What is a Union?
A union is an organization of persons joined together for a common purpose, for mutual aid and protection, to engage in concerted activity and collective bargaining, to elevate their condition of life and labor. It is an organization by which ordinary people come together to accomplish extraordinary achievements.
We are an organization which relies on members’ support and involvement for our strength. The more active the members are, the stronger your union is. It is a union with a clear record of dedication to the principle of fairness and dignity in the workplace.
IBEW Local Unions are throughout Canada and the United States as well as the Canal Zone, and represents over 750,000 workers. All officers of the union are elected by their local membership and meetings are held monthly to bring forward business and social information. As a member you will vote on your collective agreements, how your money is spent, social functions, and the direction your local takes as we move forward.
The Objectives from our Constitution clearly state what our purpose is. They are as follows:
-To organize all workers in the entire electrical industry in the US and Canada, including all those in public utilities and electrical manufacturing, into local unions
-To promote reasonable methods of work
-To cultivate feelings of friendship among those in our industry
-To settle all disputes between employers and employees through arbitration (if possible)
-To assist each other in sickness or distress
-To secure employment
-To secure adequate pay for our work
-To seek an ever higher standard of living
-To seek security for the individual
-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
IBEW STRONG Vision
The IBEW strives to be a union that welcomes diversity in its membership and leadership and will work to fully respect and include all workers, regardless of their differences, in order to build strong communities.
The IBEW has a long history of working people coming together to create respectful workplaces and strong communities for themselves and their families. Today, we are facing political and corporate challenges that threaten our future, and at the same time, the demand for skilled workers is at an all-time high. The IBEW can successfully address these issues by continuing to organize and support all workers, including those from traditionally untapped and historically marginalized communities. We must ensure equal access to opportunities for anyone who seeks to be a part of our union, so every individual knows they have a place in the IBEW.
The officers of the IBEW, along with the IBEW Diversity and Inclusion Committee and a variety of IBEW leaders, worked together to lay the foundation for how this work can be done. Together, they identified five themes that are part of a strategic plan to strengthen and grow the IBEW. Those five themes are:
# 1- Organizing/Expanding Membership: Develop and expand outreach, recruitment and marketing programs to young people, nontraditional and historically marginalized communities.
# 2- Education and Training: Provide training and education programs that address the importance and need for inclusion to all IBEW members and leaders.
# 3- Building Member Activism and Engagement: Provide inclusive opportunities for members to learn and develop leadership skills and foster local union activism.
# 4- Leadership Advancement: Provide opportunities for all local union members to take on leadership roles.
# 5- Replicating Best Practices: Document, share, and replicate best practices for creating a stronger IBEW through outreach and inclusion programs.
"This diversity and full inclusion effort is about making sure that the IBEW genuinely represents the interests of every single worker in our industries. It’s about ensuring that people entering the workforce today- members of one of the most diverse generations in history- feel that they have a place in the IBEW.11
-International President Lonnie R. Stephenson