The Whole Person Goes to Work

How many old men told each other and Henry Miller that he was just some idealistic youngster when he said he wanted to form a union for electrical workers? I see a lot of young people in our union now that aren’t ready to stomach the old injustices. If you don’t want to join the fight, well please don’t get in the way.

All my dignity, all my love for my family, all my respect for humanity, all my humility, all my appreciation for god, nature, the finite and interconnection and relation of all things. These come with me to work everyday. I couldn’t leave them at home if I wanted to.

The whole man/woman/person goes to work. And each day we pray that at the end of the day the whole worker will come home. And when I go home I bring back so many unwanted parts of the job. I bring home the silica in my lungs and on my clothes, the cramps in my hands and the soreness in my back and feet, the short temper that comes with under sleeping, the knot in my stomach that ties itself up arguing between security and righteousness, the humiliation from knowing that I am exploiting god and nature and the finite to serve folks that deny that they already have too much, while my fellow workers slave away. While the mother of the children I love slaves away. While children all over the world prepare to enter the slave market totally unarmed to do combat in the class war that is our economy.

Tell me I shouldn’t be here. Tell me love it or leave it. Tell me I’m idealistic. Tell me that everything I want for myself, for my brothers and sisters, for my family is unrealistic. Tell me this is just one contract, it’s just one contractor, it’s just one job, it’s just one day.

I’ll leave when I’m done. I’ll shut up when I have nothing to say. Thanks for reading. Thanks to everyone who has confronted some fear of their own to stand up already. Thanks to all you cautious old folks that stood up once before and were pushed back down.


We, the finest electrical workers in the world, demand that language be adopted to the contracts of our Inside Wire, Sound & Comm, Residential, and Stockman units which will make the benefits of Washington States Paid Sick Leave Law accessible to all IBEW Local 46 members. For our sisters and brothers to benefit from this legislation paid sick leave benefits must be:

  • Usable after the 14th day of employment
  • All accrued & unused sick leave must carry year to year
  • Employers must be required to pay all accrued & unused hours upon a member’s termination, resignation, retirement, or other separation from employment.

A change like this will help our contractors by keeping members producing on the job, and ease the administrative burden of keeping employees sick leave on their books for 12 months after that member is no longer employed by the contractor, and it will help our membership by ensuring that we get the benefits we are entitled to and keep us from worrying so much about the financial burden of getting sick as we complete projects and move to the next contractor to keep building America!


At the General Union Meeting on Wednesday, February 13th a motion will be made to recommend that the business manager of IBEW Local 46 actively and sincerely pursue the adoption of language as a Memorandum of Understanding between all signatory contractors, Puget Sound NECA, and the members of all concerned units. A strong showing of YES votes will demonstrate that the members are ready to fight for an ever improving standard of living!