IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson issued the following statement in reaction to the death of George Floyd:
“The men and women of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers stand with the millions of Americans demanding a full investigation into the death of George Floyd, an African-American pinned down by a white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck as Floyd pleaded, ‘I can’t breathe.’
“The cause of labor has always been the cause of human solidarity, human dignity and justice and equality for all, so the IBEW cannot afford to stay silent as our African-American brothers and sisters suffer in fear of violence at the hands of either the state or by private citizens like we saw with the case of Ahmaud Arbery.
“We believe that we as a country are better than what we saw happen in Minneapolis. And we believe that the majority of our police officers, who are dedicated public servants protecting their communities every day, are better than what we saw there as well.
“But it’s all too clear that the plague of racism which has beset this nation since its birth remains to be overcome.
“This is the time for all those who love America and care deeply about its values to speak out in the name of justice and against systemic racism. More than ever, every American, regardless of race, gender, faith, sexual orientation, or gender identification, must come together to heal the wounds of division and hate.
“The labor movement has long stood shoulder to shoulder with those fighting for civil rights and a society free from the blight of racism and discrimination.
“And the IBEW is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with those peacefully calling for justice for George Floyd and all victims of racism.”