The Electrical Worker online
December 2021

From the Officers
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Gratitude This Holiday Season

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, sisters and brothers.

As we close out another year, I want to thank you for all you do to lift up working people and advance the cause of this great union.

Like the year before it, 2021 hit us all with challenges we hoped we'd no longer be dealing with. The coronavirus pandemic has carried on far longer than any of us anticipated. We've lost far too many sisters and brothers and members of the IBEW extended family, and my heart goes out to those families, especially during the holidays.

But this holiday season feels different. With vaccines readily available and a new wave of children eligible to be protected from the worst effects of the virus, we're able to return to many of the family traditions that we look forward to each year and missed so dearly in 2020.

I hope that each of you is able to take time to be with family and friends this month and to appreciate all that we have because of our membership in the IBEW.

The reality is that most working people don't have what we do. They don't have the stability of a contract or the job protections that come with union membership. They don't have any way to ensure they get paid what they're worth because they're just one person, standing alone against a giant corporation. They lack the promise of a dignified retirement and struggle with medical expenses because they don't have insurance or it doesn't cover what it should.

We're extremely lucky, and the holidays are a great time to reflect on that and do what we can to give back to our community members in need.

I'm always heartened to hear about IBEW members and local unions going above and beyond to raise money or collect food or toys for worthy organizations around the holidays. That spirit of giving has been a part of the labor movement from its earliest days, and I'm proud that it's alive and well within the IBEW.

I've seen so many stories this year of IBEW members putting their trade skills to work upgrading homes for the elderly or building new ones for families in need. You truly are leading by example in communities large and small across North America, and I couldn't be prouder.

But there's one more thing we can do in the coming year to give back. And that's to spread the gospel of the labor movement to men and women who could use the power of a good union job. Let's pledge to welcome more working people to our ranks and lift more families into the security of the middle class.

Happy holidays, and God bless.


Also: Cooper: Here Come the Jobs Read Cooper's Column

Lonnie R. Stephenson

Lonnie R. Stephenson
International President