Business Manager’s Message — September 2021

Getting Back to Work

Let me begin by thanking our incredible IBEW 11 volunteers who worked so diligently to defeat the recent anti-worker recall election. Our membership stepped up big time for Gov. Newsom in this misguided recall attempt that would have turned the clock back on so much of the progress our union has made in the past few years — from a healthy work picture to making tough decisions to keeping us safe during the pandemic to designating us as essential workers during the COVID-19 shutdowns so we could continue to support our families.

I am so proud of the effort so many of you put into the campaign. Hundreds of you joined our labor brothers and sisters in IBEW and the LA County Federation of Labor in making tens of thousands of phone calls around the state, knocking on doors to talk to our members about the issues at stake, and donating much-needed funds to get our message out. Gov. Newsom is a friend of labor, and we will continue to reap many rewards from that relationship. While we won’t agree on every decision he makes, the governor and his staff have assured us that he is a phone call away when we need him. That is a priceless relationship for IBEW 11 as we grow our influence and our footprint in the state.

More Projects Coming Our Way

With the election out of the way, we can get back to the important work of the union: securing more PLAs and more work for you and making sure you are safe on the job. The work picture is improving as COVID numbers are going down. We have several large projects coming up. One is the new home of the Clippers, Intuit Dome, which just broke ground. That project alone will employ hundreds of our members over the next few years. The work at LAX continues, as the remodeling and build-out in preparation for the 2028 Olympics approaches and the Long Beach VA hospital and the Long Beach Airport should be providing our members with jobs for years to come. These projects are representative of the work picture throughout all of our districts. In addition, we will be launching our new Green Jobs Are Union Jobs campaign to help capture that work for our members.

But in order to get that work, you might need to be vaccinated. With protocols requiring that businesses of 100 people or more need vaccinations, your employer may well require it as a condition of employment, particularly if you’re working on any of these big jobs coming online. In addition, the City of LA, LAUSD, LAWA and the community colleges will all make vaccination a requirement of employment. We suggest you follow the science and get your shot. We’ve required all our staff to not only wear masks while in the office but also to be vaccinated in order to keep you safe. So we hope you’ll do your part, stop the spread and get those big jobs.

Get Your Flu Shot

On another healthcare note, I’m pleased to announce that Anthem will be offering our members flu shots on the 2nd floor at our Pasadena Headquarters starting Nov. 1. This is all part of Local 11’s efforts to keep our members safe and healthy.

I recently attended the grand opening of the new Long Beach City College Labor Center. I’m especially proud of the work our members did there, making that center a first-rate facility. This is the first labor center at a community college, and it will be open to our members and other members of the community to learn about labor history, and labor’s future. It’s important that our members learn about labor’s struggles and victories so that we can continue to command more market share for working families.

I also want to offer a shout-out to two IBEW members who are now leaders in our movement. Liz Shuler, an IBEW member out of Oregon and a long-time labor activist in Washington, D.C., is the first woman to head the AFL-CIO. Please join me in congratulating a terrific person who has a vision to increase labor’s power. Closer to home, I also want to welcome incoming President-Elect of the State Building & Construction Trades Council Andrew Meredith. Andrew comes out of IBEW 340 in Northern California, and he will be leading the charge for IBEW members around the state. Both of these leaders have big shoes to fill, but I am confident they will be terrific at amplifying labor’s voice.

In Solidarity,

Joël Barton
IBEW 11 Business Manager

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