News: IBEW Locals in 15 States and Provinces Have passed a Motion To Support The OMOV Proposal

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Author Topic: June 10, 2010 - Brower's last propaganda telegraph  (Read 902 times)

Offline Eric Klyne

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June 10, 2010 - Brower's last propaganda telegraph
« on: July 15, 2010, 12:29:01 PM »

Our Local – Our Future
Five years ago, when I became the Business Manager of 424, our Local was in turmoil. Owners were looking for any way to get their jobs done without using us. While our business practices reflected the market of the 70’s, CLAC and “open shop” contractors flourished. Our market share dropped as we held on to notions such as “they can’t do it without us”. They could and they did. In the past 5 years we have turned that around and once again we are seen as the “cream of the crop”

As we re-established ourselves we won the best contract we have ever had with increases of 23% in industrial and 40% in commercial work. While some people say our “glory days” are over and the next contract will see reductions – I disagree!

We have won a new system for bargaining that places us in new bargaining groups. No longer will we be held ransom to smaller trades- some with national contracts – that in the past have signed “me too” agreements and forced our backs to the wall. We will begin bargaining this fall for our contract next year. Recent growth of our membership and our contractor base gives us greater clout at the bargaining table.

Our business plan to “Get the Work” is working and many thanks go to all the members that work hard and show our employers that we are worth every penny we receive. We have had over 3200 members go through our Code of Excellence training. Our COE training is the envy of the Trades and is being replicated by others. In fact, next month the International Office in Washington is sending a film crew to Alberta to film a documentary on our local for their Hour Power program.

But there is still much to do if we are to capitalize on the gains we have made! I encourage every member to cast a vote in the upcoming Election of Officers. I remind members that you’re completed ballot must be mailed and received in the Election Judge’s PO Box by 8 am on June 18. The balloting is conducted by the Election Judge alone and is completely separate from the Business Office. I have had concerns over the restrictions on voting that have resulted from the system of issuing replacement ballots to members that have not returned to their mailing addresses during the short voting period.

As a result the Election Judge has agreed to at least extend the hours that members may receive replacement ballots at any of our three offices. Those new hours are:
In Calgary: Friday, June 11 from 9 a.m. to close
In Edmonton: Thursday, June 10 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday, June 11 from 11a.m. to 10 p.m.
In Ft. Mac.: Wednesday, June 9 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Please consult our Local website at for any further updates.
Please vote! It’s your right and our collective future that is at stake.

Membership Development Corner

Residential Agreement
Over the past couple of months, Business Manager Brower and his reps, including myself, have met with Local 424 stewards on a number of topics. One topic that came up repeatedly during discussions about organizing was finding a way to get back into the residential market. As a result of these discussions and the input from members since then, Tim has asked me to research and build a framework for a Residential Agreement to be used as a springboard back into this market.

The two main issues that are blocking increasing Local 424’s market share in this area are:
Signatory Contractors have not or will not pursue work in this area, and On the odd occasion when they have got residential work, the local has struggled or been unable to supply qualified manpower.

To answer these two questions will require some new, or “out of the box” type of thinking. Over the years I’ve spoken to many members who want to start their own electrical contracting company and become signatory with Local 424. But most have been unsuccessful because they lack the business experience and financial ability to get their company off the ground. We can help in both areas.

Education Incentives for Union Residential Contractors:
Business Classes: I’ve identified and been in contact with a company that specializes in providing business training to union members that want to start their own signatory companies including estimating help. (Accubid Estimating classes, Unit pricing manuals)

Simplified Residential Agreement

Industry Analysis needs to be done involving possible residential contractors to determine effective marketing strategies.

Marketing Incentives for Union Residential Contractors:
We can provide a lot of the marketing of our contractors, including Yellow Page Advertisements Marketing Materials, Structured Media Reimbursement and contacting Residential Developers as well as Home-show and Tradeshow promotion.

Plus 5 Guarantee. This program provides for a 5 year guarantee against failure due to workmanship If the installation and the maintenance of the wiring systems are done by an IBEW contractor beyond the initial first year builders warranty on new homes. Hence the name “Plus 5”. This gives the Developer a marketing incentive to use IBEW contractors.

At the same time we need to develop a residential workforce, even before we actually have the work. We can do this by stripping the best people out of the existing residential workforce over to a union contractor and train PACT students and existing members that want to work in this segment of our industry. I will be formally presenting a request to the Training Center Trustees to develop a Residential Wire and Home Remodel class. This is a very similar model to the one adopted by IBEW Local 46 Seattle that resulted in that local increasing market share from 2% to 30% over a 4 year period. It also saw Local 46 sign up and help start up literally hundreds of signatory employers over the same time frame.

I would be interested in hearing from any members who have ideas on this topic. You may e-mail me at

Edmonton Organizing
Ryan Saunders and Darrell Taylor have been meeting with a core group of Shaw Cable Installers over the past month and a half. Because Shaw is a telecommunications company, the certification falls under the Canadian Industrial Relations Board instead of the Alberta Labour Relations Board. This means that the threshold for a vote is lower – 35% under the CIRB instead of 40% under the Alberta code. It also allows for automatic certification if we get a majority of cards signed. They have formed a Volunteer Organizing Committee and have moved into the card signing stage of the campaign. Shaw has terminated one of our key people and we have filed a series of unfair labour practice complaints with the Canadian Industrial Labour Relations Board. Please contact Shaw Cable to encourage them to become union – especially if you are a customer. I will also be asking the same of other building trades union and AFL affiliated union members. Rod McVicar has been leafleting MCL sites within the Edmonton area four mornings a week. He’s been working with the UA and some of the other building trades on a coordinated organizing attempt. This effort pressures MCL to keep their rates competitive with IBEW rates which helps our contractors to remain competitive.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 04:32:46 PM by IBEW Truth »

Offline Jim Upper

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Re: June 10, 2010 - Brower's last propaganda telegraph
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2010, 10:37:32 PM »
one can almost see the smoke cloud to the south above myerside from the 407 on the way to work in Niagara. I wonder what is being cooked up now?
Threats and lies are the work of the desperate people that attack me.  Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth~Albert Einstein  RIP