Boston, MA The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ (IBEW) recognized Boston’s Local 103 as its fastest-growing affiliate at the union’s annual Membership Development Conference in Chicago. IBEW leaders lauded Local 103’s IBEW business manager, Lou Antonellis, for spearheading new organizing efforts and marketing initiatives.
“What we’ve found is that good union jobs, with secure benefits and family-sustaining wages, remain a very attractive opportunity,” Antonellis said. “We just have to get the word out in new and different ways.”
Local 103’s membership grew by 12% this year, due in large part to increased worksite outreach to non-union workers and expanding its use of digital communications to recruit new members and apprentices, including a social media campaign and electric billboards across the city. IBEW national leaders also noted Local 103’s success in diversifying its ranks.
Local 103 recruited a record number of women and people of color to apply to its apprenticeship program in 2018.
The local has also made significant strides in advancing leadership opportunities for members from underrepresented groups in the building trades. For example, the local appointed Kenell Broomstein as Business Agent this fall, making her the first woman of color to hold a key leadership position at a major Boston construction union.
This year, Local 103 inked a high-profile strategic partnership with the Boston Red Sox that includes Local 103’s logo prominently displayed on the famous “Green Monster”, and a substantial philanthropic collaboration benefitting underserved youth. The partnership has brought a new level of visibility to the union and has aided in its recruitment efforts.
Local 103 also notched a significant political win, after working hard to help elect Ayanna Pressley to be the first African-American woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress. Beyond its endorsement, the union created and ran an advertising campaign spanning TV, radio, Pandora, Facebook, and more.