Ontario Local Made Recruiting Female Apprentices a Priority. It Paid Off.

In 2017, Kitchener Local 804 — a major construction local in southern Ontario — had eight women among its membership. Leadership decided that needed to be addressed. The local needed to give more people a chance at the life-changing impact of IBEW membership and help meet the need for skilled construction workers.

IBEW Sister Shines as Ambassador for Pre-Apprenticeships at State of the Union

A budding electrician had the hottest ticket in D.C. as President Joe Biden delivered a sweeping State of the Union speech that reported on record-breaking job growth and other unparalleled progress for American workers.

In Ontario, Electrified Ferry Offers Glimpse of Future Marine Work

The conversion of an airport ferry from biodiesel to electric power could help carry more marine-based work to the members of St. Catharines, Ontario, Local 303 and beyond.

Training Program for Foremen Helps Fill Education Gap

The conversion of an airport ferry from biodiesel to electric power could help carry more marine-based work to the members of St. Catharines, Ontario, Local 303 and beyond.

New England Members Upgrade Nuclear Station

The conversion of an airport ferry from biodiesel to electric power could help carry more marine-based work to the members of St. Catharines, Ontario, Local 303 and beyond.

The Battery Revolution: Fixing the Grid’s No. 1 Problem

The North American electrical grid is the largest machine ever built by human hands. The interconnecting web of power plants, end users and everything in between has an unknowable number of components that fuel the $20 trillion U.S. economy.

With IBEW Leading the Way, San Diego Voters Remove Ban on PLAs

San Diego voters on Nov. 8 approved Measure D, which overturned a ban on project labor agreements in the city.

Boston Local Swears In Its Most Diverse Apprentice Class Yet

When Boston Local 103 Business Manager Lou Antonellis swore in this year’s class of apprentices, he welcomed the most diverse class in the union’s history. And it wasn’t by accident.

Pennsylvania Locals Get Apprenticeship Funding

Two IBEW locals in Pennsylvania were awarded state funding exceeding $1 million for their apprenticeship programs.

In Annual Showcase of Skills, IBEW Electricians Again Bring Home ‘Ideal’ Awards

IBEW apprentice and journeyman wiremen once again took several top honors at the annual Ideal National Championship, held Nov. 4-5 in Tampa, Fla.

A Decade’s Difference Pays Off in the Carolinas

In 2007, Charlotte, N.C., Local 379 held its meetings in a two-car garage.

Michigan Legislature Repeals Prevailing Wage

In a blow to Michigan’s working families, the Republican-led Legislature voted to repeal the state's prevailing wage on June 6.

Michigan Prevailing Wage Repeal Halted … For Now

Working families in Michigan were dealt a break last week in the Republican Legislature’s extraordinary long-running attack on the state’s prevailing wage, but the state’s building trades warned the reprieve may be only temporary.

‘Building Futures’ Offers Second Shot at Life

The U.S. unemployment rate has remained in the low single digits for the past several years, a sign of a strengthening economy since the 2008 recession ran roughshod over millions of working Americans. But finding a solid middle-class job can still be a struggle for some, especially for someone who has spent time behind bars.

Safety Underground: Top-NotchManhole Training Goes Mobile

IBEW members working underground have experienced sweeping changes in recent years. Private contractors are performing an ever-larger share of the work once done by public utilities. Increasingly technical equipment has put more demands on everyone. And concerns about safety linger, in part because there's been little standardization throughout the industry.

Job-Rich Pennsylvania Pipeline Moves Closer to Completion

A massive pipeline project spanning the southern half of Pennsylvania has helped bring steady jobs for hundreds of IBEW members across the state, but after four long years, the first phase is finally nearing completion with the second close behind.

Working Like Champions: Georgia Members' Skill on Display at this Year's Masters Tournament

Every April, members of Augusta, Ga., Local 1579 work at nearby Augusta National Golf Club during The Masters, providing world-class electricians during one of the golfing world’s highest-profile events.

House Education Committee Members Learn Value of Union Apprenticeships

Members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce toured a D.C.-area IBEW training facility, where they received an education of their own about the value of electrical apprenticeships.

IBEW Urges Bidding Process for Puerto Rico Power Restoration

IBEW leaders on Tuesday urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reverse course on a late-night deal that awarded a $200 million contract extension for power restoration work in Puerto Rico.

Numbers Tell the Story: Indiana’s Repeal of Prevailing Wage Is a Disaster

Vice President Mike Pence was governor of Indiana in 2015 when the state’s GOP-dominated Legislature passed a repeal of the state’s prevailing wage laws, arguing the measure would save taxpayers money without cutting workers’ salaries.

