IBEW Local Union 26
Washington, D.C.

Become a Union Contractor

Welcome to IBEW Local 26’s Potential Partners page. The purpose of this page is to acquaint contractors to the advantages of becoming a Union contractor and to dispel some of the misconceptions about what happens once you become signatory.

The notion that organized labor is no longer needed and a thing of the past is simply not true. In fact, with the "Baby-Boomer" generation fast approaching retirement age, the need for highly skilled labor has never been greater.

Local 26 would not have continued to exist for over 127+ years if we weren't providing viable services. When all is said and done, the reality is that working union costs no more.


Our objective is to provide the most versatile, productive, and well-trained workforce available. Types of work include Commercial, Industrial, Multi-residential, and Teledata. We have 9000+ workers in 5 counties in Maryland, 47 counties in Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Our JATC is a nationally recognized Apprentice program, Journeyman skill level classes and continuing education. 

Training – Local 26 is committed to putting the most highly trained people in the field. The Union maintains an Institute of Higher Education known as, the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC). The JATC is responsible for training all apprentices, trainees and also, skill level and continuing education of Journeymen. JATC instructors are certified through the National Training Institute. The JATC has a substantial budget annually to educate our workforce so they can be the most productive and safest in the industry. The apprenticeship program requirements are much more rigid than the State mandated programs. The apprentices attend a 5-year program consisting of classroom and on-the-job training.

Wages – In Local 26 as in most Unions, certain pay standards are established. You, as the contractor will be given a schedule of rates for trainees through General Forman. Competitive wage package is negotiated on a 3-year contract basis between NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association) and Local 26. This relieves you of the burden to negotiate different rates and raises for every individual employee. The contract is a minimum and you as the contractor could always go above and beyond if you chose.


Safety – It is a statistical fact that Union Workers are safer workers. There is a simple reason for this fact, the Union workforce is trained by a joint committee of Labor and Management, they are better trained and higher skilled. Contractors are held to a higher standard so they maintain safety policies that are second to none in the industry. Local 26 has a Safety Director that works with members and contractors. The Union offers a Drug Free List, OSHA-10 and First Aid/CPR classes for a safer workforce.  A safer workforce certainly has the moral and ethical rewards of knowing your crew is going home to their families.


Benefits – Local 26/NECA maintains a Health and Welfare Department and a Pension Department. Our Health and Benefit plan, for example, is self-insured and provides excellent coverage at a very reasonable cost. Rather than trying to research, maintain and wonder about the programs, a cooperative committee of Labor and Management mutually manage the programs for all the men and women of Local 26. This can be a huge cost savings for you the contractor but, more importantly, it offers the convenience of making payments to one office and also, offers you the security of knowing there is a complete team managing the funds to make sure they are working to the absolute best they can.


Workforce – As a Union Contractor you have access to an extensive supply of qualified manpower. With classification of Journeyman, 6 levels of classifications for apprentices, and 12 classifications from trainee to wireman with 3 licenses, Local 26 has 9,000+ men and women with more being trained all the time. Across the country, the IBEW has hundreds of thousands of members ready to work in every state. Access to this workforce gives you the ability to maintain a 2-person shop or a 200-person shop on a moment notice. Manpower should be a business decision, where the manpower comes from should be of no consequence. Your decision should be based on value and getting the best employees for dollars spent, much the same way you decide on which supply house to use. Local 26 simply supplies the best for the money. Local 26 can provide the vehicle for you to run and grow your business. Whether you need manpower for one day or one year, we have the trained personnel to respond.  

Often, the difference between making a profit and suffering a loss is having the manpower to get the job done. Newspaper ads attract, at best, semi-skilled workers who tell you in the office they can do it all, but in the field, more often than not, prove otherwise. What about going through employment agencies? Did you know that if you hire someone through one of these trade agencies and that worker gets hurt, your worker's compensation insurance doesn't cover them and, therefore, leaves you open for a third-party lawsuit? Electrical work requires a level of expertise that employment agencies cannot provide. Most agencies charge more than it would cost you under a union contract. Is it worth risking your business to lawsuits while paying more to simply stay non-union?

So, where do you go from here? While a web page can be helpful in getting some points across, the reality is that most contractors have specific concerns and needs. The only way to address these issues is on an individual basis, one-on-one. Local 26 has a no commitment; no obligation policy that allows a contractor to hear firsthand what Local 26 has to offer. Then, and only then, can you make the decision if Local 26 is right for your company. There is no contractor considered too large or too small. We have shops ranging from one man to 100+ men working under our various agreements. The first step, however, is yours. Why not find out what the Local can do for you and your business?

Please contact our Membership Development Department at 301-459-2900.

   ex. 555-555-5555