In 2009, IBEW 1245 launched a comprehensive leadership development and organizing program, with a special emphasis on recruiting young members and integrating them into the life of the union. Business Manager Tom Dalzell assigned IBEW 1245 organizers Fred Ross Jr. and Eileen Purcell to develop the initiative. The intergenerational, hands on program seeks to identify and train the next generation of labor leaders and to promote labor solidarity in the face of right wing corporate attacks on workers. The program combines training, seminars, conferences and participation in current organizing drives, contract fights, political campaigns and solidarity. It includes exposure to leaders such as US Labor Secretary Robert Reich, Stanford Professor & MLK Institute Executive Director Claybourne Clarson, Attorney General Kamala Harris, Mayor Willie Brown, former Clinton Chief of Staff Maria Echaveste, and Delancey Street.
To date, more than 200 members have participated in the program. 5 young people have been hired as staff, and dozens more have become Shop Stewards, Safety Stewards, or Organizing Stewards and participated in committees and union sponsored events. The program has won recognition from the AFL-CIO, the California State Federation of Labor, and international and local unions.
On May 31, 2013, IBEW 1245’s Executive Board created a new position — Organizing Stewards —in recognition of the growing number of members actively involved in advancing IBEW 1245 leadership and organizing program. On Saturday, February 1st, the IBEW 1245 Executive Board and Advisory Council recognized the first class of twenty-five newly appointed Organizing Stewards.
NV ENERGY RETIREE HEALTH CARE FIGHT
From 2009 to 2012, IBEW 1245 members and retirees fought NV Energy’s management unilateral decision to slash healthcare benefits for retirees. We held the first informational picket lines in 60 years in Reno, Las Vegas and New York City with strong support from UNITE HERE Local 226 in Las Vegas and IBEW Local 3 and UNITE HERE Local 100 in New York. We established the SHAME ON NV ENERGY Facebook page, garnering more than 50,000 likes” and mobilized strong support from . labor, political, and religious allies. After the 3 year battle, NV Energy agreed to return to the table and IBEW 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell negotiated a creative settlement to make retirees whole.
IBEW 1245 PG&E CLERICAL CONTRACT FIGHT 2010
In 2010, the 2400-member strong PG&E Clerical Bargaining Unit negotiated with the company without the Physical Unit. Bargaining Committee members conducted an intensive educational outreach program, and recruited and trained 120 On Site Volunteers” (a precursor to Organizing Stewards) who mobilized strong member support for the negotiating team, as well as broad support from religious leaders and women’s organizations. On Site Volunteers” secured 2300 members’ signatures on a member petition which adorned the wall during negotiations, helping the negotiating team successfully push back the company’s most draconian proposals which called for contracting out and permanent two tier wage structures. Voter turn out doubled to more than 46% of which 76% voted to ratify the Tentative Agreement.
LINE CLEARANCE TREE TRIMMERS SOCCER TOURNAMENT — 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Beginning in 2011, IBEW 1245 spearheaded an annual Soccer Tournament to recognize the work of Line Clearance Tree Trimmers, build leadership and foster unity across employers. The annual event grew from 8 teams to 16 teams comprised of members and their families, reaching 20% of the Trees’ membership. Team captains have assumed more responsibility, and adopted the slogan Friendship, Unity and Solidarity.”
TREES’ MASTER CONTRACT — 2012
In late 2012, IBEW 1245 leadership negotiated a Master Contract with 5 of the largest tree companies in Northern California and waged an intensive educational outreach program led by a 42 member, bilingual
Vote Yes Committee” seeking ratification of the accord. We achieved record participation and an 80%+ yes” vote, laying the basis for improving Tree Contracts in the long term.
In the summer of 2012, CALPINE workers sought IBEW 1245’s help to form their union. After an intensive campaign, Calpine workers voted down unionization by a vote of 124 to 70 in a January 26th NLRB election. It was a tough loss; our organizing committee, GOTV captains, and volunteers did a remarkable job in the face of a sustained anti-union campaign. As Mike Farmer, one of our leaders stated following the vote, Fear won the day.” The experience underscored the limitations of the NLRB process and the importance of labor law reform.
CITY OF LOMPOC 2013
In 2013, City of Lompoc Workers organized and elected to join IBEW 1245 in 2013 in a secret ballot election in which over 90% of the voters voted yes!
SUNOPTICS ORGANIZING CAMPAIGN 2013-2014
In 2013 workers at the Sacramento-based Sunoptics manufacturing plant, a subsidiary of the Georgia-based Acuity Brands Inc sought representation for 78 workers. IBEW 1245 organizer Jennifer Gray built a 15-member Volunteer Organizing Committee (VOC) and a strong, bilingual organizing team comprised of 6 IBEW 1245 Organizing Stewards. The team fought against an intensive anti-union campaign and on January 10, 2014 prevailed by a 2-1 yes” vote, with nearly 100% of the 78 eligible voters supporting unionization.
WE ARE ONE” -2011
In the aftermath of Republican Governor Walker’s assault on public sector workers in Wisconsin, labor mobilized demonstrations of support across the country. IBEW 1245 helped organize 14 We Are One” rallies across northern California.
WISCONSIN, OHIO, FLORIDA 2011, 2012
IBEW 1245 member organizers joined state-wide campaigns to fight anti-labor legislative drives and to support pro working family candidates.