Pushing Infrastructure on Capitol Hill, IBEW’s Ross Urges Action

Construction and Maintenance Department Director Jim Ross testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy Feb. 27 about how the federal government can improve the state of the nation’s energy infrastructure.

Reformed: IBEW Local in Pa. Writes a Second Act for a Closed School

It didn’t take a miracle for members of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Local 163 to turn a closed Catholic school into an IBEW-NECA joint training facility, but leaders hope the building’s holy vibes will continue to bless the work being done inside

‘Building Futures’ Offers Second Shot at Life

The U.S. unemployment rate has remained in the low single digits for the past several years, a sign of a strengthening economy since the 2008 recession ran roughshod over millions of working Americans. But finding a solid middle-class job can still be a struggle for some, especially for someone who has spent time behind bars.

Revised TPP Still Fails Canadian Workers

The Trans-Pacific Partnership had to be renegotiated after the United States pulled out of the controversial trade agreement in January 2017. Yet, even under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pro-labor government, the proposed deal remains a concern for Canada’s skilled construction workers.

Prevailing Wage Survives Anti-Labor Attacks in Congress

As members of the House of Representatives scrambled on Sept. 6 to pass an appropriations bill to keep the government running, Rep. Steve King of Iowa and others tried repeatedly to attach amendments that would gut the Davis-Bacon Act, a long-standing law that assures construction workers a living wage.

Losing Market Share? Need to Grow? Ask for Help.

In late 2012, Modesto, Calif., Local 684 needed to get bigger. Work was picking up, and in the years following the 2008 recession, the downturn in construction had seen membership slip from a historical average of around 300 to just 228. Then-business manager Billy Powell decided it was time to take action.

Quick Action by IBEW Member Saves Life of Another

Milwaukee Local 494 member Phil Kissinger was on his way to ask a friend how he was recovering from surgery when his vision started fluttering.

Labor Peace in Construction Projects: No Longer Welcome in Florida

Florida legislators acting on behalf of wealthy patrons have attacked the one law that has assured labor peace on public construction projects for years: the project labor agreement.

Intersections: Meeting at the Corner of Opportunity and Growth

Dave Fashbaugh’s jurisdiction is mostly rural, save for the influx of vacationers along Lake Michigan during the summer months.

IBEW Members Power the Motor City’s Renaissance

IBEW members have been an integral part of the Motor City for more than 100 years, and now they’re part of its resurgence.

Old Foes Return for Another Attempt at Gouging Michigan’s Working Families

Opponents of Michigan’s prevailing wage are campaigning for a ballot initiative as well as legislation to repeal the law that guarantees fair pay to hardworking men and women.

Oklahoma Football Gets a Powerful Face-Lift from the IBEW

When the Oklahoma Sooners decided in 2015 it was time for a major upgrade to the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, the university’s Board of Regents turned to the same IBEW contractor it’s used on the historic football structure for decades.

Earn and Learn, Debt-Free, IBEW Tells Congress

The IBEW apprenticeship program took center stage before the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on Capitol Hill June 15, with a member telling lawmakers that IBEW training makes graduates immediately employable with journey-level skills that are valued anywhere.

With Season On the Line, St. Louis Local Lights Up Youth Baseball Program’s Diamonds

A longtime youth baseball and softball program in Missouri saw its season put in jeopardy by an aging, dangerous electrical system.

For Chicago Local, American Legion Post ‘Binds Us From Generation to Generation’

Members of Chicago Local 134 gathered on Memorial Day this year, just as they have since 1935. It’s a different kind of Memorial Day gathering than anywhere else in the IBEW – or in the entire labor movement.

Union Experts Barred from Nonunion Worksite Safety Inspections

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has rescinded an Obama-era rule that allowed union safety experts to serve as employee representatives during OSHA inspections even if the workplace was nonunion.

IBEW Takes Member from ‘Broken’ to Independent and Honored

Five years ago, Charleston, W.Va., Local 466 member Tara Turley was, in her own words, broken.

Possibly the IBEW’s Happiest Contractor Shines in Mass.

Hiring the best trained, most productive electricians in the business – IBEW members-- leads to successful contractors and happy customers.

Low Wages. Dangerous Work. Welcome to Your New Construction Job!

The construction industry is booming across the South, but it’s resulting in too many low-wage, dead-end jobs, according to a new report from the Workers Defense Project.

