Bottom-Up Organizing in the Trades: An Interview with Mike Lucas, IBEW Director of Organizing

Jeff Grabelsky, Cornell University

Suggested Citation
Grabelsky, J. (1988). Bottom-up organizing in the trades: An interview with Mike Lucas, IBEW Director of Organizing. Labor Research Review, 12(2), 21-36.

Required Publisher Statement
Copyright by the Center for Labor and Community Research (CLCR) and reproduced by special permission from the copyright holder. CLCR is a consulting and research organization that provides a broad range of consulting and research services for unions, business, government, community-based organizations and others. They are source of ideas and information regarding High Road strategies.


[Excerpt] Like the bottom-up organizers who built the IBEW 100 years ago by traveling from city to city, working at their trade and preaching the union creed, Lucas has been around the block. From Florida to Oklahoma, Indiana to Tennessee, he worked from 1954 to 1959 as a member of the Laborers and Teamsters unions. He began his organizing career in the utility construction industry, and first volunteered his talents to the IBEW in 1960 by organizing the manufacturing workers at a new Studebaker plant in Bloomington, Indiana, which he had recently helped build as a union electrician. He served as a shop steward, local officer and international rep, before becoming IBEW Local 429 in Nashville, Tennessee.