WASHINGTON, July 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) join together today to salute the nation's nearly 75,000 electrical lineworkers by observing National Lineworker Appreciation Day.
Lineworkers work around the clock, often in dangerous conditions, to keep the lights on for the customers and communities they serve. They also build and maintain the energy grid and stand ready to make emergency repairs to ensure that customers have access to the safe and reliable energy they need to stay connected and to power their lives.
"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 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 saluting their hard work and thanking them for everything they do for us."
National Lineworker Appreciation Day is celebrated each year on July 10, and it honors the life and work of Henry Miller, the first president of IBEW.
"Throughout this pandemic, our lineworker members have been out in communities making sure hospitals, businesses, and homes have access to the services we all need to stay home and to stay safe," said UWUA National President James Slevin. "While lineworkers often work behind-the-scenes, their work does not go unnoticed. We salute their hard work and dedication."
"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."
On Thursday, more than 130 members of Congress co-sponsored a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives to thank America's lineworkers.
"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. Linda Sánchez (D-CA), 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. David McKinley (R-WV). "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. Donald Norcross (D-NJ), a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor and an IBEW union electrician. "These hardworking 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."
America's lineworkers stand ready to respond whenever and wherever their services are needed, leaving their families for days and weeks at a time to help their own communities, and those far away, recover from storms, wildfires, and other disruptive events.
"The nation's lineworkers are the face of America's electric companies, and we are grateful to these highly skilled and dedicated men and women, and the families who support them, for the work they 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, we are powering through this crisis together."
Throughout the pandemic, our nation's lineworkers continue to respond when their services are needed, following new protocols and guidelines that were implemented to ensure the safety of our workforce and our customers.
Together, EEI, IBEW, NECA, and UWUA remind everyone to follow all guidance on personal hygiene, social distancing, and the wearing of masks or face coverings when in public and to keep a safe distance from crews and their work zones. Of course, we also ask you to please take time today to #ThankALineworker.
EEI is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Our members provide electricity for more than 220 million Americans, and operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The electric power industry supports more than 7 million jobs in communities across the United States. In addition to our U.S. members, EEI has more than 65 international electric companies as International Members, and hundreds of industry suppliers and related organizations as Associate Members.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) represents approximately 775,000 members and retirees who work in a wide variety of fields, including construction, utilities, manufacturing, telecommunications, broadcasting, railroads and government.
The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) is the voice of the $171 billion electrical construction industry that brings power, light and communication technology to buildings and communities across the United States. NECA's national office in Bethesda, Md., and 118 local chapters advance the industry through advocacy, education, research and standards development. Go to www.necanet.org for more information.
Chartered in 1945, the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), AFL-CIO represents 50,000 active members employed in America's utility sectors including the electric, gas, water, and related professional and service industries. For more information visit https://uwua.net.
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SOURCE Edison Electric Institute