I hope that all our members, families, and friends enjoyed a happy and safe Labor Day weekend. The purpose of this holiday is to honor the sacrifices and dignity of the American worker and the major contributions that working men and women have made to economy and prosperity of our nation. We need to take a moment to celebrate our own successes here in Local 77. Our membership is growing; our collective bargaining agreements provide excellent wages and benefits; our members are working with many employment opportunities throughout our jurisdiction; our safety standards are considered the best in the nation; our union’s activism and membership engagement is on the upswing with RENEW, Member to Member, Organizing Committees, Customer Service Summits, Electrical Workers Minority Caucus, Political Action Committees; and Unit Chairman Conferences. We will need to continue strengthening and developing our current membership programs and looking for new ways to engage our members.
The Labor Day Weekend signals the final days of the 2016 political campaigns. While we take this moment to reflect on our successes we need to be aware of the risks that will face us depending on election outcomes. Many of members may question our union’s political engagement and endorsements. The purpose of our political endorsements to assure that our gains made in our collective bargaining agreements won’t be wiped out by the stroke of a legislative pen. That hard fought wages, benefits, and conditions of employment cannot be voided by anti-worker laws passed by anti-union legislative action.
Local 77 interviews and evaluates candidates and initiatives it’s based on their positions of support for or against workers right to strike, Right to Work (for less), Worker Safety Regulations, Prevailing Wage Laws, and many more issues. It would be difficult if not imposable for a Labor Union to endorse a candidate who supports Right to Work (for less); or would repeal or weaken Prevailing Wage Laws; or reduce safety standards.
Our political activity focuses on protecting those issues and our gains. We do not tell our members how to vote. Local 77 does endorse candidates and initiatives based on Local 77’s issues which our essential to our objectives as stated in our IBEW Constitution. What we want our membership to do is register and vote regardless of the candidate or initiative that you made chose to support with your vote.
Our 11th IBEW Objective asked us to “… And by legal and proper means to elevate the moral, intellectual and social conditions of our members, their families and dependents, in the interest of a higher standard of citizenship.” By registering and voting we are fulfilling our duty of citizenship. I ask you to exercise your right vote.