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INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS

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About Us

 

 The I.B.E.W. represents approximately 750,000 active members and retirees who work in a wide variety of fields, including Utilities, Construction, Telecommunications, Broadcasting, Manufacturing, Railroads and Government. 

In 1890 an exposition was held in St. Louis that featured " A Glorious Display of Electrical Wonders" with lineman and wireman from all over the United States flocking to Missouri to wire buildings and wire the exhibits, which were marvels at the time. It was very common for worker to work 12 hour days in any kind of weather, 7 days a week for $.15 to $.20 cents an hour. At that time $2..50 a day was considered and excellent wage for lineman,but many were forced to accept work for $8.00 per week. There was no apprentice training and safety standards were nonexistent and in some areas the mortality rate was 1 out of every 2 hired!  Although times were tough in those early days great accomplishments were to come.

In 1891 in a room at Stolley's Dance Hall in St. Louis the N.B.E.W.,National Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, was formed and later that same year became affiliated with the A.F.L., American Federation of Labor on December 7, 1891.

Also During that first year Locals in Cincinnati, Chicago, Duluth, Evansville, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, New Orleans, New York, Pittsburgh, Toledo and other cities were chartered.

The first Convention was called to order in St. Louis on November 21, 1891 with just 10 delegates representing 286 members they were:

1. Henry Miller, St. Louis, Missouri

2. J.T. Kelly, St. Louis, Missouri

3. W. Hedden, St. Louis, Missouri

4. C.J. Sutter, Duluth, Minnesota

5. M. Dorsey, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

6. T.J. Finnel, Chicago, Illinois

7. E. Hartung, Indianapolis, Indiana

8. F. Heizleman, Toledo, Ohio

9. Joseph Berlowitz, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

10. H. Fisher, Evansville, Indiana

Penniless and using a $100 Loan from the St. Louis Local the delegates worked night and day for 7 days drafting our first Constitution, General Laws, Rituals and Emblem - the well-known fist grasping lightning bolts.

 

 

Click on the video below to learn more about Henry Miller