History

IBEW was founded and exists today for one and only one major reason – the good of our members. Through the IBEW, our members, whose interests and jobs are similar to yours, have been able to attain the best possible wages, working conditions, and benefits.

There is an old saying, “In union there is strength.” It most certainly is true. For our union, the IBEW, accomplishes as an organization what we cannot attain as individuals. An effective union provides strength for its members. During negotiations it must present the best possible argument to an employer that he should pay a decent wage and provide adequate benefits and working conditions. All the efforts of the IBEW are aimed at providing this type of membership strength and protection to those members working in the electrical industry.

We encompass every phase of the electrical industry. If it’s electrical, chances are we not only make it, but install it. We wire every king of building from skyscrapers to single family homes. We operate, maintain and construct power plants and distribution facilities all over the United States and Canada. We have hundreds of thousands of members engaged in manufacturing everything from microwaves to robotics. We have members in every field of communications – television, radio, and telephone. More than 300,000 women belong to the IBEW.

You should know that we organized in 1891 to obtain a better way of life for electrical workers everywhere, and this is still our chief aim. We truly believe that in unionism (we call it Brotherhood) there is strength and protection. And so today there are hundreds of thousands of IBEW members, united in one Brotherhood, working together on the principle that what helps one, helps all.

The IBEW really works for its members. We have our own fully-staffed Research and Legal Departments to aid members in labor-management affairs. We have a Safety Department working to reduce accidents both on the job and at home. Through our Skill Improvement and Training Department we are actively training new people in the basics of our trade and also providing opportunity for continued self improvement through advanced training.

You should also know that cash benefits to our retired members and to bereaved families of deceased members have been an integral part of the thinking of the IBEW since its founding in 1891.

One more point. Our union belongs to the members. Regular meetings must be held at least once a month. Union affairs are run by the membership – not an individual or committee. Local union executive boards must submit all recommendations and actions to the monthly meeting of members for approval. Election of officers is by secret ballot. Dues are in the absolute control of members, and financial reports must be made monthly and quarterly.

We don’t like strikes, and we’ve found we don’t need them. Our wages and conditions can be matched against any in the electrical and electronic field. The point is we got them peaceably.

IBEW WORKS FOR YOU!

More than 95 Years of Trade Union Experience
Nearly a Million Members Strong & Growing
Democratically Controlled by the Membership
Engaged in Every Phase of the Electrical & Electronic Industry