Message from the Business Manager

Do you remember your swearing-in into the IBEW? Mine was decades ago and I remember it well. I was a young 24-year-old ready to work and earn for my family. I applied for the apprenticeship even though I had 3 years electrical experience working nonunion. I was indentured as a 40 percent apprentice and graduated four years later. The first year you were “probationary” and not accepted into the Union until after one year of proving your worth. I was proud to be initiated by my fellow union members and welcomed into the IBEW family.

That memory is why I insisted on doing something for those members that we haven’t been able to swear-in because of the social distancing protocols caused by the pandemic. We invited around 700 new members to the January 21 virtual general membership update meeting for a virtual swearing-in. Yes, the swearing-in wasn’t the same, but I hope it will still be a memorable event in their Local 11 career.

I have a couple of topics I want to mention in this report.

We have been considered essential workers since the beginning of the pandemic. Along with that designation comes the responsibility to protect ourselves and not spread Covid-19. Yes, we are fortunate to be able to continue to work, but working during these times can be stressful and dangerous. Keep wearing a face covering and follow the protocols. We have face coverings available for members, call your Business Agent or Local Union office to request one. Know that I am working to ensure the vaccine is available to you as soon as possible. Kaiser, United Healthcare, and Anthem Blue Cross have all agreed to provide the administration of the vaccine at no cost to you. It’s now a matter of waiting for our turn to get it.

Let’s welcome the three new Board of Governors of IBEW11/EAA Unit 1894 – Jackie Cornejo, David Somers and Roy Samaan. Lisa Barr was elected as President by the new Board of Governors. They all bring valuable insight and experience. I look forward to the continued harmonious relationship as we help represent those members and protect the values and benefits of being an IBEW Local 11 member.

I want to give an honorable mention to John Harriel Jr., also known as “Big John.” This Local 11 brother has reached out and given back to his community for many years. He has mentored many of our fine Local 11 sisters and brothers who have needed a second chance at life. Big John has received many awards and recognition and even testified before Congress! His most recent award is from the AGC of California as the 2020 Construction Friend Award recipient for his notable efforts of mentoring and giving back to the community. I know Big John does this not for the notoriety, but because of the sincere appreciation for all the successes he has accomplished with Local 11 and because of his commitment to bringing in others from the community to enjoy a better way of life. Thank you, Big John for your activism and service.

In closing, I wish all of you safety and prosperity during these difficult times. Should you have any questions about any of your benefits or anything on the job, reach out to your Business Agent who will be able to help point you in the right direction. As always, it is a pleasure and honor to serve as your Business Manager.

In Solidarity
Joël Barton
IBEW 11 Business Manager


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