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September 2023

From the Officers
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Celebrate, Then Organize

Brothers and sisters, this Labor Day is especially joyous.

Don't get me wrong. It's always a special day. It's just that this year, we have more to celebrate than we've had in a long time.

Americans support unions at a higher level than in nearly 60 years. Organizing drives are breaking out all over. The most pro-union president in our nation's history sits in the Oval Office.

Take a moment to remember those who came before us and the sacrifices they made. Attend a parade in your community.

It's a good time to be an IBEW member. So enjoy Labor Day. You've earned it.

Once it's over, however, commit to work harder than ever to grow our Brotherhood. Even with things looking up, this is no time to rest.

The IBEW is growing but not fast enough to meet North America's need for skilled workers.

This has been an issue for some time but has intensified with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in 2021 and other measures. Manufacturing construction investment in the U.S. has nearly tripled in two years, thanks in large part to the Biden administration's landmark legislation — the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the $550 billion Inflation Reduction Act and the $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act. These laws provided the rocket fuel for this construction growth, and they also have the strongest labor standards ever enacted.

This means prevailing wage, project labor agreements, apprenticeship requirements and collective bargaining rights. It means nothing will be built with federal money unless union members get the chance first.

To meet this need, all of us must reach out to others and tell them about the advantages of IBEW membership.

You'll see the payoff quickly. When we can expand even more quickly, it improves wages and working conditions for you and your fellow IBEW members.

It also makes the union movement stronger.

In short, we have an amazing opportunity. We must meet the moment.

So please, after celebrating your holiday, recommit to making the IBEW a stronger union than it has ever been.

You won't be doing it just for the brothers and sisters who follow us. You'll be doing it for yourself and your brothers and sisters on the job today.


Also: Cooper: IBEW Built, IBEW Made Read Cooper's Column

Paul A. Noble

Paul A. Noble
International Secretary-Treasurer