Return to Home page

Published Thursday, February 29, 2024 in The Everett Herald

IBEW 46 Limited Energy Strike Ends

Months After Strike, Nurses Reach Contract With Providence Everett

IBEW 46 Limited Energy electricians voted to accept a tentative agreement with NECA on Wednesday. The contract offer was approved by 85% of voting members and includes $12.50 in raises and a memorandum of understanding to continue discussing PTO, a core demand of the workers. 

"It has been a long journey," said Business Representative Megan Kirby in a statement posted to Twitter/X. "I cannot express how proud I am of this unit with their commitment and solidarity."

IBEW 46 Limited Energy electricians – who install and maintain multiple life-safety systems, such as fire and security alarms, building access and HVAC controls, computers, phones, emergency radios, and more – went on strike in April. After months of negotiations and a contract extension failed to result in acceptable proposals from the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), the workers struck April 11, although several contractors quickly separated from NECA to come to terms with the union.

The electricians held the line for more than 10 weeks, voting down multiple proposals from NECA by wide margins. One proposal from NECA had movement towards the wage demands of the workers, but included a poison pill dismantling key labor rights, like the right to strike. Despite the economic pressure of a multi-week strike, IBEW 46 electricians rejected the offer by 90%. Their strong rejection of this contract signaled a determination to strike until they felt the offer from NECA respected the quality of their work.

Before April, no IBEW 46 electrician unit had been on strike since just after World War II. But through their dedication on the line, cooking daily meals for each other and joining together across worksites at rallies, Limited Energy electricians have built a strong bond and a tried and tested method for fostering solidarity during hard times.

"It's been an honor and a privilege to stand alongside our IBEW 46 Limited Energy siblings throughout their strike," said WSLC President April Sims. "Their bravery is inspiring, and their solidarity with one another has energized our entire movement."

Limited Energy electricians are headed back to work Thursday. Meanwhile, other IBEW 46 units remain in active contract negotiations with NECA.