Huge IBEW Gains Set Stage for 2024, and Beyond

Huge IBEW Gains Set Stage for 2024, and Beyond

A massive high-speed rail project to whisk passengers from the Las Vegas Strip to downtown Los Angeles in just over two hours. An electric vehicle charging infrastructure powering zero-emissions cars. A massive influx of federal funding to strengthen and modernize the electric grid. 

These projects – and hundreds more like them across the country touching nearly every branch of the Brotherhood – have in common the support of the President of the United States to employ IBEW members.    

It’s hard to overstate the value of having a friend in the White House, especially when he has the federal government deployed to help put IBEW members to work.

During the Biden-Harris administration, IBEW members have seen the benefits of historic infrastructure and energy bills that will create hundreds of thousands of jobs. 

President Biden helped rescue the multiemployer pension plan system. He appointed IBEW members and allies across the federal government. He presided over key regulations requiring registered apprenticeships, labor standards, Davis-Bacon, and project labor agreements.

2023 continued the trend, with IBEW’s profile on the rise and the notable political strength of the IBEW membership. Above all, the Biden administration has helped put the IBEW in a position to capitalize on increased membership with one of the most in-demand job descriptions in the coming years: electrician.

That’s why the administration has the unqualified support of the IBEW.

“The Biden-Harris administration has consistently advanced policies that empower workers, created opportunities for everyday people, and promoted the well-being of working families,” said IBEW President Kenneth W. Cooper. “As a direct result of these efforts, the Biden-Harris administration has overseen robust economic growth, increased worker wages, and the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years.”

Because of this support, the IBEW Government Affairs Department has a much more extensive portfolio, and its legislative and policy capacity has grown significantly. The IBEW is now more involved in the rulemaking and regulatory process, which is essential because these rules determine how agencies will implement laws passed by Congress.

This detail work seeks to ensure that IBEW members will be on the job building the infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, and energy projects funded by bills like:

  • The Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPs) and Science Act, which incentivizes domestic production of critical computer chips, a key component of smartphones, automobiles, and other electronic consumer products.
  • Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which creates work opportunities for IBEW members, expands IBEW membership in traditional power generation, renewable generation, construction, and manufacturing. It also includes critical strong labor protections in over $300 billion tax credits for energy infrastructure projects.
  • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), a once-in-a-generation $1.2 trillion investment in American infrastructure, provides billions for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, the rail network, hydrogen hubs, and the broadband buildout. All dollars for energy and transportation projects require prevailing wages.

On the political side, in 2023, dozens of members of the IBEW were elected or re-elected, alongside labor-friendly candidates who won notable victories in various off-year contests throughout the country. 

Around 15 IBEW members were elected or re-elected to state house, assembly, mayoral, school board, and council seats in New Jersey. These victories translate into legislative results for members of the IBEW in New Jersey, like prevailing wages required on renewable energy projects. Not coincidentally, Folsom Local 351 member Donald Norcross (NJ-1) is the only IBEW member serving in Congress.          

2024 will be a blockbuster year, with the U.S. Senate, the House of Representatives, and the White House up for grabs in November, along with state and local contests. Between now and then, IBEW members will help ensure that the Biden-Harris administration finishes what it started.   

IBEW members have so much on the line. If Republicans retake the White House and the Senate in 2024, the IBEW’s agenda will stop in its tracks. Instead of capitalizing on the most labor-friendly federal environment in history, the IBEW will be back to playing defense. Instead of a National Labor Relations Board issuing pro-labor decisions, the labor movement will lose ground. President Biden’s unequivocal pro-worker, pro-labor agenda will go in reverse.

IBEW members will be crucial to victory in 2024, and IBEW leadership is committed to a Biden-Harris re-election.

“On behalf of the working men and women of the IBEW, I want to thank President Biden and Vice President Harris for all they have done over their first years in office to invest in every community and every worker across the country,” President Cooper said. “The IBEW looks forward to working closely with the Biden-Harris Administration to continue building a more equitable and prosperous future for all Americans.”

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