IBEW members include McGrath staffers

By BERRY CRAIG

 AFT Local 1360

 Louisville International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 369 represents more than 2,600 “workers in all aspects of the electrical industry, including construction, utility, maintenance, manufacturing, broadcasting and more,” says the union’s website.

 “More” includes Amy McGrath for Senate campaign workers.

 “Unions are the backbone of our state’s economy, and I strongly support the right of workers to organize and engage in collective bargaining,” said McGrath, the Kentucky State AFL-CIO-endorsed Democrat who wants Mitch McConnell’s job.

 So the retired Marine jet pilot inked a contract with Local 369 that covers all 91 of her paid campaign staffers.

 McGrath is among a growing number of Democratic candidates whose campaigns are organizing. “Staffers unionized in nearly every serious Democratic campaign for president—including nominee Joe Biden,” wrote Bloomberg News's Emily Wilkins. “The trend is catching on down-ballot as well.”

 The staff of Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who came up short in the presidential primaries, joined IBEW Local 2320, based in Manchester, NH.

 “I got a phone call from the International in late May that Amy’s campaign was interested,” said Larry Wendler, Local 369 business manager/financial secretary.

 The coronavirus pandemic forced a change in the customary in-person organizing method. “We did something we’d never done before—an electronic card-signing and had 100 percent participation,” Wendler said.

“Workers’ rights have been hard-won, and my campaign is proud to be part of that movement,” McGrath said.