Candidate Trump: Pro-Infrastructure
President Trump: Not So Much

During the 2016 campaign, candidate Donald Trump promised a trillion dollars in infrastructure spending if elected. The news was met with cautious optimism by the construction industry, which stood to gain the most from a major spending spree by the federal government.

In Hostile Climate, Working Missouri Families Get Win

Missouri has been battered by anti-labor legislation in recent months. That didn’t stop the IBEW and its allies from fighting off an attempt to repeal the state’s prevailing wage statute.

Killing the Regulations that Keep Workers Alive

In their first 100 days in power, the Trump administration and the Republican Congress have repealed and blocked worker safety regulations that were years, sometimes decades, in the making.

At Long Last, a Tribute to Canada’s Worker Rises

On May 16, side cutters in hand, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau snipped the No. 4 bare copper wire marking the opening of a permanent monument to the men and women of Canada’s building trades.

In Canadian Schools, Prioritizing On-the-Job Safety

In Canada, young workers are three times more likely to be injured or killed in a workplace accident than their more experienced counterparts. That’s why an organization called My Safe Work goes into high schools to educate students on workplace safety—before they enter the job market.

Illinois High Court May Give Boost to Wind Energy, IBEW Members

The Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that might decide the fate of the Rock Island Clean Line , a 500-mile wind energy transmission line that could lead to thousands of jobs in Iowa and Illinois, many of them for IBEW members.

In Washington, D.C., Another Contractor Stiffed by Trump

An IBEW signatory contractor filed suit against the Trump organization for skipping out on $2 million of work done on the luxury Washington D.C. hotel in the Old Post Office Building.

Hate Not Welcome: IBEW, Building Trades Members Volunteer to Repair Vandalized Cemetery

Members of Philadelphia Building Trades and IBEW Local 98 are volunteering their time and resources to make it known that hate has no home in the City of Brotherly Love.

From Pets to Vets, Delaware Members Give Back

The members of Wilmington, Del., Local 313 are willing to do their part for their neighbors, whether they’ve got two legs or four.

Leadership, Determined Workers Lead to Vancouver Organizing Win Over ‘Fake’ Union

Leif Andersen heard fellow workers on a jobsite at the BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver last spring talk about their union failing to listen to their concerns and continually siding with management.

Father-Son Wireman Duo Put Glow in Indianapolis Tradition

Sam Hunter remembers being five or six years old when his father first brought him and younger brother Greg along to help with Indianapolis’ Circle of Lights. Even at that young age, he sensed this was something very special for Dad.

Organ Donor Rejected, a Brother’s Search Starts Anew

In this month’s Electrical Worker, we shared the news of Wilmington, Del., Local 313 wireman Dave Amalfitano, who found a kidney donor in Chicago Local 9 apprentice Rob Vargas after the 28-year-old read an Electrical Worker story last August.

Driving Down Wages in the Construction Industry

When the Davis-Bacon Act became law in 1931, there was a belief that government should use its buying power to enhance the welfare of working people. It was a way to ensure a good wage and that those wages would go to the local economy. That point of view is slowly losing sway as the race to the bottom continues in the construction industry.  

Back to Work at 71, Houston Electrician Rides Bike to Honor Son, Help Others

It was 2009 and Tim Tsotsonis wanted to work as an electrician again after a nearly 22-year absence. And he wanted to help others as a way of saying thanks for the help his family received caring for son Alexander, who has cerebral palsy.

Boston Local Hosts Second Annual Girls in Trades Conference

Continuing a new tradition, Boston Local 103 hosted more than 350 girls from eastern Massachusetts area high schools on March 2 for a conference and career fair to encourage their interest in the skilled trades. 

Two Strangers and a Life-Saving Act of Brotherhood

This is a story about two brothers.

Kansas Members Help Vets, Change a Red State’s Mind About Unions

Jeff Thomson appreciates the importance of skilled workers on projects that provide affordable housing for people in need. That’s why he was thrilled when members of Hutchinson, Kan., Local 661 volunteered to help renovate a duplex that will be home to two military veterans and their families.

In Wisconsin, Bill to Limit PLAs is Another Shot at Labor

The Wisconsin GOP and Gov. Scott Walker have become the poster children in recent years when it comes to an anti-working family agenda. They’re about to strike again.

Construction Roars Back Post-Recession; Boom Challenges Manpower Realities

Construction is on an upswing in Evansville, Ind., a city of about 120,000 people nestled in a bend in the Ohio River.

