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‘One Day Longer, One Day Stronger’

IBEW 46 LE electricians vow to continue strike until they get a fair contract


SEATTLE (May 1, 2024) — More than 100 striking IBEW 46 Limited Energy (LE) Electricians and their supporters gathered Tuesday at Gas Works Park for a Solidarity Rally to send a message to the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) that they will stay out “One Day Longer, One Day Stronger” until they get a contract that improves their quality of life. Contract negotiations are scheduled to resume today.

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 — went on strike April 11 against NECA. This is the first time the LE electricians have ever gone on strike, and IBEW 46’s first strike in decades.

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 has reported 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.

“When workers are under attack what do we do?” asked April Sims, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO (pictured above) and Tuesday’s rally crowd answered, “Stand up and fight back!”

“You are fighting for dignity and respect, and not just for you,” she said. “Your fight is about the entire labor movement. You are fighting for dignity for all workers.”

Multiple unions sent delegations to Tuesday’s Solidarity Rally — including SEIU Local 775 (pictured above) — and several elected officials were on hand to express their support for the striking LE electricians. They included state Sens. Emily Randall and Karen Keiser, state Reps. Nicole Macri and Sharon Tomiko Santos, State Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz, and former U.S. Attorney Nick Brown.

Unless they are working on a job site covered by a Project Labor Agreement/Community Workforce Agreement, or are working for Net Com — whose ownership is “standing with their valued employees and Members of LU 46″ — IBEW 46 LE electricians intend to stay on strike one day longer and one day stronger.

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