Boston's Local 103 was recently honored as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers' fastest-growing affiliate at the IBEW's annual Membership Development Conference in Chicago.
Local 103 grew its membership by 12% in 2018 thanks to increased efforts to reach out to non-union workers. IBEW also says Local 103 recruited new members and apprentices through expanded digital communications such social media and electronic billboards.
The Local 103's recruitment efforts have also been boosted by a strategic partnership with the Boston Red Sox. The partnership includes displaying the 103 logo on the "Green Monster" outfield wall at Fenway Park as well as philanthropy benefiting disadvantaged youth.
Lou Antonellis, Local 103's business manager, said in a statement "What we've found is that good union jobs, with secure benefits and family-sustaining wages, remain a very attractive opportunity. We just have to get the word out in new and different ways."
Local 103 also bolstered Ayanna Pressley in her effort to take a step closer to becoming the first African-American woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress. The union's TV, radio and internet advertising campaign helped the Boston city councilor defeat 10-term Representative Michael Capuano in the Democratic primary.
For its own part, the local also recruited a record number of women and minorities to its own ranks this year and says it has "significantly" increased leadership opportunities for minorities. Kenell Broomstein was named as the local's business agent this fall, becoming "the first woman of color to hold a key leadership position at a major Boston construction union," according to a press release.