The Electrical Worker online
February 2021

My IBEW Story
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Doug Stewart, Retired Journeyman Inside Wireman
Columbus, Ohio, Local 683

"I learned of the IBEW's benefits while in vocational school and knew that's what I wanted, but I didn't know anyone to help guide me.

I started working in the trade at a J.C. Penney warehouse doing electrical maintenance. I quit that job and went to another, and it was a huge mistake. The treatment of people was very bad.

Luckily, that company happened to be one that the IBEW was organizing. I was all in and talked to others about what a good opportunity this would be. I went on to be elected to the Executive Board of my local and served until I retired.

We were able to raise our two kids while allowing my wife to stay home and get involved in their activities. My son went to my vocational school and is now a union electrical contractor.

The way I convinced young people to switch to a union contractor was easy: I'd ask why there are very few older people working in their company, and how many people did they know that retired from there.

After I retired, we were able to buy a beautiful waterfront home on Buckeye Lake. You hear people say, "I'm living the dream," but we truly are, and we owe it all to the IBEW."