HOW TO JOIN IBEW 332
There are three methods to join the IBEW. One way is to apply and be accepted into the Apprenticeship. Each classification represented by IBEW 332 has an Apprenticeship Program, and there are Application processes for each. You can find out more about this method of entry at www.ejatc332.org.
Many Electricians & Technicians start their career unrepresented and un-affiliated with the IBEW. There are two time-honored methods of entry for those who are already working in the Trade. Contact a Membership Development Representative to learn more about these.
Check out the Organizing Info. page for more information on National Labor Relations Board procecedures. There, you will find access to our authorization card form. If you are interested in trying to Organize your workplace, fill out the form, and get it to a Local 332 Representative. This information is confidential and the only way your employer will know you have signed an authorization card is if you choose to let the word out.
The classifications for which we have the most individual opportunities are our traditional ones: Commercial/Industrial Electrician (Journeyman Inside Wireman), Residential Electrician (Residential Wireman), and Sound & Communications Workers. If you have at least 8000 hours in any of these classifications you may qualify to challenge our journeyman examinations. You can call the union hall or e-mail the webmaster for more information. The information below addresses joining in our traditional classifications.
First, fill out this form and send it in to us by clicking on the Submit button. Make sure you enter correct information in every row. Then come in for a meeting with one of our Membership Development Representatives. We hold regularly scheduled Prospective Member Orientation meetings at our Locall 332 Union Hall. If you are a Journeyman, it would be helpful for you to obtain a Detailed Earnings report from the Social Security Administration prior to the meeting. This will document all of your work history for the Membership Development Representative. The local office that will provide this report on the same day is at 2500 Fontaine Rd. in San Jose. Please ask for a report that covers the beginning of your career as an electrician, to the present. From there, the Examining Board receives notce of your examination and schedules your exam.
At the Santa Clara County Electrical JATC, refresher classes run regularly. Classes are based on the National Electric Code, Conduit Bending, Motor Controls, etc. Once you are approved for training by the Organizer, these classes are available for no charge. (Books cost depending on class)
WHY A TEST?
Why do you have to take our test when you've worked for years as a State licensed journeyman electrician? The IBEW is an international union. Not all States or Provinces of Canada have testing requirements. The IBEW has Local Unions all over North America and when you show them the membership card (your paid up dues receipt) that says Journeyman Wireman, that's all the proof of your skills and ability you'll need to seek work through that Local.
Of course, you must still comply with whatever State or Local Government laws that apply, but your dues receipt is all you'll need for the IBEW. Also, completing the test is a requirement everywhere to sign Book I or Book II, the two Books where most employment opportunity exists.
Another question asked is when will I have to quit my current job and sign the Books? Our goal is NOT to add to the unemployment of members. We will not require you to quit your job until such time as we can provide work for you or organize your current employer.
The decision on when you quit your current employer is up to you. Ultimately, we'd like to have you quit only when we have work available for you. However, the reality is, if everyone joins the IBEW and continues to work for whatever wages and conditions the employer offers, we don't gain a thing. At some point in time we will ask you to either quit your job or to begin concerted activity in an effort to organize your employer.
WHAT IS A REFERRAL PROCEDURE?
Through the collective bargaining process we have developed a mutually acceptable manner for work distribution to our members. In essence, all electrical workers in Santa Clara County are eligible for work through our referral process. Likewise, electrical workers from throughout the United States and Canada who are present here in Santa Clara County and seeking work have access to jobs through this process. Like any membership organization we try to take care of our members first. However, the rules that we have established apply equally to all, whether a member or not.
The way our system currently works is described following this paragraph. We say currently because our membership tells us how to run the referral and from time to time we will change the process based on their direction.
Priority dispatch is made from four different Books. The first two books require the applicant to be currently a journeyman level worker, which means someone who has worked in the field for at least 8000 hours in the particular classification and who has taken and passed a journeyman examination from a Local Union of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Additionally, Book I requires the applicant be a resident of the State and to have worked at least 2000 hours within the jurisdiction of this Local Union (i.e. Santa Clara County) within the last four years.
Book II applicants are those who do not meet the residency requirement of Book I, or who don't meet the hours requirement, or both. Book III applicants are those who have not tested out as journeymen through a local union of the IBEW, but have documented at least two years experience in the trade and have been employed at least six months in the last three years in the industry, within Santa Clara County. Book IV applicants are those who have worked at the trade for more than one year.
The question in most unorganized electrical or communications workers' minds is, "What Book will I sign?" The preferred answer is, Book IV. We encourage you to stay with your Non-Union employer until it is the right time to come to the Union. We will work you on this.
This is a difficult topic to write on because there are so many variables. The biggest difference in how you find employment is that as a member or participant through the union we provide the referral under negotiated terms of employment. Unrepresented workers must find the work and then negotiate as individuals whatever terms the employer is offering.
WHO IS THE UNION?
The Union is, simply put, a group of individuals banded together in recognition that there is strength in numbers. We realized the benefits of belonging to an employee association. We understand the power represented by us as opposed to just me when we deal with employers.
Collectively, we have been able to establish a forum to address our quality of work life in a fair manner that benefits us far more than any other method of employment. Our wages, health care plan and pension benefits are proof of the success of our efforts.
We have mortgages, car payments, kids to raise, and the same trials and tribulations of life that our nonunion friends do. The difference is we share our problems, talk about how to remedy them, and negotiate a fix with our employers. Through the negotiating process we believe the entire industry is better served, and so do our employers.
Please take some time from your busy life and come meet us. We're always willing to stay after hours to meet interested new members. Simply call and let us know when to be here.
Talk to an IBEW Membership Development Representative today @ (408)269-4332
Pete Seaberg - Basil Romero