About Local Union 483
On March 8, 1906, after an amicable split with IBEW Local Union 76, IBEW Local 483 was charted as a utilities and outside construction local. From an original membership of 22, Local Union 483 grew to a membership of 79 by 1908.
Unity has been the bedrock among Northwest Unions which was tested early with a strike of IBEW Local 483 members and the Tacoma Telephone Operators Local 39-A in 1917. With the increase in the cost of living the unions were asking for a $1.00 a day wage increase. Management efforts to intimidate the striking workers led to a spread of the strike to include over 6,000 workers between Washington and Oregon. The strike was settled with a 12.5% wage increase.
The Great Depression brought hard times to Tacoma as it did the rest of our nation. IBEW Local 483 negotiated a plan with the City of Tacoma to enable laid off workers to be able to return to work part-time. The plan required sacrifices by existing workers but by this time there was a strong brotherhood in place and workers helped each other.
Local Union 483 has been at the forefront of area labor negotiations since the beginning. By 1946 inflation was soaring and Local Union 483 went to the bargaining table representing all light division employees, with the exception of clericals and engineers, and asked for a 15 percent raise and double time for overtime. The members took a strike vote and had the support of over 1000 workers from 17 other Unions. The strike was averted and an agreement was reached. Once again Local 483 led the charge of a united union campaign.
Over the years employees from the suburban mutual light and power companies in Pierce County were voluntary members of Local 483. Peninsula Light Company, of Gig Harbor, was the first to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with Local 483. Today members from 9 mutuals and municipalities outside of the City of Tacoma have collective bargaining agreements administered for their workplace by Local 483.
What started in 1906 with one contract and 22 workers has grown to emcompass 28 contracts protecting the workplace rights of over 1200 workers. These contracts cover everything from electric power generation and fiber optic communication to the delivery of fresh water and the treatment of waste water. Local 483 has taken its' place among much larger Local Unions in the Northwest in the administration of a multi-state collective bargaining agreement and apprenticeship programs with both outside line construction contractors and line clearance tree contractors.
With the ever increasing need for a safe and efficient workplace you can be sure that IBEW Local Union 483 will be "AT THE TABLE" for our members and in the thick of the fight!