IBEW President Lonnie Stephenson is rallying members to help protect the country from undemocratic forces in statelegislatures and in the U.S. Congress seeking to limit voting rights. In a call with AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) on Jan. 14, he cited efforts in 19 states to restrict voting rights, limit early voting and reduce the number of polling places. Combine these trends with the heavy-handed use of the filibuster – a procedural tool giving the minority party the power to block legislation that comes to the Senate floor – and Stephenson said democracy... Read More
National Labor Relations Board general counsel Jennifer Abruzzo announced an effort to pursue employers in court for engaging in illegal anti-union retaliation.The memorandum released on Feb. 1 seeks injunctions to stop coercion in its tracks – before ongoing employer harassment has the potential to intimidate the entire workforce and stop a nascent organizing effort.“Threats often escalate into action, imposing even more burdens and chilling effects on employees,” said General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo. “They are not mere words impacting employees, but a prelude to what is likely to come to... Read More
President Biden signed an executive order requiring the federal government to reduce emissions from its buildings, vehicles and operations.With it, the administration seeks to transform how the government builds, purchases and operates while supporting the growth of the domestic clean energy and clean technology industries.President Lonnie Stephenson cheered the Dec. 8 announcement.“The IBEW applauds President Biden’s ambitious plan to put the federal government on the road to sustainability. By ensuring union workers are front and center in its efforts to reduce carbon emissions and... Read More
Witnessing History: With the stroke of the pen, alongside more than 10 IBEW members and a bipartisan group of lawmakers at the White House on Nov. 15, President Biden made official one of the biggest infrastructure investments in U.S. history.Its size and scope ensures that it will rebuild both the country’s weakened infrastructure and the middle class. Touching nearly every sector of the U.S. economy, the bill was touted on a level comparable to the construction of the transcontinental railroad in the late 19th century and the interstate highway system in the 1950s. “I could not be more... Read More
In a welcome reversal from past administrations’ attempts to stifle the power of unions in the federal sector, the Biden administration is actively encouraging more worker participation in collective bargaining.“We are proud as the Biden Harris administration in what we believe we will be, which is the most pro-union administration in the history of America," Vice President Kamala Harris said on Oct. 20 announcing the new guidelines. Among them are:Including bargaining unit status and union affiliation in job announcementsGiving unions the opportunity to share information with new employees... Read More
After nearly five years without a confirmed leader, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is headed by worker safety advocate Doug Parker. “Finally after 1,747 days, @OSHA has a champion for workers right as its director,” said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. “Doug Parker will advocate for safe working conditions for all and hold employers who violate workers’ right accountable.” Parker, who headed California’s division of occupational safety and health for the past two years, is likely to increase the agency’s inspectors and enforce its anti-retaliation rule. One-time staff... Read More
Continuing a trend of filling labor-related posts with experienced pro-worker nominees, President Biden has selected Susan Tsui Grundmann and Kurt Rumsfeld for seats on the Federal Labor Relations Authority. “Federal workers can breathe a little easier now that President Biden has not only filled these vacancies, but has done so with experienced individuals who understand the importance of the work that our federal workforce does,” said Government Employees Director Paul O'Connor. The FLRA oversees disputes between federal agencies and their employee unions. If confirmed by the Senate,... Read More
Historic and transformational change for America’s infrastructure and jobs is the order of the day on Capitol Hill as negotiators seek to construct legislation containing President Biden’s bold plan for America.At issue are plans to build the charging infrastructure necessary for widescale adoption of electric vehicles, buses, trains and trucks and create hundreds of thousands of jobs in roads, transit, the electrical grid, passenger and freight rail, broadband and water infrastructure. After President Biden helped negotiate it, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed the... Read More
It was almost déjà vu when Denver Local 68 journeyman wireman Julian Aguilar met President Biden at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on September 14 outside Denver. “I know I just now met Joe Biden for the first time in my life, but I feel like he’s had my back for years,” said Aguilar, a second-generation member of Local 68. “President Joe Biden is not just pro-union. He’s pro-people. He’s pro-America.” Biden saluted IBEW electricians as “the best in the world,” as he thanked Aguilar and discussed the urgency of renewable energy. “Whether you’re an engineer at a lab bench, an IBEW... Read More
President Biden signed an executive order targeting 2030 as the year that half of all passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2030 will be electric. He was joined by auto company executives in the August 5 White House announcement, when he emphasized the transformative infrastructure potential of his Build Back Better plan. “We’re going to put Americans to work modernizing our roads, our highways, our ports, our airports, rail and transit systems,” Biden said at the event. “That includes putting IBEW members and other union workers to work installing a national network of 500,000 charging... Read More