Despite the COVID-19 pandemic sidelining the workers of many industries, building trades tradesmen and tradeswomen have enjoyed continued work due to being tagged as essential workers. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 96 Business Manager Tom Maloney spoke about his members and their work on America’s Work Force Union Podcast.
IBEW Local 96
IBEW Local 96 is located in Worcester and covers jurisdiction in central Massachusetts. Maloney said work is strong in the area and that Local 96 is currently at full employment. A large portion of their work is in the renewable energy industry and at colleges and historical locations.
The membership has fared well during the COVID-19 pandemic, having no cases reported and being able to shift some whose projects were paused to outside projects that carried on.
Regional effort to increase market share
In a move to increase their market share and provide more work for their members, IBEW Local 96 has partnered with IBEW Local 103 to create a regional coalition.
The flagship project for this initiative is Polar Park, a minor league baseball stadium in Worcester that will play home to the Boston Red Sox affiliate, the Worcester Red Sox. On the project are 60 tradesmen and tradeswomen who belong to Local 96 and Local 103.
Maloney said the initiative has been successful and beneficial to both local unions. While they are completing work on the stadium, Local 96 is working to secure a maintenance contract at the ballpark, as it is a very digitally interactive stadium.
IBEW Code of Excellence
Maloney said that since he has been Business Manager of Local 96, members have been required to take IBEW Code of Excellence training as a way to ensure accountability.
The code is a commitment made by the tradespeople to do their best, give their best and look out for each other on the job site. It is not a one way street, however. Contractors are also involved in the code and agree to properly train tradespeople and provide them with the resources necessary to complete the job.
Maloney said the Code of Excellence has worked well and has helped the electricians have a more productive and rewarding work day.