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The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) is comprised of proud union members with a wide diversity of skills and jobs. One of the most progressive unions in existence, the IBEW represents some 750,000 members in the United States and Canada.

Involved in the leading edge of technology, IBEW utility members from all over the country are involved in maintaining power to homes, battling some of the most adverse weather conditions to see that people have heat and electricity. In fact, it's almost impossible not see the results daily of IBEW members at work.

In the Utility Industry, the IBEW represents linemen, groundmen, repairmen, machine operators, watch engineers, boiler operators, turbine operators, switchboard operators and dispatchers. And of course there are the radio dispatchers, meter installers, testers, clerical workers, cable splicers and welders; all doing their jobs so that we may have electricity in our homes. The IBEW represents thousands of people in the Gas Industry from clerical workers to the employees involved in the transmission, distribution and maintenance of gas lines for heat and other uses. Our members provide gas safely to our homes and businesses.

The Inside Wireman installs and maintains all of the various types of electrical systems found in commercial and industrial facilities. Equipment used may include lighting, receptacles, motors, heating equipment, and systems that control the operation of all of a facility's energy usage.

The Inside Wireman installs conduit systems that contain the wire from the motor control centers or panelboards to all of the equipment that uses electricity. Those conduits may contain power cables or control cables. Many of the conduit systems are exposed and must be installed to exacting standards using neat and workmanlike craftsmanship.

The work of an Inside Wireman can vary. One day the Inside Wireman could be installing a Fire Alarm System or Security System in a high rise building and the next day he or she could be installing conduit outside of a building in less than desirable conditions. Inside Wiremen also install electrical systems in industrial facilities such as chemical plants, power plants, chip manufacturing facilities and automobile plants. Each type of installation has specific electrical needs and systems to support those needs. While there are many tasks associated with the Inside Wireman classification, the apprenticeship training provides all of the knowledge necessary.

IBEW Communication Workers work behind the scenes to insure that your television is there for you. In a field of continuing changes in technologies, IBEW members stay on top. Cable Television uses thousands of IBEW members in the installation, maintenance and operations of television delivery systems.

If you talked to one of your friends today over the phone, chances are IBEW members were involved in seeing that it was possible. The greatest communication system in the world is no accident. IBEW members have been there from the beginning; erecting poles, stringing lines, and bringing the world into your home. From Ma Bell to the hand held cordless phones, IBEW members have been there doing quality work. Telephone linemen, cable splicers, station installers, plant engineers, draftsmen and all the other IBEW members made it possible for you to place calls to your friends.

Yes, the IBEW is proud. We are proud of our record of achievements, both individually and collectively. But we can't stop until all workers are given a chance to bargain collectively for better wages and better working conditions without the fear of losing their jobs or the security that they worked so hard for. If you would like to "be union" or to help unionize the place where you work, contact the IBEW. We can show you how and we can help you. The only qualifications you need are to be interested in making your world a better place to live, having a voice in your own future, and then be willing to do something about it.


Leading the Charge: City of Cincinnati Announces Labor and Workplace Reform Package

The City of Cincinnati continues to lead the state of Ohio in implementing positive labor and workplace reform measures. Yesterday, Mayor John Cranley and Vice Mayor David Mann announced a package of city labor and workplace reforms aimed at strengthening the middle class. Other community leaders were present for this monumental announcement, including State Senator Sherrod Brown. 

Just last month, Cincinnati became the first Ohio city to pass a wage theft ordinance, protecting employees by imposing penalties on employers who do business in the city of Cincinnati and who do not pay their employees the wages they have earned. 

Yesterday’s reform package is also the first of its kind in Ohio. It includes three key components: 1) creating a City prevailing wage law, 2) raising the City’s living wage to $15/hour for full-time employees and $10.10/hour for part-time workers, and 3) implementing crane safety measures.

Mayor John Cranley

City Prevailing Wage

The City of Cincinnati’s prevailing wage law will expand the types and number of government subsidies that trigger prevailing wage requirements. If triggered, the City’s prevailing wage requirements will apply when the State’s requirements are not triggered.

Prevailing wage laws require construction workers be paid a wage and benefit package based on the majority of what the workers in that region earn on public construction projects. Prevailing wage ensures fair competition by not allowing unscrupulous contractors to undercut their competition.

Numerous peer reviewed studies over the past 10 years have shown that prevailing wage does not significantly raise the cost of public construction and protects workers by employing contractors with better safety standards.

Many developers and attorneys have exploited legal loopholes and have artfully structured one-sided agreements, which provide government subsidies to private entities without triggering the state prevailing wage requirements. This measure ensures that there will be a safety net of sorts, which will catch those trying to skirt state prevailing wage laws by enforcing the city requirement.

Specifically, city prevailing wage must be paid to workers on any project that has a total cost that exceeds $5,000,000 and receives more than $3,000,000 in city subsidies. If the law is violated, there will be a time to cure. Those who fail to cure, will have to repay all city subsidies and face debarment from doing business with the City for three years.

City Living & Minimum Wage

In order to keep up with inflation, the city will raise its living wage rate to $15/hour for

full-time employees and $10.10/hour for part-time and seasonal workers.

Going forward, these wage rates will be adjusted annually. The law further provides that no full-time position can be replaced by part-time positions in order to avoid paying the higher wage.

This raise has interesting timing, as a bill was introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives last month which proposes raising Ohio’s minimum wage from $8.10 per hour to $10.10. Perhaps, Cincinnati’s measure will serve as persuasive policy for the committee.

Crane Safety Measures

After the devastating crane collapse in NYC as well as the crane collapse at the Banks construction site, Cincinnati will implement crane safety measures to ensure that: 1) all crane operators in the city are qualified, and 2) all crane operators are appropriately insured.

More specifically, crane operators will be required to meet minimum safety certifications as certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO). The amount of insure required will be based on the scale of the project.

IBEW Local 212 hopes this reform model will be adopted by other municipalities in Ohio. We applaud Cincinnati for its progressive efforts!