Lenticular woman's eye next to white text over blue and red background. Union bug.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) was founded in Saint Louis, Missouri in 1890. The originating members had concerns about their twelve-hour work days, seven days per week, at eight dollars a week schedule and wage. The American Federation of Labor granted the works a charter under the title Electrical Wiremen and Linemen's Union in 1891. The union suffered under the "Open-Shop Movement" at the end of the 1910s. It was not until the National Labor Relaions Act of 1935, that the IBEW was able to organize utility and factory workers. By 1941, IBEW was working with other organizations to have the National Apprenticeship Standards for the Electrical Construction passed. However, the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 made it again difficult to form unions, and the IBEW and labor reform suffered. Currently, the union has about three-quarters of a million members.
In the early 1980s, this style of button became a focal point in a federal court case. The button wearer was asked not to wear it while working with the general public. The wearer's supervisor was concerned that the button could be the start of an argument between union members but the IBEW disagreed. The court ruled that the employer could prevent it being worn while working with the public.