June 19, 2020 - Brother Doug McKay, Local 258 IBEW Business Manager, sent the following email message today to members registered on the Union's website:
As we continue to adapt to these changing times with the COVID-19 pandemic and our revised workplaces, alterations in familiar personal and family relationships and evolving social structures, I feel it is important to again recognize the valuable contribution you are making on the front line in doing our part to ensure our province’s electric utility is maintained, functioning and meeting the challenges of keeping the power flowing in BC.
Recently, it’s been difficult watching the brutality of racist events happening in the United States, and here in Canada. There is nothing good about what happened to George Floyd, Chantel Moore, Chief Adam Allan and countless others who have been the most recent public faces of the reality that racism exists in our communities. It’s been there for a long time and for whatever reason, be it a systemic adaptation or a collective amnesia to the fact this learned behaviour is real and it exists, we all, together, have both a personal and collective responsibility to take effective action to do all we can to make the world we live in change for the better.
The IBEW has a record of standing up, speaking out and taking action against racism. Together with our BC Federation of Labour, our Canadian Labour Congress, and our employers, Local 258 condemns anti-Black/Brown and anti-Indigenous racism and the destructive force of police violence that we are witnessing.
Some may ask, what can I do to help make meaningful change? As a trade Union we not only have a responsibility but we possess an ability to work together to effect change. And it begins with awareness. Now is the time to shine the spotlight on the reality and impact that racism has in our communities and to have those difficult conversations to bring more awareness and, ultimately, do our part to help effect change.
If you are interested in sharing your story, please speak up. If you would like to explore opportunities in our Union to help make effective change, I look forward to your contribution. As a member of the IBEW we all have a responsibility to help start those conversations, to, as our Constitution reads, “elevate the moral, intellectual and social conditions of our members, their families and dependents, in the interest of a higher standard of citizenship.”
Thank you for your attention and remember to be kind, be calm and be safe in all you do at work and at home.
Brother Doug McKay
Business Manager/Financial Secretary
Local 258 IBEW