IBEW 37th Convention

One union members report on the 37th Convention of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). This is unoffical and unsanctioned.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Friday, 9/15/06 the 5th and final day

Friday was the last day of the convention. It ended early, right around 1:00 PM as planned.

WE HEARD FROM Larry Cohen, General Counsel for the IBEW. The lawyer. He’s been associated with the IBEW for 40 years, and General Counsel for 26 years. He’s the guy that keeps Bro’s Hill and Walters from going to the slammer if they get over-enthusiastic on our behalf. He did use a quote (I forgot to write it down) from one of my personal favorite labor heroes: Samual Gompers.

And we did finish up the unfinished business: the remainder of the 44 resolutions to be dealt with.

Do you want to have a resolution presented to the Convention? Read your Constitution, the new one as modified by this convention will come out shortly. There’s a procedure, outlined in the Constitution. The most important thing, tho, is timeliness. It need to be presented well in advance and is then sent to the Resolutions Committee for review and recommendation and for printing up for the Convention. So be prepared to do this EARLY if you’re really sincere about it.

Again, we didn’t go along with all the recommendations. NFPA Standard 70E recommends against working on live electrical circuits, or something like that. The resolution was to include language in the national contract to throw the switch to off or pull the plug when work was being performed, wherever practical. (Sounds pretty good so far, doesn’t it?) However, the committee felt that including the language would mandate it. So the committee recommended NONCONCURRENCE with the resolution.

The committee’s recommendation was rejected and the resolution was adopted.

Another resolution dealt with immigration. It had all the good stuff. It did have one paragraph about “giving undocumented workers (illegal immigrants) the chance to pursue citizenship” (I’m paraphrasing here) and that paragraph was deleted by a vote from the floor. The rest of the resolution passed.

Maybe we should get more IBEW people in the House and Senate. A lot more stuff would get done, and get done well, and faster too.

Anyway, we adjourned sine die (that’s a Latin phrase, go look it up on m-w.com).

Madeleine and Jim went someplace, and I took off on my bicycle and toured around Cleveland. Their lakefront isn’t like Chicago’s. There a couple of small parks and area that are nice, but isolated from each other. There’s an airport on the lake right near the downtown area that maybe they could take a lesson from Chicago and turn it into a public space instead.

I rode out way into the west side of the city. Lots of what looked like abandoned vertical factory buildings. In neighborhoods where people lived, and probably walked to work in the old days. It’s shame to see this waste, and know that a lot of this comes about because of outsourcing and Wal-Mart.

I did try Cleveland pizza for lunch. Sorry, if you want good pizza, come to Chicago. It was only 99¢ for a slice, though. That should look good when I turn in my expenses for my local brothers and sisters to approve.

We met back at the hotel around 3:30, left for the airport on the shuttle bus. As I did coming out, I checked one bag but carried my backpack. While in line for the security check, I realized I had a bunch of no-no’s in the bag! Tools, for fixing the bike if necessary. Compressed air cartridges for tire repair. Not only would then have confiscated them, I might have been questioned very closely. I snuck under the rope and went back into the check-in line and was able to check the backpack.

This was a good experience, and I’m glad my brothers and sisters selected me to attend.

A couple of more links that might be of interest:

http://www.ibew.org/Convention2006/index.htm is the official convention coverage website of the IBEW. Obviously, it’ll be a little more complete and have more coverage than I’ve got here.

http://family.webshots.com/album/554160828wsvaEK is where I’ve uploaded the rest of the pictures I took in Cleveland. Maybe http://tinyurl.com/o93y2 - the Tiny Url link will work easier.

http://www.ibewhourpower.com/ is the latest in the IBEW’s web arsenal. Check it out, it’s interesting.

http://www.ibew.org/ is the Official IBEW Website.

If you want to make constructive criticism or comments, my email address is: mailto:R-Kastigar@neiu.edu

If you’re really bored at work, you can check out my home page, http://www.neiu.edu/~rkastiga


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