Worker safety is our top priority
As the Coronavirus pandemic has shut down businesses across the country, the construction industry has been deemed essential in most states — meaning the work goes on.
Thousands of construction workers in central Texas are going to work each day worried that if they do not, they may lose their job. Without a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), thousands of licensed electricians are without many protections or options. They are on their own when it comes to balancing work and the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is not true for the members of IBEW Local 520, who have the support of nearly 1,300 fellow members, backed by the strength of a CBA. We welcome any non-union, licensed electricians in Austin and throughout central Texas to interact with Local 520 and learn what the Local has been doing for its members with regards to COVID-19.
The construction industry in Austin is booming, and union contractors are no exception. We have jobs available for electricians at every level of experience. If you need work, or are looking for the protection of a union contract, we can put you and your coworkers in a job right away.
Check out the video below, and when you’re ready to talk more, fill out the form so an IBEW 520 representative can reach out to you.
Taking the steps to unionize your workplace
Discussing workers rights or joining a union in the workplace can be difficult, as many fear they will be penalized or worse, lose their job if they do so. Generations of tradesmen and tradeswomen fought, and sometimes died, for the right to organize the workplace.
Thanks to the passage of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in 1935, workers are free to conduct union activity and collectively bargain if they decide to form a union.
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) have crafted an easy four-step process to organize a union in any workplace.
- The first step is to get together with coworkers who also may want to form a union. This step may be difficult as many employers use scare tactics to discourage union activity. Be sure to remind these people that they legally cannot lose their job on the basis of union activity.
- The second step involves communicating with a union organizer. Again, communicating with a union organizer is not illegal and you cannot be fired for doing so. Local 520 is ready with individuals experienced in the process to provide help. Please fill out the form on this page.
- The third step involves building support for the union within the workplace and workforce. As long as unions have existed, employers have resisted them. As momentum builds for a union, an employer might display anti-union messages throughout the workplace as a way to dissuade workers from organizing. An employer may even threaten action if an organizing campaign gains momentum. These are all just smokescreens that hold no water, as action against workers for union activity is illegal under the NLRA.
- The fourth and final step is to hold a union election or a card-check. There are a number of steps that need to be taken to ensure that the election is fair. All of the steps and resources for conducting a union election can be found on the National Labor Relations Board website.
Alternatively, employees can get their employer to voluntarily recognize the union through a “card-check.” This occurs when employees are able to show that a majority of workers have signed authorization cards.
For more information, please fill out the form on this page and someone will reach out soon!
A collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is a written agreement between an employer and a union. The CBA includes terms and conditions of employment, benefits that will be received, wages that will be earned, hours that will be worked and more. IBEW Local 520 supports and takes part in CBAs for their members.
Electricians are missing out on vital protections, increased wages and more as a result of not being a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. IBEW Local 520 members enjoy family health insurance, workers compensation and more. Ongoing training for journeymen electricians is provided free of charge. This can help keep you up to date on the latest industry trends, making you even more employable.
The IBEW and its respective contractors association, the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) have come to a set of agreements regarding the Coronavirus. Workers are not required to come to work if they do not feel safe. They cannot be terminated if they choose not to go to work. This agreement also gives other protections to electricians.