Representing over 15,000 IBEW Utility Workers in New York State, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Utility Labor Council of New York Electric - Gas - Steam, is made up of 18 IBEW Local Unions. They lobby and advocate for laws and regulation that ensures the safety of utility workers across New York State. The Utility Labor Council is a voice for utility workers in government, and they stride to work with New York's elected leadership to find reasonable solutions to New York's energy solvency issue. Understanding that energy technologies are constantly changing, the Utility Labor Council works to train and re-train New York's utility workforce and create and maintain good jobs. The Utility Labor Council cares about the communities in which they work and live, so they are an active partner in developing green, clean energy. The Utility Labor Council is based in Syracuse, New York and is chaired by IBEW Local 97 Business Manager Ted Skerpon.
Utility Worker Assault Bill. Introduced by Senators Larkin and Assemblyman Moya, this is an act to
amend the penal law, in relation to elevating an assault of a utility worker to the class D felony of assault in the second degree. Many of our members put themselves in harms way when collecting debt for the utility companies. Utility workers, who perform vital services, are, with increasing frequency, the victims of assault and aggression. In particular, customer field representatives, who read meters and make repairs, are vulnerable to crime because they work outdoors, at all hours of the night and enter crime-ridden, drug infested buildings. These workers have been attacked, assaulted, shot, stabbed and robbed for the change in their pockets. In 1990, two Con Edison workers were shot to death in separate incidents while on the job. More recently, a Local 1-2 Member was fatally gunned down in an apparent robbery while he was completing paperwork in his vehicle. There have been numerous other violent acts perpetrated against utility workers by individuals wielding machetes and baseball bats and others carrying knives and guns. It is currently a felony to cause injury to peace officers, police officers, firefighters or emergency medical workers with the intent to prevent them from performing their duties, We are proposing Legislation that would reclassify assaults on utility workers from misdemeanors to felonies.
First Responder Identification Legislation. When responding to an emergency or natural disaster it is imperative that utility workers be able to move freely through the affected area. This bill would provide those workers with identification so that workers are not detained which would prolong immediate restoration.