"The mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on thier backs, nor a favored few (born) to ride them"
                                      --Thomas Jefferson

A union is a group of workers who are united together to have a collective voice in obtaining workplace goals. There can be no democracy on the job without workers’ empowerment through their union.
A union contract is a signed agreement between the company and the union spelling out the rights of the workers.
It is up to the union employees to decide what to negotiate for. A negotiating committee is selected from among your co-workers. Then, with the assistance of union negotiators, the committee will sit down with management to negotiate a contract.

The law says that both sides must bargain “in good faith” to reach an agreement on wages, benefits, and working conditions. The contract will only take effect after it is ratified (approved) by a majority of the workers.

IBEW Local 226’s contract contains language regarding contract dispute procedures. We specify in our contract that there shall be no stoppage of work either by strike or lockout.
The union is a democratic organization run by the members. You elect the local officers. You vote on many important issues. You vote on your contract. Union members elect delegates to the national conventions, where delegates elect national officers and vote on major issues. The union is the people themselves.
Has your employer ever treated you unfairly? Maybe a mistake on your paycheck? Improper overtime pay? A misunderstanding on how many hours you actually worked? Failure to divide overtime hours on an equable basis... or, maybe a question on time for lunch or breaks, starting or quitting times, pay for travel time, safety or many other issues.

What can you do about it if your boss doesn’t like you, treats you unfairly, denies you a promotion, disciplines or discharges you without just cause? Probably nothing if you are not represented by the IBEW.
Fairness is the most important part of the union contract. The same rules apply to everyone. If any worker feels that he or she is not being treated fairly, then he or she still has the opportunity to complain to the supervisor, just like before. But under a union contract, the supervisor or manager no longer has the final say. They are no longer judge and jury. If the worker is not satisfied with the response of the supervisor, the worker can file a grievance.

The first step of a grievance procedure is for the steward to accompany the worker to try and resolve the problem with the supervisor. If the worker is not satisfied, the steward and the employee, with help from the Union Business Manager, can bring the grievance to higher management. If the complaint is not resolved, then the issue can be placed before an outside neutral judge called an arbitrator.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers was founded in 1891. This union is comprised of proud union members with a wide diversity of skills and jobs. One of the most progressive unions in existence, the IBEW represents some 750,000 members in the United States and Canada.


Benefits of being a Union Member

"Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of the right to join the union of their choice"
                                                                                          --Dwight D. Eisenhower

Our members are committed to these goals

Our brothers and sisters in the electrical industry stand as an example for construction workers across the world. We claim to be the most-productive, highest-skilled and best-trained electricians. In order to live up to this claim, we must endeavor to achieve this high set of standards, and help each other attain them. The following goals are just a part of an overall value system that we have established for ourselves over the last century.

  • Give “eight for eight”, which means to be where you should be on the job performing your assigned tasks. Give an honest day’s work. 
  • Use the proper tools for the job at hand. 
  • Be a safe employee and point out unsafe conditions to others. 
  • Be a drug- and alcohol-free worker. 
  • Be an ambassador for our industry; make sure our customers would want to hire you again. 
  • Listen to and carry out work assignments in a timely fashion. 
  • Use materials in an appropriate manner, thus eliminating waste. 
  • Treat employers’ tools as well as you would treat your own. 
  • Respect the steward and supervision. 
  • Through the quality of your work, show that you are the most-productive, highest-skilled and best-trained electrician the customer could employ. 
  • Have a sense of pride in your craftsmanship. 
  • Have a positive attitude about your work on and off the job. 
  • Honor the provisions of your collective bargaining agreement.