Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Linda Sánchez (D-CA), Reps. David McKinley (R-WV), and Donald Norcross (D-NJ) today introduced legislation to designate July 10, 2018 as Journeyman Lineman Recognition Day. Twenty-five Members of Congress have co-sponsored the resolution.
“Every town in America benefits tremendously from the work Journeyman Linemen do,” said Vice Chair Sánchez, member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 441. “These brave workers put themselves in harm’s way to serve their communities and ensure that everyone has reliable access to electricity. Risking perilous heights and energized electric lines, they represent a crucial and too often forgotten part of our nation’s infrastructure. This resolution honors their work and sacrifice in the development of our country. Every American should recognize the hard labor Journeyman Linemen do to power our homes, schools, businesses, and keep our economy running.”
“America’s linemen put themselves in danger every day to ensure that we have access to reliable electricity for our homes, hospitals, and businesses. These are often the forgotten men and women who power one of our nation’s most critical infrastructure components,” said Rep. McKinley. “It’s an honor to join with Congresswoman Sánchez on this resolution to honor these brave workers who put their lives on the line to serve our communities and the American people.”
“As an electrician who worked for years on the tops of bridges and refineries, I know first-hand the dangers facing Journeyman Linemen. These hard-working men and women keep our country running every day. Plus, they are quick to respond when called upon to get the power back on, which is essential after natural disasters, like recent Hurricanes Maria, Irma, Harvey and Sandy,” said Rep. Norcross, a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and an IBEW electrician. “Journeyman Linemen are the unsung heroes and I’m proud to support this effort in Congress to acknowledge their hard work.”
“Our union’s founder Henry Miller devoted his life to helping his fellow linemen,” said IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson. “To honor today’s linemen each year on the day of his death is a true tribute to the sacrifices he made on behalf of electrical workers everywhere.”
Co-sponsors include: Reps. Pete Aguilar (D-CA), Nanette Barragán (D-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Susan DelBene (D-WA), John Garamendi (D-CA), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Henry “Hank” Johnson (D-GA), Walter B. Jones Jr. (R-NC), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Peter Welch (D-VT), Frederica Wilson (D-FL), and Don Young (R-AK).
July 10 was selected as National Journeyman Lineman Day to honor a Journeyman Lineman leader, Henry Miller.
The date of July 10th was selected as a tribute to Henry Miller, the first elected president and founding member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Today it has grown to be one of the largest and most diverse unions in the country. Henry 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 these workers faced. He traveled across the country to organize fellow linemen, and when the IBEW was formed in 1891, his peers chose him to be their leader. Unfortunately, his life was cut short on July 10, 1896 while working to solve a power outage in Washington, DC.
Vice Chair Sánchez is a member of the IBEW Local 441 and former labor lawyer. She is a founding member and Co-Chair of the Labor and Working Families Caucus.