OUR WALMART CAMPAIGN, SUMMER 2013
In the summer of 2013, IBEW 1245 dispatched 11 members and a core group of staff to reinforce the Our Walmart Campaign in the Sacramento, Fresno and Bay Area Markets in Northern California. 1245 Members were instrumental in organizing a public letter signed by 54 California state legislators seeking reinstatement of workers who were illegally fired by Walmart for exercising their legal rights to strike.
GREENLEE ORGANIZING CAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS —2013
IBEW 1245 dispatched two veteran member organizers to IBEW Local 364 to provide support as they successfully organized a manufacturing plant in Rockford, Illinois. Notwithstanding a delay of the election due to the temporary shut down of the Federal Government, workers won their union by 44 yes votes to 22 no votes, a 2-1 margin.
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA FIGHT BACK CAMPAIGN — Sept. 2013
Three IBEW 1245 member organizers joined the Alaska Labor Federation and IBEW’s Local 1547 in Anchorage, Alaska to fight recent anti-union legislation, AO-37, collecting more than 22,000 signatures, well beyond the 7,200 required to qualify the initiative which will seek to repeal AO-37 in a special election in Spring, 2014.
NO ON PROP 32” CAMPAIGN 2012
In the wake of anti-union initiatives and legislation in Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida, corporate America sought to gut California’s workers’ collective bargaining rights in the guise of a State-wide initiative, Proposition 32. The California State Federation of Labor and a broad coalition of labor, religious, and civic organizations mobilized and defeated the initiative. IBEW 1245 delivered more than 29 members as release time” staff to work on the campaign and mobilized hundreds of our members and staff who provided thousands of volunteer hours to defeat the proposition. Helen Gan, a long time member, starred in a 30 second spot urging voters to vote NO on Prop 32 that reached more than 132,996 people through You Tube. Former member organizer and current staff organizer Jennifer Gray led the effort.
MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT – 2012
In Merced, IBEW 1245 member organizers led the bilingual GOTV effort in support of two pro-union candidates who successfully replaced two anti-worker Irrigation Board members. We won. And contract negotiations were completed in record time.
MODESTO IRRIGATION DISTRICT — 2007 – 2012
Members fought for 5 years to secure a contract and won, but only after successfully changing the composition of the Irrigation Board.
NO ON G” — June 2013
IBEW 1245’s member organizers provided a decisive role in defeating Fresno Mayor’s Measure G”, a ballot initiative which sought to slash public employees wages and benefits and privatize and outsource jobs, helping safeguard dozens of union jobs. By the slimmest of margins — 50.73% to 49.27% – labor won, thanks to the painstaking, door-to-door education and GOTV drive led by our members.
MARCH ON WASHINGTON FOR JOBS AND FREEDOM — 50TH ANNIVERSARY, 2013
IBEW 1245 dispatched a delegation comprised of member organizers and staff to participate in national march marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in Washington DC, joining the more than 200,000 labor, church, civic and civil rights leaders. 1245 Members also participated in local events.
SHELL SHOCK CAMPAIGN
In 2012 and 2013, a coalition of anti-PG&E organizations, launched an initiative in which the City of San Francisco would enter a partnership with Shell Oil Company to create an alternative to PG&E. The so-called Clean Power Initiative,” claims to be the first step toward establishing a city owned, green power program. In reality, the proposal is not progressive, green or labor friendly. In response, IBEW 1245 launched a community focused education campaign to expose the flaws of the Clean Power initiative. To date, our education campaign has successfully thwarted the advancement of the initiative, winning support from the SF Labor Community, the SF PUC and Mayor Ed Lees’ office.
MUNICIPALIZATION — 2001 AND 2002
In 2001 in the aftermath of the energy crisis and subsequent bankruptcy filing by PG&E, an initiative to take over PG&E and municipalize electricity was drafted and placed on the ballot as Measure S and Measure I. Pac Bell, Sunset Scavanger, Viacom and other utilities organized to oppose the municipalization of electricity. IBEW 1245 examined the two sides and after surveying our membership, concluded it was in the interest of our members to oppose the initiative. We launched an intensive organizing drive waged by our members on their own time. Following a herculean, grassroots outreach and GOTV effort Measures S and I were defeated.
PUBLIC SECTOR CAMPAIGNS
Even in tough economic times and with heightened attacks on public sector workers, IBEW 1245 has protected jobs and limited losses, safeguarding total compensation from SMUD to the City of Oakland, Redding, Roseville, Modesto Irrigation District (MID), Turlock Irrigation District (TID) Merced, and throughout our public sector jurisdiction.
ADDITIONAL TRAININGS, SEMINARS & CONFERENCES
- AFL-CIO Next Up” Conferences in Washington DC, Minneapolis 2010, 2011
- IBEW 1245 Youth Conference 2010
- IBEW Convention
- IBEW Youth Conference 2013
- UC Berkeley Seminar with former US Labor Secretary Robert Reich 2011
- Stanford University & MLK Institute Seminar with Professor Clay Carson & Tho Do 2011
- Regional Trainings (Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno, Reno), 2011
- Changing the Narrative Regional Trainings, 2014
- IBEW Leadership Trainings 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
- Seminars with : Maria Echaveste, Attorney Kamala Harris, Delancey Street, Peter Dreier
- Participation in: EWMC, IBEW Womens Conference, District 9 Progress Meetings, CA State Fed. Legislative Conferences, MLK 50th anniversary March on Washington
- UC Berkeley Labor Center Trainings