Ontario Legislation Could ‘Make My Apprenticeship Useless’

Toronto Local 353 Business Manager Steven Martin isn’t just dismayed the Legislative Assembly of Ontario may pass a measure that could compromise public safety and harm the livelihood of trade unionists.

IBEW Members Dominate ‘Elite Tradesman’ Competition

Members from IBEW locals across the country participated in the first-ever IDEAL National Championship for electrical workers in November. And they won in almost every category.

Construction Linemen: Clearing a Path to Membership

The hard parts of organizing new members should all happen before they walk through the doors of the local hall. Once a nonunion worker makes up his or her mind to sign up, ideally the hard part should be over.

All in a Day’s Work: IBEW Members Rescue D.C. Region from Metro Nightmare

Washington, D.C.’s public transportation woes made international news on Mar. 16 after the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority arrived at the unprecedented decision to shutter the region’s underground Metro system for an entire day in the middle of a busy work week.

Local 1 Lights Up School With a New Scoreboard

Tim Green was watching the news on a St. Louis television station last spring when he saw a story about an area high school trying to replace the aging scoreboard at its football and track stadium.

Quick Thinking, IBEW Training Help Members Assist Ailing Boy

Joshua Crites said he was thinking about his own family when he administered first aid to a 3-year-old boy suffering a seizure last summer.

New Ontario Regulations Undermine Trades

Few things offer a path to the Ontario middle class better than a 309A license, awarded to a construction electrician after completion of an apprenticeship. It guarantees Red Seal certification, allowing its holders to move easily for work between the provinces.

In Detroit’s Renaissance, Opportunity for IBEW

Detroit has been through tough times, but Local 58 Business Manager Michael Richard thinks the comeback has started. The challenge is for the IBEW and other building trades to take advantage of it.

Renovated Classic Truck Finds Home with Florida Retiree

Baltimore Local 24 member Larry Tiller searched for months for a truck suitable for himself and a new service dog. He found it while leafing through the November 2015 edition of The Electrical Worker.

In Texas, Meeting the Demand for Skilled Trades

The Lone Star State is known for many things, but union density isn’t one of them. The newly formed Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation, with the help of Houston Local 66, Galveston Local 527 and Houston Local 716 is out to change that.

New Attitude Sparks Big Growth in Vermont Local

Jeffrey Wimette admits many members of Montpelier, Vt., Local 300 didn’t greet the IBEW’s embrace of alternate job classifications with much enthusiasm at first.

Chicago’s Renewable Training Field: Powering the Present, Preparing for the Future

Chicago Local 134 has a new tool to meet the challenges of a changing climate head-on, and on Sept. 16, Business Manager Don Finn flung open the doors to his local’s state-of-the-art Renewable Energy Training Field.

Hot Rod is Ready to Roll, Aid Portland Local

Merle Munger retired in 1998 after 35 years as an inside wireman. But he wasn’t about to stop working or aiding fellow electricians in need -- particularly those at Local 48 in Portland, Oregon.

Portland’s Latest Bridge Welcomes Traffic, but No Cars

Portland, Oregon’s newest bridge is a monument to “the people” and a striking addition to the city’s skyline, but it won’t move a single car from one side of the Willamette River to the other.

Orlando Industry Night Aims to Build Disney Magic

Orlando is booming, and with growth comes jobs—lots of jobs. For Local 606, central Florida’s explosive growth has presented the sort of problem many business managers would love to have: too many projects and not enough workers.

RENEW: Busting Union Stereotypes in the South

For Caleb Long, hard work, public service, and the importance of education were values instilled early on in life. Long’s father, Eddie Long, is a 41-year veteran of Chattanooga’s Local 175, and growing up in a union household meant security and a chance to chase not only a college education, but a master’s degree as well

White House Calls for Greener Grid

The Obama administration released a report April 21 that calls for billions in funding to move the nation’s aging energy infrastructure into the 21st century.

Senate Energy Bill Recognizes Union Apprenticeship Programs 

General Motors Goes Greener with Help from Ohio IBEW

New car buyers are more concerned than ever with gas mileage and emissions. But if you want to go truly green, it helps not just to look at the car’s carbon footprint, but also the factory where it’s built.

Coalition Says: Improve Our Infrastructure

Man-made disasters can be far more devastating than those over which we have no control if we ignore warnings or apply the wrong solutions.

Long Beach Unanimously Passes City-wide PLA

The Long Beach, Calif., City Council unanimously approved a project labor agreement that guarantees prevailing wages on all projects over $500,000 for the next five years. Three weeks after the city-wide agreement on April 7, the independent Long Beach Harbor Department also ratified a $700 million dollar PLA.

