What is the state of our Union? Does it make a difference?
IBEW Local Union 1289 has been around for a long time, we have gone through strikes, poor working conditions and leadership changes and yet we are still here. Why? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress”.
We are still here because, at our core, together we have the same goals. Our contracts summarize it this way; “pleasant and gainful employment”. It is our goal and because those who came before us negotiated the language into the contracts we work by, it is our right.
The IBEW Constitution and our bylaws guarantee, no matter who is in office, our foundation doesn’t change. There is no question that it makes a difference who is in office in many ways but through the processes instituted by the IBEW Constitution, the foundation of our local is secure and strong. Our members, young and old, meter readers to linemen, station helpers to operators, clerks to customer service reps., have a voice when they choose to be involved. That voice comes through, not only with each vote during elections, but every month at Union meetings. The members who choose to bring their concerns, and support, to monthly union meetings have the right to be heard in a respectful and cooperative way. Your concerns are the business of the local as much as any other business that our Officers and Representatives are involved in. John F. Kennedy said, “Our labor unions are not narrow, self-seeking groups. They have raised wages, shortened hours, and provided supplemental benefits. Through collective bargaining and grievance procedures, they have brought justice and democracy to the shop floor.”
Even through our differences, we have to seek unity in the things that really matter, otherwise we will allow the companies that we work for to use the ‘divide and conquer’ strategy that always seems to be part of their agenda. We can cooperate with management if, and only if, they respect our standing and our rights as union members and respect the legality of our contracts.
Brothers and Sisters of IBEW Local Union 1289, use the resources that are provided by the constitution and bylaws of our Union. The Officers and Executive Board have been elected by you to serve the interests of the membership. If you don’t know where to start, ask a shop steward, a Business Rep., or, when we are able, take advantage of our monthly Union meetings.