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May 27, 2015
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What's New at IBEW 494
What is Prevailing Wage


  •       Prevailing Wage is the wage and benefit rate created in a given geographic area that must be met on publicly funded construction projects.  It is based on reports filed by contractors on real work performed on private-sector projects. 
  •       It serves as a wage floor to ensure a level playing field so local contractors can provide a highly skilled, well-trained workforce and can compete fairly against each other for publicly funded projects.   In turn, projects are on budget, on time, and the best value for taxpayers.


  •       Repealing or gutting prevailing wage law will drive down your wage regardless of whether you work on publicly or privately funded construction projects.
  •       Adverse changes or repeal of prevailing wage hurts our contractors and their ability to compete and win bids on public work; current law requires projects to be awarded to the lowest bidder.  If our contractors can no longer win bids, we won’t have jobs.

It is imperative that we let our legislators know that their constituents are opposed to any changes or Repeal to this law.

Let your Legislators know why Repealing Prevailing wage or making any changes to the current law is bad for your family and our economy.

On Wisconsin’s legislative home page top right enter home address to find your Legislators.
AFL-CIO Phone Bank
Local 494 Members, AFL-CIO needs our help! They are looking for people to help phone bank Thursday May 21st from 3-7pm. 1 hour or 3 whatever you can do is greatly appreciated. If you’re available to help out please give Emily Kitckin a call at 414-745-8343. The phone bank is at the AFL-CIO office located at 6333 W. Bluemound Rd.  Thank you. Read More...
IBEW Blood Drive
Every Member an Organizer Academy

Labor is under attack, and it’s a long time in the making. We can fight back! But the fight starts at home, in our own locals. Join us at our 2015 Every Member an Organizer Academy to learn about “Right to Work” and ways to communicate about the union advantage at the workplace.

Every Member an Organizer Academy

Thursday, May 14th

5:30-8:30 PM

Milwaukee Area Labor Council

633 S. Hawley Rd. Milwaukee

RSVP by Tuesday, May 12th

Click HERE to sign up for the Milwaukee EMO

Contact Emily-, 414-745-8343

Against the Repeal of Prevailing Wage

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We need your help. We need you to email your legislators and let them know we are against the repeal of Prevailing wage.

To find out whom your State senator and State Assemblyman are go to Wisconsin’s legislative web page. At the top of the page you’ll see find my legislator then enter home address.

  These web sites will have talking points you can use in your email.



The Local 494 Milwaukee Inside Negotiation Committee met with the Electrical Contractors Association Milwaukee NECA for a negotiation session and subsequent Local Interim CIR meeting on Monday, April 27, 2015. Despite meeting on Monday and six times prior, the parties failed to reach an agreement. The Union and NECA will try to resolve their issues prior to the next Council on Industrial Relations session scheduled for May 11-14, 2015 in Washington DC.  If a local agreement cannot be reached, the case will go before CIR.  After all written and oral evidence in the case is presented to the Council, and the case pronounced closed by the Co-Chairman who is presiding, further consideration shall be given and a decision will be reached by unanimous vote of the Council. After the decision is handed down by the Council, the Union will disseminate the information to our members. Thank you for your patience as the Union works to acquire the best possible agreement for our members.

NLMCC Industry Night Milwaukee LU 494 HD

Right To Work Information for LU 494 Members

February 27, 2015

To:  All 494 Members

Right-to-Work was fast tracked and passed by the Senate, will soon pass in the Assembly and will be signed into law by Governor Walker quickly. So what does this mean as a member of Local 494? To 99% of our members, this means absolutely nothing. It is business as usual. No action is required on your part and you will continue to be an active member and participate in all the benefits afforded a member of Local 494. It’s that simple, that’s it!

If however, you are the type of person who likes to game the system and take advantage of others for your personal gain, RTW has opened the door for you. Such exploiters will now be able to turn their back on their brothers and sisters, thumb their nose at our Union forefathers who fought for our wages and benefits, and request what can reasonably be labeled a “freeloader” status. RTW gives a person the ability to renounce the Union and get a free ride on the backs of others. All of the benefits that are afforded us under the terms of our Agreements are extended to these folks “free” of charge. For these few, they will be required to go through the necessary steps in order to take advantage of this non-payer status. However, the consequences of this decision should not be taken lightly.  Many benefits accrue from membership - which are jeopardized by making this decision. The lost benefits include the following:
-   Loss of IBEW Pension
-   Loss of International Death Benefit
-   Loss of Local Sick & Accident Benefit
-   Loss of Local 494 Death Benefit
-   Cannot Hold Any Union Position
-   Cannot Vote For Union Officials
-   Cannot Vote On Contract Ratification
-   Banned From Union Meetings
-   Banned From ALL Union Activities; Zoo Picnic, Golf, Bowling, Holiday Party…
-   Banned From Union Education Opportunities
-   Excluded From Receiving all Union Correspondence & Newsletters
-   Intangible but Irreplaceable Loss of IBEW Fraternal Affiliation & Pride

Please do not hesitate to call or email me with any of your questions or concerns.


John Bzdawka
Business Manager


Internationally Respected Economist 'Right-­to-­Work' Wrong for Wisconsin

Monday, January 26, 2015
(608) 258-7131

Internationally Respected Economist:
“Right-to-Work” Wrong for Wisconsin

Marquette University professor releases report, RTW provides
“No economic advantage to Wisconsin”

(MADISON, WI) – A recently released study shows that Right to Work (RTW) is “shortsighted and a superficial selling point” according to Dr. Abdur Chowdhury, professor of economics at Marquette University.

Dr. Chowdhury is the former chair of the economics department at Marquette, served as chief economist for the United Nations Economic Commission in Europe for five years and was appointed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Academic Advisory Council. Dr. Chowdhury specializes in the areas of U.S. macro-economy, international finance and global economic issues.

“Our findings show that Right to Work places downward pressure on wages and erodes the quality of a state’s labor force by encouraging the best and brightest to migrate to states where wages are higher,” says Dr. Chowdhury. “RTW laws reduce wages and cause income and spending to decline. This in turn means lower income, less income tax revenue, and less spending which translates into lower sales tax receipts.”

The study, entitled “The Potential Effects of Right to Work Law in Wisconsin“, was released January 25, 2015. The study illustrates the direct and indirect impact of Right to Work on income in Wisconsin, loss of Wisconsin income tax revenue if implemented and why a Right to Work law would be detrimental to Wisconsin’s economy.

Some key findings of the study include:

  • The net loss in direct and indirect income to Wisconsin workers and their families would vary from $5.84 to $7.23 billion annually.
  • The economic loss in Wisconsin income taxes is estimated between $234 and $289 million per year.
  • Unionization rates in RTW states are less than half of what they are in Collective Bargaining (CB) states.
  • Wages are lower in RTW states than CB states.
  • RTW increases gender and racial wage inequality.
  • RTW increases workplace fatalities.

“Simply stated, RTW legislation would provide no discernible overall economic advantage to Wisconsin,” added Dr. Chowdhury. “But it does impose significant social costs.”

Steve Lyons, spokesperson for the, Wisconsin Contractor Coalition (WCC), stated, “Dr. Chowdhury’s report is very consistent with numerous studies done throughout the country. That is why hundreds of Wisconsin private businesses such as those in the WCC are so concerned about the negative impact of RTW legislation.”

Dr. Chowdhury’s report can be read in full at


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