COVID and Ethics

Thursday, March 25, 2021
COVID; It's hard to believe a year has gone by since the start of COVID. I believe we are on the down side of this terrible virus. It has changed our lives forever. There has been enough pressure on every member with health concerns for self, family and coworkers. It has not been easy for anyone and I believe that our Brothers and Sisters have stood tall and performed their jobs exceptionally. Thank you all.
I hope that if you are eligible for the vaccine you make the choice to get it. I know it’s a personal decision and respect everyone's rights to make that choice.
Ethics; This is the second email topic in two months on member-on-member issues. When someone reports an ethics complaint, the people in charge of that complaint are labor and the business. Please tell me how that is a fair and independent look at the supposed ethics violation. When you walk into the room for the investigation, the same people in that room are the judge, jury and executioner. It is automatically a discipline investigation and nothing more. Back when Ethics started, it was a standalone independent review of the facts, but that is no longer the case. When people do not have the courage to put their name on a complaint but instead report it anonymously, it shows a lack of character. I believe everyone should have the right to know their accuser.
Your supervisor is not your friend and what I mean by that is they have a responsibility to the business to report anything and everything to the company. Be careful what you tell them.
You have a responsibility to the IBEW and our members to be a good brother or sister. Once you ring the ethics bell with the company you cannot un-ring that bell. You need to use the chain of command within the Union first, steward, chief steward, executive board member and the Union hall.
I would like to remind everyone that it’s a lot of fun joking around in the barns but you need to be careful of crossing the line. I don't want you to cross the line from having fun to bulling, harassing or creating a hostile work environment. I want to remind everyone that if you take offense to something that is going on, make it known. If you see someone who you feel is being treated wrongly, ask them if they are okay and help them if needed. Do not let it continue. If you can't stop it go to your stewards or the Union hall.
To the foreman I want to make sure you understand that you are in charge of the work and safety of the crew. Don't be afraid to be assertive. Raise your voice when needed or use salty language to make a point. The only problem will come is if you cross the line and personally attack someone.
Please go to the Union before the company for member-on-member problems. Be a good brother or sister. You have to be able to professionally work with everyone even though you personally have differences. Do it for the safety of our members and our families. I want you to know that 95% of our members do the right thing, so I do not paint everyone with the same brush. I want to thank all the stewards who do a great job day in and day out.
Jim Murty
IBEW Local 97
Assistant Business Manager West


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