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Sánchez, McKinley, and Norcross Recognize Journeyman Lineworkers

July 10, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC—U.S. Representatives Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA), David B. McKinley, P.E (R-WV), and Donald Norcross (D-NJ) led a group of 128 lawmakers by introducing a resolution to designate July 10, 2020, as Journeyman Lineman Recognition Day.

The full text of the resolution is available here.

“We owe a great deal to the Journeyman Lineworkers across our country who put themselves in harm’s way to keep the lights on in our homes, hospitals, and other public facilities,” said Rep. Sánchez, the first woman IBEW member elected to Congress. “During the coronavirus pandemic, their work is nothing short of essential. This resolution is one small way we can honor these brave men and women for their dedication, hard work, and sacrifice.”

“The contributions of lineworkers to our economy and national security are immeasurable,” said Rep. McKinley. “Without their hard work, homes and businesses would not be able to function. Every day these workers show up to their job and take risks that allow hundreds of millions of people from coast to coast to access reliable electricity. Their achievements should not be forgotten and the establishment of a National Journeyman Lineworkers Day will allow all of us to recognize and honor their efforts each and every year.”

“As an electrician who worked for years connecting power to our homes and businesses, I know first-hand the dangers facing Journeyman Lineworkers – and this year they carried out their work with the added threat of the coronavirus crisis,” said Rep. Norcross, a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor and an IBEW union electrician. “These hard-working men and women are always quick to respond when called upon, continuing to restore power even in the midst of the pandemic. Their work is truly essential and has kept our country going. Journeyman Lineworkers are the unsung heroes, and I’m honored to support them in Congress with this resolution.”

“Today, as our nation confronts an unprecedented health crisis, America’s lineworkers are on the frontlines, working tirelessly to keep our country running,” said IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson. “They are the heroes who keep the power flowing and our communities connected, and the IBEW is proud to join with the nation in acknowledging their hard work and thanking them for everything they do for us.”

"EEI and our member electric companies thank Representatives Sánchez, McKinley, and Norcross for offering their resolution that recognizes the tremendous work that our nation's lineworkers do each and every day to power our lives," said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how indispensable electricity and the energy grid are in our society. Thanks to our nation's lineworkers, and the families who support them, we are powering through this crisis together.”

“Our nation’s lineworkers continue to work diligently every day‚ in unbelievably tough conditions, to build the infrastructure that powers our critical facilities and communities,” said NECA CEO David Long. “They are always first to answer the call to action no matter the challenge. This year, especially, as they continue their essential work amidst an unprecedented global pandemic, we should all take the time to acknowledge and thank the lineworkers in this country for all they do.”

Background:

National Journeyman Lineman Day takes place on July 10 each year to honor Henry Miller, the first elected president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Miller began his career as a water boy on a government telegraph project in Texas at the age of 14. Years later, while working as a lineman, Miller became acutely aware of the dangerous conditions and subpar wages his fellow workers faced. He traveled across the country to organize fellow linemen and played a key role in founding the IBEW in 1891. Unfortunately, his life was cut short on July 10, 1896, while working to solve a power outage in Washington, D.C. Today, the IBEW represents one of the largest and most diverse unions in the country.

Rep. Sánchez is a former member of the IBEW Local 441 and labor lawyer. She is also a founding member and Co-Chair of the Labor and Working Families Caucus.