IBEW Local 45
6350 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Ste. 350
North Hollywood, CA 91606
Phone: 323.851.5515
Fax: 323.466.1793
info@ibew45.org

About Us: Organizing

In today's world, more than ever, workers need to join together. Instead of one lonely person asking for his share of the pie, by joining with others, employees can bargain from a greater position of strength and demand fairer wages, better health benefits, and a retirement plan for the future.

Doctors, lawyers, engineers, professionals and industrial workers of all types have "societies," "associations," or "unions." These organizations establish goals and use collective power and influence to achieve members' goals. Why shouldn't you?

Limited Rights without a Contract

 

Under the employment at will doctrine, the cornerstone of American employment law, in general terms, unless you belong to a protected group, your employer has the right to discipline or terminate, with impunity, you for any reason -- even a bad one -- or for no reason at all. That's why it is sometimes called the fire at will doctrine.

However, with a collective bargaining agreement, you have rights. Management must have just cause for any disciplinary action taken against a union employee. You bargain over wages, health benefits, working conditions and a retirement plan for your future. But, you bargain collectively with the strength that comes from a collective voice.

Rights Gained Under an IBEW Contract

 

IT'S ALWAYS wise to take full advantage of YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS.
WITH A UNION, the employer must bargain and pay the wages negotiated.
WITH A UNION, your rights on the job are spelled out and must be respected.
WITH A UNION, you can stop abuses on the job. The union can prevent unjust and unfair treatment by giving you representation on the job and the right to file grievances if you are treated unfairly.
WITH A UNION, you can negotiate for better holiday pay, vacations, health and welfare benefits, and job conditions.
WITH A UNION, you have greater security on your job. Company management cannot fire you without good reason and they must respect your length of service if there are layoffs.

ORGANIZING THE UNREPRESENTED ~ OUR FIRST PRIORITY

Organizing into trade, industrial, and service unions became a legal right when the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) originally passed in 1935. Long before the NLRA, the IBEW began with the efforts of a small group of linemen who gathered together in 1891 to form the National Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. These individuals traveled across the United States and helped electrical workers everywhere to form local unions and become members of the NBEW. This heritage of organizing built the NBEW and continued until the organization grew outside the United States into Canada when it became the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The IBEW began before there was a law to protect a worker's right to join, assist, or form a union. Since the National Labor Relations Act passed and provided that right, the Union has grown to nearly one million members.

The very foundation of the IBEW is anchored in organizing and is defined in the instrument that makes the organization a democracy, its Constitution. The IBEW Constitution has slowly evolved over one hundred and six years. During that time, the basic philosophy upon which it was written has not changed. Today the intent of the IBEW's Founding Fathers and the reason the organization is known as the "Union of Hearts and Minds" can be clearly seen in the objects of the IBEW listed at the beginning of the Constitution.

They are:

  • To organize all workers in the entire electrical industry in the United States and Canada, including all those in public utilities and electrical manufacturing, into local unions.
  • To promote reasonable methods of work.
  • To cultivate feelings of friendship among those of our industry.
  • To settle all disputes between employers and employees by arbitration (if possible).
  • To assist each other in sickness or distress.
  • To secure employment.
  • To reduce the hours of daily labor.
  • To secure adequate pay for our work.
  • To seek a higher and higher standard of living.
  • To seek security for the individual.
  • And by legal and proper means to elevate the moral, intellectual and social conditions of our members, their families and dependents, in the interest of a higher standard of citizenship.

 

Whether you work in the CONSTRUCTION or INDUSTRIAL sector, the IBEW is where you will find dignity and respect in your workplace; in your life!

You have the legal right under Section 7 (U.S. Code Title 29, Chapter 7, § 157) of the National Labor Relations Act to join or support a union and to:

  • Attend meetings to discuss joining a union.
  • Read, distribute, and discuss union literature (as long as you do this in non-work area during non-work times, such as during breaks or lunch hours.)
  • Wear union buttons, T-shirts, stickers, hats, or other items on the job (providing you can wear non-union related items. The company cannot discriminate because it relates to union.)

 

It is illegal under Section 8(a) (U.S. Code Title 29, Chapter 7, § 158a) and constitutes unfair labor practices for the employer to do the following:

  • Threaten to or actually fire, lay off, discipline, harass, transfer, or reassign employees because they support the union.
  • Favor employees who don't support the union over those who do in promotions, job assignments, wages, hours, enforcement of rules, or any other working condition.
  • Shut down the worksite or take away any benefits or privileges employees already enjoy in order to discourage union activity.
  • Promise employees a pay increase, promotion, benefits, or special favors if they oppose the union.

 

Find out how you can work union.