IBEW: Why Become a Member

What are the advantages of being an IBEW member?

By working as a group, members are able to secure better and more stable wages, create better working conditions, and provide some security to each individual.

  • As a member you will have a voice in your future.  Each member is afforded the opportunity to speak on and vote on all issues brought before the body.
  • As a member you will have the right to safe jobsites and fair treatment.
  • As a member you will have opportunities to gain additional training.
  • As a member you will be working beside some of the best electricians around.
  • As a member you will have access to employment with multiple employers.
  • As a member your qualifications are accepted nationwide and you will be eligible for work opportunities throughout the United States.
  • As a member you will receive one of the best wage and benefits packages in the area.
  • And, as a member your wages and benefits will be the same from job to job (whether it’s a prevailing wage or not) and employer to employer.

 What about union dues?

One of the common arguments used against joining a union is the expense of union dues.  These monies are used for the operational expenses of a union and help to provide the benefits listed above.  What is commonly neglected in this argument is the “dues” that are paid by many workers who are not in the IBEW.  These include everything from an excessively large list of required tools and accessories to the reduced wages and benefits that the worker receives.  Our contractors supply all power tools, cords, ladders, and specialty equipment.  Our members provide the hand tools necessary to perform the ordinary functions of the electrical trade.  If you are currently supplying more than this to secure your employment, you are paying “non-union dues”.

Are your members “laid-off” 6 months out of the year?

Anyone who has worked within the construction industry knows that there are periods of slowdown.  One advantage we offer for contractors is the ability to downsize without the fear of not being able to replace those workers when things pick up again.  This leads to the possibility that a member may be “laid-off”.  Many of our members, however, work year round and have done so for years.  And just because one employer is slow does not mean that another is not hiring.

The fact of the matter is that “lay-offs” occur and are not exclusive to our members or our industry.  The rumors of long periods of unemployment occurring every year are simply not factually based.  This is just another method used to keep non-union workers accepting lower wages and worse working conditions.

What about strikes?

The IBEW has been a leader in the area of Labor-Management Relations and we operate with a no-strike policy.  If negotiators for both sides are unable to settle a contractual agreement, the arguments are taken in front of an arbitration council whose decision is final and binding on both parties.

How do I become a member?

The process starts by calling our Market representative Gary Yinger at 717-232-7093 or by visiting our union hall at 1501 Revere Street Harrisburg PA 17104 and filling out an application for membership. Gary can also be reached at his e-mail gyinger@ibew143.org