Business Manager’s Message — July 2021

Supporting Our Friends

Sisters and Brothers,

Let me begin by thanking you before we turn to current business. In June, you re-elected me and my slate of officers, entrusting us to continue leading this great local. It is a trust that I cherish. The opportunity to serve as your Business Manager for the past three years has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I am thrilled to be able to continue this important work and pledge to do everything in my power to make life better for every Local 11 brother and sister.

Looking ahead, the work picture continues to improve as we slowly emerge from the pandemic. Journey level jobs continue to be steady and our apprentices are working.  The ETI is opening back up for in-person classes again. Life is beginning to look and feel a lot more normal – especially for those of you who are vaccinated. That’s why we’re encouraging all of our members to get the shot, if you haven’t already. I hope you are all feeling as hopeful about the future as I am.

Please join me in congratulating a couple of longtime friends who have recently announced their retirements.  Ron Miller began his career as a plumber and rose up through the ranks to lead the Los Angeles/Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council (LA/OCBCTC) as its Executive Secretary. Ron and his staff have been incredibly effective in negotiating all the local building trades project labor agreements and community workforce agreements that so many of our members are currently working under. We owe him and the council a huge debt of gratitude.

Also biding us farewell is Robbie Hunter, another longtime ally and dynamo who has been head of the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California (SBCTCC) for the past nine years. An Ironworkers by trade, Robbie is based in Sacramento where he has served as a passionate advocate for 450,000 building trades members around the state. IBEW Local 11 is affiliated with both the LA/OCBCTC and the SBCTCC, and we have seen first-hand how Ron and Robbie fight for every building trades job. They each leave behind an impressive and long-lasting legacy.

Finally, I’d like to address an important event coming up in September – the misguided recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom. Last month, I was in Sacramento meeting with the Governor at a conference we both attended. We discussed the IBEW’s current legislative priorities and our goals. The governor listened – his door has always been open to us.

Gov. Newsom has been a thoughtful leader during this pandemic. His decision to designate construction workers as essential workers and to safely keep our jobsites open preserved thousands of our members’ jobs.  Imagine what would have happened not just to your bank account but to our entire industry if we had not been allowed to work during the pandemic.

As the recall campaign against Gov. Newsom gears up for the Sept. 14 vote, Local 11 will be supporting and actively campaigning to keep this Governor in office. The Governor had our back and now we have the chance to show him how the IBEW supports its friends. Please vote no on the recall.

Thank you.

Joël Barton
IBEW 11 Business Manager

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