The Electrical Worker online
May 2022

From the Officers
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Preparing for the Future

Sisters and brothers, this month is a special time for the IBEW, when delegates from across North America gather to conduct the union's most important business and to set the course for the years to come.

It's been six years since we were last able to hold our International Convention, and for the nearly 2,000 of you who were elected by your membership to represent your unions in Chicago, we want to welcome you and thank you for your service to this great union.

After two years of pandemic and a delay to this important gathering, we're looking forward to seeing you all in person and getting to work building an even stronger IBEW.

It's fitting that we're coming to Chicago, a city built on the broad shoulders of its working men and women, and especially its union sisters and brothers. Chicago is one of America's great union towns, as you'll read in this issue.

But it's important to remember that great union towns are made up of great union members and great union leaders. So, to each and every member of the Chicagoland labor movement, thank you for welcoming us with open arms and for all you do to create and sustain the union culture and solidarity that make Chicago so special.

Of course, none of us would be here without the labor activists of the past, and nowhere is that history stronger than in Chicago.

In a city that is hosting its fifth IBEW Convention, we will be surrounded by the memories of some of the greatest struggles for workers' rights in North America's history. From Haymarket and the Pullman porters to the Memorial Day Massacre, Chicagoans have shouldered more than their share of violence and loss in the fight for fair treatment on the job, and the trade unionists of today owe them a great deal of gratitude.

As we come together to elect leaders and chart the future of the IBEW, we do so on the shoulders of those brave men and women, and we pledge to honor their sacrifices with our commitment to continue the important work they started so many years before.

This will be our 40th International Convention, and much has changed in the 131 years since our 10 founders met in St. Louis with the idea for a broad union of electrical workers committed to improving the lives of every person working in this industry.

Today, we represent a much broader range of trades and occupations, but that commitment remains unchanged. The IBEW exists to make your lives better, to provide the security of safe working conditions, fair wages, decent health care and a dignified retirement, and the decisions we make this month will be crucial to defending those ideals.

As our industries change and evolve, the choices made in Chicago will help to guide our response to those transformations and how we continue to grow in both numbers and strength to increase our influence with employers and government officials at every level.

The task ahead for your officers and delegates is enormous, but we know that each of them bring the same commitment and determination that we do to emerge from Chicago a stronger IBEW than when we arrived.

For those of you not attending this year's convention, we'll be covering each day's proceedings on and here in the Electrical Worker, which will print a combined June-July issue this summer. We hope you'll follow along and engage with your local's delegates both before and after the convention.

Your voice is important. This is your union, and each International Convention is an opportunity to add your voice to those of your union sisters and brothers and to influence the future of the brotherhood.

We are grateful for the trust you've put in us these last six years, and we look forward to serving you in Chicago.

Edwin D. Hill

Lonnie R. Stephenson
International President

Kenneth W. Cooper

Kenneth W. Cooper
International Secretary-Treasurer