In Maine: IBEW Local 1837
16 Old Winthrop Road
Manchester, ME 04351
Phone: (207) 623-1030, Fax: (207) 621-8384
In New Hampshire:
680 Central Avenue, Suite 201
Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 743-1652, Fax: (603) 743-1654

Political Action

IBEW 1837 Joins Effort to Save Brookfield Dams on the Kennebec River


Ed Goodale working on a West Buxton Dam
on the Saco River where IBEW 1837 also
represents Brookfield workers

March 16, 2021 - A proposal to amend the state’s Kennebec River Management Plan would remove at least two and eventually as many as four dams where IBEW 1837 members work generating electricity. The dams are owned by Brookfield Renewable Partners.

Maine’s Department of Marine Resources (DMR) said removing the Lockwood Dam in Waterville and the Shawmut Dam in Fairfield would allow endangered Atlantic salmon to move upriver to spawn and create new recreational opportunities and economic development. But others noted that removal of the dams would negatively impact recreational opportunities that the dams provide, hurt the local economy, cause tax increases in local communities and lead to the loss of good-paying union jobs. and properties along the river, create job losses and cause municipal tax rates to increase.

IBEW 1837 member Ed Goodale testified at a public hearing about what he’s learned after working on Maine rivers for nearly 33 years.

“The people doing these jobs truly care about their river system and feel more like a steward of the river than just a hydro tech,” Goodale said.  “Brookfield and their employees have proven they can and will operate their generating stations both safely and environmentally friendly. All work is done with safety and the environment in mind first.  Brookfield and their employees maintain the motto of doing the right thing.”

Matt Beck is an Organizer and Business Representative for IBEW 1837 and helps to represent 29 workers at Brookfield throughout the state.

“As Maine lost thousands of good-paying Union jobs in manufacturing throughout the state, jobs that allowed people to buy a home, raise a family and have enough financial security to retire with dignity, those kind of jobs became harder to find. Any steps that may be taken to remove dams will have unintended consequences that will be difficult to reverse,” Beck said. “If the dams go away, many of those good jobs will go away, too. As was the case with shuttered factories and mills, those workers, our members, are unlikely to ever find jobs with the wages and benefits that they have now.”

IBEW 1837 Members Play Important Role in Defeating NH "Right to Work" Bill

IBEW 1837 members attending hearing.
IBEW 1837 members and retirees attended
hearings in Concord on "Right to Work."

February 20, 2017 - Members and retirees from IBEW 1837 joined with their union Brothers and Sisters throughout the Granite State and helped defeat a so-called “Right to Work” bill in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, 200 – 177. By doing so, the state’s Labor Movement overcame tremendous odds in thwarting a top policy priority of new Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who had GOP majorities in both bodies of the state legislature.

So-called “Right to Work” was narrowly approved by the Senate, 12 – 11, although its passage there was never really in doubt. 

Everyone knew it would be a tougher sell in the House.  Even though Republicans control that legislative chamber by a 226 – 173 margin, some of them are Union members or supporters of collective bargaining rights who recognize the true purpose of these union-busting bills. In the end, a total of 32 Republicans joined Democrats in the House and voted against “Right to Work.”

Hundreds of union members packed Representatives Hall at the State House in Concord for a public hearing on the bill before the House Labor Committee. Dozens of union members and allies from faith and community groups testified in opposition to it while only a handful of people testified in favor of “Right to Work.” Two IBEW 1837 members from Eversource testified in opposition: Rebecca Johnson, a Control Room Operator from Schiller Station, and Pat Moran, a Troubleshooter from the Hooksett AWC.

“To work beside someone who is enjoying the benefits I am paying for is not right and you know it,” Sister Johnson said, referring to “free riders” who are protected by the contract but choose to pay nothing in “Right to Work” states. “The bottom line is this bill is really not about paying dues so much as it is about splintering workers to their own corners and to take away hard fought benefits.”

IBEW Local Union #1837 Executive Board Endorses Sanders Presidential Bid

Sanders spoke at the NH AFL-CIO
Convention earlier this year.

December 22, 2015 - The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union #1837 Executive Board has voted to endorse Bernie Sanders for President in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary and the Maine Democratic Caucus.

“Bernie Sanders has a 35-year record standing shoulder-to-shoulder with workers and supporting the labor movement,” said IBEW Local #1837 President Bill Tarallo. “How our members vote is their personal decision but our E-Board wanted to recognize the tremendous work that Senator Sanders has done supporting the right of unions to organize, fighting against unfair trade deals and in support of higher wages for working people. He has the best labor record of any presidential candidate in more than a generation.”

The Union’s E-Board is made up of rank and file workers elected by the members to represent them. They also applauded Bernie Sanders’ support of IBEW and CWA union members during the recent successful strike at FairPoint in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont, where he joined striking workers on the picket line and demanded the company agree to a fair contract.

“Beyond his stellar labor record, Bernie Sanders has defended Social Security and stood up to Wall Street,” Tarallo continued. “His support of public education and our nation’s veterans also deserves our recognition.”

The IBEW Local #1837 endorsement does not include any financial support. No IBEW Local #1837 union dues money is ever donated to political candidates and it is prohibited by federal law.

Election 2014: Gubernatorial Contests are Top Labor Concern

Michaud speaks on Labor Day
Michaud speaks on Labor Day

October 22, 2014 - Re-election campaigns for the Governors of New Hampshire and Maine have been getting plenty of attention from members of IBEW Local #1837 and other pro-worker groups. New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan has been a consistent union ally while Maine Governor Paul LePage has supported union-busting “Right to Work” legislation. Both are seeking their second terms on Tuesday, November 4.

In recent letters to our represented members, IBEW 1837 Business Manager Dick Rogers and President Ray Colello continued to stress that their top priority remains giving members the best representation possible by negotiating and protecting our contracts.

“Since many of our members belong to different political parties or hold contrasting views on the various issues of the day, we are reluctant to get involved in politics,” Rogers and Colello said. “However, we feel we do have a responsibility to let you know how the decisions we all make on Election Day can affect the ability of IBEW Local #1837 to secure good wages, good benefits and a safe workplace for you. In recent years, basic worker protections – from the freedom to form a union to the right to a safe workplace – have been under attack.”

After a thorough process that includes issue questionnaires and an analysis of voting records of each of the candidates, the New Hampshire and Maine AFL-CIO’s issue endorsements of Democrats, Republicans and Independents who demonstrate an understanding of the importance of labor unions and a commitment to working people. This includes not only the gubernatorial candidates but also candidates for important state legislative races and federal contests such as the United States Senate and House of Representatives.

2014 ME & NH AFL-CIO Candidate Endorsements

Maine AFL-CIO 2014 Candidate Endorsements

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