.

Our government members perform work of the highest importance to national security, transportation and more, and the gravity of what they do is lost on no one. And our manufacturing members are responsible for everything from flight instrumentation to life-saving medical equipment.

The point I'm trying to make is that, whether or not you're working on the highest-profile job like the COVID-19 vaccine, the work each of you does each day is important, and it requires you to approach each job with that mentality.

This idea — that every job is the most important job in that moment — is at the very heart of our Code of Excellence. The Code is why so many employers and contractors have come to understand that they can rely on us to give 100% on every job and to turn in work that's done safely, professionally and of the absolutely highest quality.

But what we as IBEW members do is more than just "a fair day's work for a fair day's pay." Every day our work improves the lives of people around us, and we should never lose sight of that. Thank you all for the difference you make.


Also: Cooper: Serving Our Veterans Read Cooper's Column

Lonnie R. Stephenson

Lonnie R. Stephenson
International President