Giving Back and Carrying on a Great Tradition

Meet D1 North Rep Brett Moss

By Evan Henerson

“You can’t always expect to take. You’ve got to be willing to give back.”

It’s a belief that Brett Moss returns to repeatedly when talking about his life and career, both as a union member and as an employee of Local 11. Currently the business agent representing the northern region of District 1, Moss has held multiple different positions around the local ranging from the unit chairman for District 4 to taking on several positions at the Electrical Training Institute (ETI) including a stint as its training director. Early in his career, Moss also represented Local 11 for the negotiations of two Inside Wiremen contracts.

As a second generation Local 11 member and the product of a staunchly union upbringing, Moss was probably fated to be an active participant in organized labor. His uncles and aunts were all tradespeople, and he has fond memories of hearing his aunt – a seamstress – reminisce about “organizing the Needle Trade” in New York. Moss’s father, Irv Moss, was a proud Local 11 member who served as the District 1 Chair and on the District 1 Welfare Committee as well as on the joint apprenticeship subcommittee and as a delegate to the IBEW Convention.

“My father was extremely active through his whole career. It’s a pretty long list,” Moss says with a laugh. “I guess the apple or the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree. I was probably following his example, and it gets back to the idea of you get out what you’re willing to put in. “

At the beginning of his career, Moss spent several years as a journeyman wireman. He was barely out of his apprenticeship training when his employers noticed his leadership abilities and made him a foreman. Just as quickly, he gravitated to education and started teaching at the ETI where he held several different positions until 2018.

“That was one way to give back,” says Moss who continued to work in the field and teach classes at night. “I was lucky to have had really good instructors and I wanted to be able to give that back. Whether I succeeded in being a good instructor myself, I guess you would have to ask some of my former students.”

Moss enjoyed his time in the classroom so much that transitioning fully into administration at the ETI was a difficult choice. He left the field and worked for the union full-time, ultimately serving at the ETI as a senior instructor, as director of instruction, assistant training director and training director. He briefly returned to the field before joining Business Manager Joël Barton’s staff as a district rep in March of 2020. The District 1 north territory he oversees stretches from the eastern end of West Hollywood across to east Los Angeles.

The challenges of working in a COVID environment notwithstanding, Moss is enjoying his position.

“It’s great to be out there and be representing the members, having the ability to be the voice for the brothers and sisters out there when it’s needed, to be able to stand up and fight for them,” he says. “People might be having an issue on a job or maybe they just have a question. It’s satisfying to be able to lend an ear or to assist them in doing some of the legwork that they need.”

Moss and his wife are parents to four children, ages 22 to 27. Their oldest daughter was diagnosed with cancer when she was an infant, an experience that, Moss says, had a profound impact on the family and made them especially grateful for the union’s health benefits.

And the next apple might end up close to the tree as well. Moss’s son, Joshua, is currently working as a CW and hopes to get into the Local 11 Apprenticeship Program.

Pictured above are Joshua and Brett Moss at Joshua’s swearing-in meeting.  

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