In what has become an annual tradition, IBEW 1245’s fifth class of organizing stewards flooded into the first Advisory Council meeting of the year for their formal swearing-in. The 142 activists, clad in their signature blue shirts and jackets, raised their right hands as they took the oath, vowing to “further the purposes for which the IBEW is instituted, with a focus on educating and mobilizing members and the larger community to support worker organization and the recognition of worker’s rights and dignity.”
PG&E Customer Service Rep Georgette Carrillo, a nine-year IBEW member who has been part of the organizing steward program since its inception, spoke before the Advisory Council on behalf of this year’s organizing steward class.
“The job of an organizing steward takes a special person – one who is able to recruit, mobilize and engage others. It takes someone who is, at times, willing to unselfishly dedicate their own time and energy,” said Carrillo. “Everyone standing in this stage today has proven without a doubt that they have what it takes to be an organizing steward.”
“I, along with the organizing stewards, owe a tremendous thank you to our business manager, Tom Dalzell, for his vision and understanding the need to equip rank-and-file members with the necessary tools to mobilize and engage,” she added. “Also want to thank the 1245 Executive Board for supporting the program since its inception, and finally I would like to thank our staff organizers, Fred, Eileen, Rene and Rick.”
“These organizing stewards are the smooth stones with which we build our power – and we use that power in labor organizing campaigns, community outreach, political campaigns and union-building events,” IBEW 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell told the Advisory Council. “They have changed this union and have given us power we never had before. And they get better and better with each year.”
–Rebecca Band, IBEW 1245 Communications Director
Photos by John Storey