On Monday and Tuesday April 12 and 13, the IBEW has organized a virtual lobbying effort on the scale not yet seen in Congress by any union since the beginning of the COVID pandemic a year ago. Normally in the days before the annual IBEW Construction & Maintenance Conference held in Washington, D.C., IBEW officers, business managers, reps, and rank-and-file members converge on Capitol Hill for important discussions with their elected officials to talk about the legislative priorities. Because of a number of reasons, the IBEW has moved this effort virtually, scheduling over 250 meetings for local unions and their Senators and Representatives.
Local 3 is participating in nine different meetings over the two days, making sure our elected officials understand Local 3's and the IBEW’s position on critical issues like climate change, President Biden's American Jobs Plan, the importance of growing efforts for domestic manufacturing locally, and the inclusion of strong labor standards in federal projects such as prevailing wage and requiring the use of Project Labor Agreements with local hire provisions, along with labor standards attached to any "clean energy" tax credits.
Climate change is especially important to Local 3 and the IBEW, as we are the largest energy union in the world. Efforts need to be made to mitigate the impacts of climate change and responsibly reduce emissions, while preserving key baseload energy sources through this transition to renewable energy sources like offshore wind and solar. It is critical though that these new green energy jobs need to be family-supporting union jobs, as we have unfortunately seen too many of these jobs become minimum wage or slightly better with few benefits and no unions.
Be sure to look for more information on this effort and how you can get involved in the next issue of the Union World.