August, 2017 - IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson has delivered a message to all members after hearing about recent worksite incidents targeting minority members:
Dear Sisters and Brothers:
Solidarity is best summed up by the old labor movement slogan “an injury to one is an injury to all.” One of the greatest blessings that comes from being a member of the IBEW is the knowledge that despite our many differences, you can feel confident that your fellow union brothers and sisters have your back. It is that attitude that gives us our strength and power as a trade union.
That is why I am disturbed to hear about some recent worksite incidents targeting minority members. Make no mistake, incidents like these are rare and do not reflect the attitudes of the overwhelming number of IBEW members.
But it is incumbent on us as IBEW leaders to call out any instance of discrimination on the worksite or at the union hall. Prejudice against any working person – whether because of their race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, disability or national origin – runs counter to our deepest values as union members.
Bigotry of any kind divides member against member, destroys the foundations of solidarity and undermines our power as a union.
The strength of the IBEW derives not just from our diversity – whether it is color, creed, gender or sexual orientation – but from our commitment to solidarity. It is that commitment by every member to stand by each other that makes us unique.
As IBEW activists, we must take action to protect this brotherhood from those who would weaken those bonds of solidarity. And that means we must speak out on behalf of any IBEW brother and sister who is the victim of on-the-job bigotry and call out those who would divide our members against each other.
It is vital that any member who is the victim of, or witness to, discriminatory behavior or hate speech at work or in the union hall, immediately contact their union representative and employer.
With best wishes I am
Lonnie R. Stephenson
Read his official letter here.