Business Manager’s Message — September 2022

We are Leading the Way

With an already busy September, on the day of our General Membership meeting, I received a last-minute call to join Governor Gavin Newsom at a climate bill signing ceremony in Vallejo, California. I was honored to be the only labor leader who spoke representing a coalition of IBEW, UA and SMART. This historic climate package, comprised of almost 40 bills, not only creates thousands of jobs for IBEW members, but also implements changes to reduce our carbon footprint and global warming.  

No one can argue the temperature here in California has drastically changed. Remember the record setting heat wave earlier this month? The IBEW is one of the few crafts that understand we must act now to offset the effects of industrialization. A clean energy future is the path forward and the IBEW will be leading the way.  

I will only touch on a few items regarding politics as this newsletter includes recommendations Local 11 has made after many months of vetting candidates, propositions, and measures. An important proposition, of which IBEW is a major sponsor, is Proposition 30. This bill promotes the purchase of EV automobiles by offering rebates to lower income Californians and ensures the much-needed resources for wildfire prevention. The only tax increase is a 1.75 percent increase on those making over 2 million dollars per year. I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of anyone I know who makes 2 million dollars per year!  

IBEW Local 11 is already leading the way on climate change by having a fleet of 15 electric and 9 hybrid vehicles. We also have charging stations at almost every District Office and look to have 2 fast chargers in Commerce by the end of the year. 

Not only are we leading the way in California, we are also making progress and much needed reform on the National level. President Biden continues his promise of being the most Labor-friendly president in history. Our International President, Lonnie Stephenson, was on his transition team and continues to have the President’s ear! With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act we can look forward to good-paying Union jobs. These clean energy jobs will be done by the IBEW.  

The Inflation Reduction Act also lowers health care costs by lowering the cost of prescription drugs. Every year we are faced with increased premiums from our health care providers. This year’s renewal proves to be the largest increase in a while. Your Health Trustees will be looking at all avenues to continue our great medical insurance while also bearing cost in mind.  

IBEW Int’l Leadership to Visit Local 11 

October will prove to be another busy month as we are honored to have International President Stephenson and International Vice-President John O’Rourke join us at our General Membership meeting. The meeting will be held at the Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, October 20.  

This is a rare occasion when International Officers come to a Local Union and speak to the membership. Please be on your best behavior and show them the respect they deserve as leaders of 775,000 active members of IBEW. The meeting starts promptly at 5 p.m., so plan to arrive early to get a seat to attend this once-in-a-lifetime event. The attendance of our International leadership shows the great strides we have made in Local 11. We continue to be leaders in the IBEW.  

Finally, you will notice a special article in this newsletter devoted to a long-time staff member who has served IBEW 11 in many capacities. Pat Owens, the Business Representative for our Intelligent Transportation Systems unit, Railroad, Crane, Sign, and many other units will be retiring at the end of this month. Thank you, Pat, for your many years of service to the membership of IBEW Local Union 11.  

Remember, the important Nov. 8 mid-term election is less than two months away. Be sure to vote for the labor-endorsed candidates in this edition of News@11. Make your voice heard. Your jobs and your livelihood depend on it. Together, we are #IBEWStrong.  

In solidarity,

Joël Barton
IBEW 11 Business Manager

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