Business Manager’s Message — January 2024

In 2024, Get Involved and Get Ready to Vote

More than 32 years ago, I got my start with IBEW Local 11 after hearing about the Union while working at the Chevron refinery in El Segundo. After I got out of the Air Force, I worked in the refinery’s Processing Unit, where sometimes I’d end my days covered in crude oil.

I still remember the day, with oil on my face, when I saw an electrician working on a motor there and asked him how I could get that job instead, and he told me about the IBEW. I went down to the Union Hall, applied and was accepted into the apprenticeship.

As I visited the World Energy refinery in Paramount this month, I was reminded of those early days and two things I learned from the start. First, it pays off to be involved in your Union. I was a shop steward in the processing unit at Chevron and became an instructor with IBEW Local 11 as soon as I could.

When I left Chevron to join the apprenticeship, my pay was cut in half. But I’ve always been able to see the bigger picture, and I knew that being an electrician with IBEW Local 11 was going to be a career and not just a job.

As Business Manager, one of my goals is to make it easier for members to get and stay involved, because I want our members to be knowledgeable. I believe the more members know about our Union, the better decision making we can do together.

When I visited the refinery in Paramount, I saw some members there that I organized into the IBEW and some folks that I worked with on jobs over the years. There’s a kinship there, and that put me at ease.

I spoke with them about making our allocation meetings in-person again, because we need to hear from you. I talked about providing day care during General Membership meetings so more Brothers and Sisters with small children can attend. I proposed putting a rank-and-file member on our negotiating team.

These are the things I’ll be working toward as Business Manager, because I want to make sure I hear from you.

The second thing I learned at the Chevron refinery all those years ago is that, just like it was for me working with crude, oil’s days are numbered, and the future is in alternative energy and, as electricians, we will lead the way.

What makes electricians unique is that one day we could be simply hooking up a light fixture, but we could also be working on a nuclear plant or on jet engines or in a refinery or a power plant. Those skills are really the future of IBEW, and they mean work for our members.

But securing those jobs doesn’t come without a fight! The future of our Union depends on electing politicians who will look out for our interest. No matter what party you’re affiliated with or whatever ideals you hold, the first and foremost thing you should vote for is your pocketbook.

Which politician is going to get more work for you?

In this issue, you’ll find a list of our carefully vetted endorsements for candidates in the March 5 primary. In places like Paramount, the future of jobs for our Union depend upon politicians approving projects that will bring us more work.

Your vote directly impacts your future and the financial prospects of your IBEW Brothers and Sisters. We all need to get out there and vote for a future that is electric.

In Solidarity, 

Robert Corona
Business Manager/Financial Secretary

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