IBEW 1245 Launches Eight-State Election Campaign to Defend Workers’ Rights

members, along with three 1245 staff members, are joining Get Out the Vote (GOTV) campaigns at local Central Labor Councils and State Labor Federations in California, Nevada, Alaska, Colorado, Kansas, Maine, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

1245 is returning to Alaska to support our sister local, IBEW Local 1547, who requested our help a year ago to reverse efforts to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights in Anchorage. Our team successfully collected twice as many signatures as required to qualify the initiative for the ballot. We are also returning to Wisconsin where labor aims to defeat Governor Scott Walker, the infamous right-wing governor who has made union-bashing his signature issue.

As IBEW 1245’s reputation for delivering hard-working, highly effective campaigners has spread, invitations to reinforce GOTV efforts have multiplied, including from Colorado, Kansas, Maine and Pennsylvania, where key races could tip the balance in favor or against labor. In our own territory in California and Nevada, we are doubling efforts to build voter turnout and support pro-labor candidates at the state and local levels.

The 1245 Organizing Stewards, prospective Organizing Stewards and staff met at the Union Hall on September 16 to prepare for the upcoming election. Their primary focus will be member-to-member outreach in candidate races where labor is under attack, and  they will also be working to support initiatives to defend hard won worker rights.

IBEW 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell addressed the group and noted the exponential growth of member organizers since the onset of our intergenerational, hands-on leadership development program five years ago. The campaign work has not only made a difference in real-life fights, but this type of direct experience has become invaluable training for our members, preparing them for 1245′s own fights, including  contract campaigns, new organizing campaigns and the resounding defeat of the anti-union ballot measure in California, Proposition 32, back in 2012.

1245’s reputation as negotiating and servicing the best contracts in the industry is now matched by a growing reputation as one of the most effective organizing programs in the country. The International Union produced a video spotlighting 1245’s Organizing Stewards model. (click here to see the video).

The AFL-CIO posted the video on its website as a case study of how to build participation by young union members. The International Union,  the California Labor Federation, the Wisconsin Federation of Labor and local Central Labor Councils have all recognized 1245’s  work and, as one labor academic put it, congratulated IBEW 1245 for “putting solidarity back into the labor movement.”

Participants in this year’s GOTV drive hail from PG&E, NV Energy, SMUD, Frontier Communications, the City of Santa Clara, the City of Oakland, TMWA, Merced Irrigation District and Trees Inc.