IBEW 1547 was chartered in Alaska on October 1, 1946, and continues to advocate safety and protect the rights of electrical and communications workers, as well as many other diversified occupations. IBEW 1547’s efforts to provide skilled craftspeople and safety standards in the workplace effectively raises the bar for craftsmanship, safety, benefits and income for all workers in Alaska—union and non-union alike.
As a partner with the National Electrical Contractors Association, Alaska Chapter, IBEW and NECA operate the Alaska Joint Electrical Apprenticeship and Training Trust which invests $2 million annually in training. At the Tom Cashen Electrical Training Facility in Anchorage and the Kornfeind Training Center in Fairbanks, apprentices receive training in the following classifications: outside lineman, inside wireman, communications/telephone worker, and powerhouse operator. Graduates are required to complete 8,000 hours of on-the-job training as well as a minimum of 280 hours of related classroom instruction each year. In addition to apprenticeship, journeyman level instruction is available throughout the year.
Today, IBEW 1547 is one of the most successful labor organizations in the state of Alaska. Serving approximately 5,500 active members, IBEW 1547 has branched out and now represents local government employees, health care industry employees, property management workers, programmers, clerical, and radar operators. With offices in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and Ketchikan, IBEW 1547 has a staff of approximately 40 employees representing over 60 collective bargaining agreements.
By providing decent, working wages and benefits to their members, IBEW 1547 helps the economy grow and protects the middle class working families of Alaska. In addition to securing adequate compensation for work performed, IBEW 1547 seeks to assist each other in sickness and distress, to secure employment, to reduce the hours of daily labor, to create security for the individual, and to seek a higher and higher standard of living. Members enjoy longer paid vacations and more holidays, allowing them quality time to spend with their loved ones. They also enjoy health and retirement benefits that allow them to retire with dignity and not be a burden on society.
IBEW 1547’s success is also evident through the establishment of the Alaska Electrical Trust Funds which administers health and pension benefits to IBEW’s 5,500 active members and nearly 3,000 retirees. The Alaska Electrical Trust Funds began in 1968 and is unique because it is self-administered and supports local hire. It is envied by organizations nationwide because of the size of the fund compared to the number of people who participate. This equates to IBEW 1547’s nearly 3,000 retirees receiving $6.2 million dollars per month. More than half this amount stays in Alaska, benefiting the Alaskan economy.
As an active member of many communities in the state of Alaska, IBEW 1547 contributes to large non-profits such as Camp Fire USA Alaska Council and the American Cancer Society. On a hometown level, IBEW 1547 sponsors and participates in events such as the Kodiak Soap Box Derby, the Cordova Ice Worm Festival, Wild Salmon on Parade and the Anchorage Ice Fishing Jamboree. All events bring together communities to participate in fun, worthwhile activities. From coaching children’s sports, to boards of directors, IBEW 1547 members have volunteered literally thousands of hours to various groups, organizations and communities throughout Alaska.
IBEW has established a statewide presence and has become synonymous with the true definition of a skilled workforce, with accomplished workers throughout the entire state of Alaska. IBEW 1547 is actively working to elevate the moral, intellectual and social conditions for the working families of Alaska and America.