Sánchez, McKinley, and Norcross Recognize Journeyman Lineworkers

July 9, 2021
Press Release
Introduce bi-partisan resolution to designate July 10 as Journeyman Lineman Recognition Day

WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA), David B. McKinley, P.E (R-WV), and Donald Norcross (D-NJ) led a group of 129 lawmakers in introducing a resolution to designate July 10, 2021, as Journeyman Lineman Recognition Day.

“Throughout this pandemic, Journeyman Lineworkers were among the essential workers who put themselves in harm’s way to keep the lights on in our homes, hospitals, and other public spaces,” said Rep. Sánchez, the first woman IBEW member elected to Congress. “Their hard work and dedication deserves  recognition. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for joining me in honoring these hard-workers.”

“Most Americans don’t appreciate electricity until they don’t have it,” said Rep. McKinley. “Lineworkers are the forgotten men and women who work through wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters to bring power back to people.  Every day these workers undertake difficult and often dangerous work to ensure access to reliable electricity. Establishing a National Journeyman Lineworkers Day will give them the appreciation they deserve 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 past year they carried out their work with the added threat of the coronavirus pandemic,” 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 aftermath of natural disasters. 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.”

“We salute the hard work and dedication of our lineworker members today and every day,” said President James Slevin, Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA). “Over the past year these men and women overcame a public health crisis that impacted their own families and communities and severe weather, including hurricanes, a deep freeze and wildfires to ensure we could power our homes and businesses. We appreciate everything they do for us.”

“EEI and our member electric companies salute our industry’s lineworkers who work tirelessly to power our lives each day,” said Tom Kuhn, President of Edison Electric Institute (EEI). “Not only did they continue to work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our lineworkers responded each and every time they were called upon for mutual assistance, often leaving their families to help our customers and our communities recover from last year’s historic hurricane and wildfire seasons. Lineworkers truly are our nation’s unsung heroes, and we applaud them for their continued dedication. We thank Congresswoman Sanchez and all the Representatives who sponsored this resolution for their support and recognition.

“Everyday our heroic lineworkers give their all to keep this nation moving,” said Lonnie R. Stephenson, President of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. “That’s why I’m so proud that lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are coming together to recognize July 10 – the day the IBEW’s founder Henry Miller died on the job fixing a power outage – as National Lineworker Appreciation Day.”

“We at NECA are proud to support this resolution designating July 10 as Journeyman Lineworkers Recognition Day,” said David Long, CEO of the National Electrical Contractors Association. “For decades, our nation’s lineworkers have been resilient, working tirelessly to keep America’s grid running in all conditions, following major storms and disasters and throughout a worldwide pandemic. I’d like to thank Rep. Linda Sanchez, Rep. David McKinley, and Rep. Donald Norcross for leading the charge on this important and meaningful resolution in support of these lineworkers.”

Background:

This Resolution designates National Journeyman Lineman Day 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 Caucus.

The resolution had 131 original co-sponsors. The full text of the resolution is available here.

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