Benny Durbin

Benny Durbin

“I currently work in a small town called Arthur, Illinois, population about 2,500.”

“I moved here in 2016. When I was hired, they told me I didn’t have a choice but to join the [International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers] union. There were only three guys in it at the time, and I was the fourth member.”

“I work in public works, but IBEW’s more of an electrician’s union, so they didn’t care much about us.”

“I just didn’t feel well-represented, or like there was enough support from our union. They didn’t really help us when we went into negotiations. They never really asked us what we wanted.”

“After our last contract negation, our rep came back and told us we would make X amount this month and Y amount next month, but they didn’t even consult with us for our opinions.”

“A couple years later, I found out about the Janus decision and realized I could opt-out. One guy retired and another guy moved, so when I decided to opt out there were only two of us. I found out Wednesday that the other guy that was in the union opted out, too, so nobody is left and they had to disband the chapter.”

“It saves me about $700-$800 dollars per year, and we weren’t getting very good representation. We hardly ever saw our union rep.”

“Our union rep would only come down maybe every 7 or 8 months. And when we had an issue, it seemed to take forever for our rep to come down and talk to us about it.”

“I also didn’t like seeing the union give our money to political figures for their campaign funds. I don’t like that at all. I think that’s a waste of our own money.”

“I’ll go on the Illinois Board of Elections website, sometimes, and you can see which unions give money to different candidates. Some local politicians will receive $10,000 to $15,000 from these different unions. That’s hard-earned money that came out of my pocket and is going to politicians no matter my personal political preferences. They can have fundraisers if they need campaign funds, but it shouldn’t be taken out of union dues.”

“Here in a smaller town, our employers are a lot more lenient on us. If we need some time off, they’d let us take off. I don’t really think a union is necessary for a town this size.”

Benny Durbin
Public works specialist
Arthur, Illinois

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