L.A. Member Launches Co-Op Solar Company

Somerset Waters, a journeyman wireman member of L.A. Local 11, believes one of the keys to success for a company, or any enterprise for that matter, is placing trust in one’s co-workers

With Wis. Prevailing Wage Under Attack, New Report Cites Law’s Benefits

Anyone watching the political landscape in Wisconsin knows how easy it is to see the ill effects of Gov. Scott Walker’s policies toward working families.

American Water Donates Thousands for Union Conservation Efforts

At a time when much of the U.S. is experiencing record levels of drought, good environmental stewardship is needed.

Kan. Asplundh Campaign Takes Inside Track

They work side-by-side with IBEW members, but they don’t belong to the union. Delegates to the Membership Development Conference pledged last September to reach out to approximately 27,000 of these nonmembers in right-to-work states and convince them of the benefits of standing under the union’s umbrella.

Chicago Local Builds Renewable Training ‘Field of Dreams’

If you build it, they will come.

Corporate Lobbyists Campaign Against Workers’ Comp

For millions of injured workers, workers' compensation insurance means a broken bone or sprained muscle doesn’t result in bankruptcy.

New OSHA Standards Tackle Utility, Construction Practices

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration settled a lawsuit last month brought by a group of investor-owned utilities, with the end result clarifying new standards that will affect many IBEW members.

Asplundh Organizing Vote a Landslide in Indiana

Asplundh tree-trimmers in Indiana recently voted 67 to 6 to join the IBEW, the 22nd successful organizing election at the company in less than two years.

El Paso Local Hits Wage Theft

Nonunion Texas electrical contractors looking to turn a quick buck on prevailing wage projects often look for projects in El Paso.

Construction Unemployment Lowest Since 2007

Construction unemployment last year was at its lowest level in nearly seven years. At 8.9 percent, 2014 was the first time annual construction unemployment was below 10 percent since 2007, according to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Poll: Many Americans Will Pay for Grid Upgrades

More than 40 percent of Americans east of the Mississippi, and just over a third of those to the west, are willing to pay at least $10 a month more on their utility bills for grid upgrades according to a poll released this summer by Harris Interactive. The average U.S. utility bill in 2012 was just over $105 a month according to data from the Energy Information Agency.

PLA Victory in Northern California

The first project labor agreement in Contra Costa County, north of San Francisco, was signed in November between the city of Martinez and Local 302.

In Calif., A Solar-Powered Leg Up

For many Bakersfield Local 428 members, California’s thriving solar industry is an opportunity for job growth and stability. For some of the local’s newest members, it’s a second chance.

Construction Unemployment Lowest Since 2007

IBEW members often say that the union’s apprenticeship training, delivered by the NJATC, is the union’s best-kept secret.

Yearly Contest Challenges Apprentices in Tasks, Theory

Seventh District apprentices have been competing in yearly contests in the Seventh District since 1962, bringing members together with union and contractor leaders.

Anti-Union ABC Ready to Fight Protections, Rights on the Job

The anti-union Associated Builders and Contractors is challenging a recent White House executive order ensuring fair standards and working conditions on federally-contracted jobs.

Union Program Opens Up Opportunities for Women in the Trades

Despite some progress in increasing gender diversity in construction, women still represent only 4 percent of the total industry workforce. 

N.Y. Apprenticeships Win Solar Accreditation

Thirteen Electrical Training Alliance centers in New York have received accreditation from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council for their inside wireman program. 

In Calif., A Solar-Powered Leg Up

For many Bakersfield Local 428 members, California’s thriving solar industry is an opportunity for job growth and stability. For some of the local’s newest members, it’s a second chance.   

NJATC Transitions into the Electrical Training Alliance

IBEW members often say that the union’s apprenticeship training, delivered by the NJATC, is the union’s best-kept secret.  

Ore. Members Build Portland’s New ‘Auto-Free’ Bridge

Popular songs and advertisements have inspired generations of Americans to get behind the wheel and step on the gas pedal. 

Intel Relies on IBEW for Expansion

If you’re reading this on your computer or your phone, you have local unions like Portland, Ore., Local 48 to thank. 

Jack Daniel’s and IBEW Team Up in Ala.

Northwest Alabama has been a hard place for union workers for decades. 

Outside Line Training Center Sees Big Growth

Billions of dollars of new transmission work is coming to the Midwest and Great Plains, making outside line construction one of the hottest job fields in the country.