Essential Work During Difficult Times – October 2020

Sisters and Brothers,

By the time you get this, the Holidays should be upon us. We are still in the grip of COVID-19 which creates all kinds of obstacles to our traditional celebrations. No Halloween parties, trick or treating for the kids all add to the stress of an already adverse situation. It does not appear things will be “normal” for a very long time, so we must adjust and pursue what is best for our health and prosperity. These are difficult times we are going through, but with your help we will prevail. Remember to keep you and your family safe, follow all job site safety rules, wear a face covering, wash your hands frequently and physically distance when you can. We are still considered “essential workers” and should be thankful. Some industries are decimated with 90 percent unemployment with no end in sight. The Convention industry is nonexistent with the cancellation of Trade Shows and events. The Local Union continues to serve its members and work sites remain open with minimal reports of COVID-19 transmission. Gratitude turns what we have into enough.

Most of you should have voted by now or are preparing to vote this Tuesday, November 3rd. IBEW Local 11’s endorsements have been mailed twice and are available on our website, IBEW or Encourage fellow IBEW members, family, and friends to vote for Labor friendly candidates and propositions. An intricate vetting system has been followed to find those issues which affect your wages, benefits and working conditions. So, vote your paycheck and protect your benefits.

After much anticipation, the Electrical Training Institute is open for business. While things have changed dramatically, the commitment to be the leader in your training and progression though your education remains paramount. Online classes are available, and apprentices are being brought up to speed so as not to hinder their advancement. Please bear with the ETI as they navigate this new training platform, we will get through this together. Classes you should be enrolled in and certified remain Electrical Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP), LA QSP-30, NFPA 70E, First Aid/ CPR and Solar Training. These are the jobs of the future so we must be prepared to embrace this technology. We are also still working in the petrochemical field. Our area refineries employ hundreds of our members who make a good living. We all believe in clean energy. However, gas running vehicles and gas fired power plants must continue to have product during the gradual transition. Our union electricians are here for both.

The Pension and Health Trust conducted a Web-Ex meeting the beginning of October which was well received by the members. Our Trust professionals reported and answered questions of the various Benefit Funds to which you are entitled. If you missed it, there is another planned for December 14, 2020 at 5:00 PM. The notice will be posted on the Trust Fund website as well as a mailer from the Local Union. Unfortunately, IBEW Local Union 11 General Membership meetings are still cancelled due to the Department of Health order restricting attendance at large meetings. The IBEW International Union remains steadfast in the requirement to have no meetings to conduct union business via any of the virtual platforms. Instead, we are having “informational” meetings to keep the membership informed. Look to your Unit Meetings which will be conducted virtually to hear about issues pertaining to your area. Remember to update your email address, physical address phone number and contacts so you can receive any documents which will be sent to you. Also, for any changes, notify the ETI, the Pension and Health Trust and the Credit Union.

In the spirit of giving, there will be two food distribution events coming up in our area. The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, will be hosting October 31 at St. Linus Catholic Church, 13915 Shoemaker Ave., Norwalk and at our own Electrical Training Institute, 6023 Garfield Ave. Commerce. Look to the Local Union website for flyers if you have the need or would like to volunteer. Volunteers will be needed to distribute the food as well as help feed the volunteers. IBEW Local 11 will have the BBQ trailer there to support this worthwhile cause.

In closing, I wish you all Happy Holidays and look forward when we can meet in public.

In Solidarity,
Joël Barton

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