At their recent National Convention in Tampa, Florida, Republicans needed to guarantee their union-bashing, anti-worker message made it through 40 miles of cable to hundreds of stations worldwide for millions of viewers to see without interruption. In order for the proceedings to go on without a hitch, though, the GOP hired the best: the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Oh, the irony.
It’s a no-brainer to me. The Republicans couldn’t afford to waste time or money, and if you want the job done on time and under budget, IBEW electricians are the way to go.The IBEW's job of turning this hockey arena into a political convention and then back into a hockey arena meant long hours before and after the RNC crowd came through town. However, they already had a vast familiarity with the arena...since they helped built it.
The $160 million complex was completed in 1996 with an IBEW work force. And last year, the IBEW worked on a $40 million renovation project, installing two giant Tesla coils that zap 25-foot lightning bolts high above the ice.
For the GOP Presidential candidate, it wasn’t the first time he turned to unions in a time of need.
As president of the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Romney employed members of Locals 57 and 354 to wire the 500-foot-mega-wattage Olympic Rings that overlooked the city.
He even thanked the IBEW for all their hard work:
The union is happy to provide quality work to all comers, but IBEW President Edwin Hill couldn’t pass up a chance to point out the irony of the GOP convention's theme.
One of the themes of the Republican convention is ‘We Built it.” Well I take pride in knowing that as Americans watch the proceedings of both major political conventions; this union can say ‘We Built That.’