Solidarity for Sister Colleen

Dear Valued Brothers and Sisters,
As members of the IBEW, we all swore to uphold the Objects of the Constitution. Right now is the time for us to display the true meaning of Brotherhood by supporting one of our own in her time of distress.
To those who aren’t yet aware, Colleen McNamara, 2nd Year Apprentice and IBEW Local 553 Sister, was severely injured on the job in Charleston, SC after falling approximately 12 feet. Her right side took most of the damage, including a fractured eye socket, many broken ribs, wrist, and pelvis. She hit her head on the concrete floor very hard and has cranial bleeding, confusion and speech difficulty. Fortunately, she’s expected to recover, but has several months of recovery ahead of her.
While she has some of the best benefits in the country, she will still need help with her living expenses while she recovers. Colleen is a very active member of Local 553 and of our RENEW Committee, and now we want to rally behind her in her time of need.
If you feel inclined to support Colleen financially during her long recovery process, please do so using the following link to make donations to a GoFundMe account managed by Colleen’s family. Please, feel free to share the link with all your friends and family.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support for Sister Colleen.
Fraternally Yours,
-Steve Baker, Vice President IBEW Local 553

Save Our Apprenticeships


LU #553 General Membership

From: Rob Axford, Business Manager

Date:   July 24, 2019


Greetings to each of you!

Please see the attached letter from International President Lonnie Stephenson dated July 18, 2019.


I ask that you read the enclosed letter and the accompanying attachment and follow through with President Stephenson’s request for participation. We respectfully request your support in our endeavor.

Below are several points we need to keep in mind with the proposed changes to non-JATC apprenticeship programs:

IRAPs are not state or federally certified apprenticeship programs. They are recognized and/or regulated by the company.

There are no state or federal regulations for wage increases during apprenticeship

There is a possibility of differing interpretations of quality and safety standards

Thank you in advance for your cooperation with this request on behalf of the IBEW.


Rob Axford Business Manager

Constitutional objects of the IBEW: Part II

The IBEW has a set of constitutional objects that we as a union are supposed to live up to and espouse every day of our lives, whether on the job or in our private life. A previous article was written about the first constitutional object of the IBEW, “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,” What that means, of course, is that the IBEW doesn’t just represent its members or those working with NECA contractors. It also means that for any electrical worker in distress, who has been wronged, who has been treated unfairly for any reason, we may represent that worker regardless of union membership.

The next Constitutional object is “to promote reasonable methods of work,” What this means is that, in addition to representing the interests of electrical workers, the IBEW also strives every day to ensure our workers are effective on the job and adhere to all safety and quality standards. The IBEW Code of Excellence is living proof that we strive to have every IBEW member adhere to. The Code of Excellence enshrines safety, quality work, and a willingness to utilize skills and abilities to the max. The Code of Excellence is as follows:

  • Arrive to work on time, ready and willing to work.
  • Follow appropriate employer and customer work rules.
  • Promote an alcohol and drug free workplace.
  • Work in a safe and healthy manner.
  • Give 8 hours work for 8 hours pay and ensure supervision has been notified when we need to leave the jobsite.
  • Respect management directives that are safe, reasonable and legitimate.
  • Respect the customer’s rights and property.
  • Respect the rights of our coworkers.
  • Utilize the skills and abilities we have learned to gain a competitive advantage.
  • Take care of the employer’s tools and equipment as if they were our own. Refuse to condone any act of property destruction, including graffiti.
  • Start work on time, work until the appropriate quitting time and limit break periods to the time allowed.
  • Use the proper tool for the job while maintaining personal responsibility for our tools.
  • Only sell merchandise or collect funds as authorized by the Business Manager of the Local Union.
  • Perform personal business, including cell phone use, during authorized break periods only.
  • Never participate in job slowdowns, disruptions or activities designed to extend the job or create overtime. Always strive to conduct ourselves in a way that promotes a positive image of the IBEW.”

Promoting “reasonable methods of work” is a central pillar of the IBEW, something that as part of our constitutional objects, we truly seek to exude every day of our lives.