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Labor’s backing IBEW 46 electricians ‘as long as it takes’

Union community rallies in support of striking Limited Energy Electricians


UPDATE (April 18, 2024) — IBEW Local 46 reported on Wednesday to its striking Limited Energy Electricians: “Your negotiating team met with NECA on Tuesday, April 16th. NO movement was made on wages; however, the Union presented another proposal that NECA did not dismiss right away. We meet again Friday morning.” In the meantime, it urged all LE electricians to remain on the picket lines unless they are working on a job site covered by a Project Labor Agreement/Community Workforce Agreement.


BELLEVUE, Wash. (April 16, 2024) — More than 100 supporters of striking Limited Energy Electricians represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 46 rallied Monday at Bellevue Downtown Park to show their solidarity. Members and leaders from multiple unions declared their support for “as long as it takes” for the electricians get a fair contract.

Hundreds of LE electricians in the Puget Sound area — who install and maintain multiple life-safety systems, such as fire and security alarms, building access and HVAC controls, computers, phones, emergency radios, and more — have been on strike since April 11 against the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). This is the first time the LE electricians have ever gone on strike, and IBEW 46’s first strike in decades.

The strike is sanctioned by the Seattle Building & Construction Trades Council and its 19 affiliated building trades unions, representing more than 15,000 members. IBEW 46 picket lines have shut down multiple job sites around the area since the strike began.

IBEW 46 and NECA negotiators are scheduled to return to the bargaining table this afternoon, but the IBEW 46 LE electricians vow to stay on strike until they get a contract offer that improves their quality of life.

Sean Bagsby, Business Manager / Financial Secretary for IBEW 46, gets folks fired up.

Since January, the union has been bargaining for better wages, paid holidays, and a fair contract to replace the one that expired on March 31, and was subsequently extended for 10 days. But the union reported last week that NECA negotiators have “refused to make any movement” from an offer that was unanimously rejected by members, and instead have insulted this workforce by suggesting they are easily replaced.

So IBEW Local 46’s Limited Energy Electricians voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, which began April 11.

“Our members have spoken and we stand in solidarity,” said IBEW 46 member Michael Holcomb. “We have kids, too. We want to provide them a future and spend time with them.”

Last week, IBEW Local 46 reported that the strike had been lifted against one contractor, Net Com: “We thank the Ownership of Net Com for standing with their valued employees and Members of LU 46! ONLY the LU 46 LE Unit Members employed by Net Com are FREE to work on all and any projects.

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