Earlier this year, several employees of Wabash Independent Networks (WIN), based in Louisville, Illinois, contacted IBEW Local Union No. 702 asking if we could represent them. The group supplies high speed broadband data and video and telephone services throughout several counties including Effingham, Jasper, Richland, Wabash, Edwards, Wayne, Marion, Clay, Fayette, and Shelby.
After the initial assessment of the group proved this to be a viable target, the Local began an organizing campaign, holding after hours informational meetings, met with the employees before and after work, or during lunch. After gathering over seventy five percent (75%) of signed Authorization Cards, the Local petitioned the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB verified enough cards had been signed, and scheduled a representation election to be held on June 19th, 2019.
On Wednesday, June 19th, the NLRB conducted the election and tallied the votes upon the polls closing at 6:00 p.m. There were 25 uncontested ballots cast and the employees voted 17 to 8 to have the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local Union No. 702 represent them. It should be noted that the Company had several meetings with employees and posted messages and signs attempting the employees to vote no on representation by IBEW Local Union No. 702. The future members stayed strong by becoming informed about the issues and the law. Regular communication between the Union and the employees was vital to maintaining moral and generating a positive outcome in the election.
The journey for these employees is just beginning and we still have much work ahead. The Local welcomes these new Brothers and looks forward to negotiating their first Collective Bargaining Agreement!