Partners in building out the Meadowlands since the beginning, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 164 continues the tradition of lighting the way toward progress in this richly populated area.
The wider Meadowlands region has come a long way since the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission was formed in 1969 to oversee the buildout and conservation efforts for the region. IBEW Local 164 has always been part of the effort.
IBEW Local 164: The Early Days
Established in 1901, IBEW Local 164 was formed to serve electricians in Hudson County and was created following the launch of the National Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in St. Louis in 1891. In those early years, electricity usage was starting to soar and linesmen were in demand. But it was a dangerous job, resulting in the death of one of every two hired. The union was necessary for that reason alone.
Before 1900, the union branched out to include telephone operators and then expanded into Canada, making it a truly international organization. With 40 locals, plus Canada, the organization became known as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
Local 164 branched out to include Bergen County in 1928 and Essex County in June 2000 and today has a membership that includes more than 2,800 active members and 1,150 retirees.
Why Unions Like IBEW Matter
“Unions like ours provide financial security and a path to a stable living that people need, especially today, and very much in New Jersey where the cost of living is higher than the national average,” said Daniel Gumble, IBEW Local 164 Business Manager and Financial Secretary.
Job security, financial stability, advocacy, and lifelong training are the core components that benefit IBEW members. Projects turn to IBEW union labor because they know they are getting highly skilled craftsmen that get the job done on schedule, the first time.
“We provide a workforce that is extremely well-trained. We also provide one that is drug-tested, and not every union is,” Gumble added.
How IBEW Local 164 Helped Build the Meadowlands
The birth of the Meadowlands region that developed into what everyone knows today launched when Giants Stadium and the Meadowlands Racetrack were built in the 1970s, both of which IBEW labor helped build.
Of course, the Meadowlands Sports Complex couldn’t have happened without earlier visions realized, all of which IBEW Local 164 had many skilled hands in seeing to fruition. From the George Washington Bridge and Lincoln Tunnel in the 1930s, to Harmon Cove in the 1970s and the Secaucus Outlets in the 1980s, IBEW was always on the job.
- Harmon Cove
- Secaucus Outlets
- Lincoln Tunnel
- Holland Tunnel
- George Washington Bridge
- Giants Stadium
- Meadowlands Racetrack
- Brendan Byrne Arena
- MetLife Stadium
- Prudential Center
- Red Bull Stadium
- Pulaski Skyway Rehabilitation Project
- American Dream
- Jersey City Waterfront
- Journal Squared
The skilled craftsmanship and expertise of IBEW Local 164 members is evident all around the Meadowlands region and the union’s work continues to be a mainstay in building the future of this area.
“The region’s most significant projects were achieved with IBEW on the job,” Gumble said. “Our members have provided highly skilled electrical and telecom installations, repairs and maintenance on the most influential projects this area has seen.”
Helping Our Neighbors and Giving back
IBEW Local 164 takes pride in giving back to the communities that they’ve worked in for decades, building on the union’s historical legacy of being good neighbors to those in need. A recent example was in April, when volunteers from Local 164 helped repair a Bergen County home for a single mom and her two sons.
As part of its continued work with Rebuilding Together North Jersey, IBEW Local 164 Training Director and Vice President Warren Becker, along with apprentice Evan Meola, volunteered as part of that project in conjunction with National Rebuilding Day in April.
The work is rewarding on many levels, volunteers have said, perhaps most importantly because electrical upgrades offer an element of safety that doesn’t come with landscaping or painting.
Life in the Center of Everything
Centrally located in one of the busiest parts of New Jersey, IBEW Local 164 is headquartered in Paramus and encompasses Hudson, Bergen and Essex counties. Covering 103 municipalities across 439 square miles and with a population of more than 2.5 million residents, the three counties are part of New Jersey’s Gateway Region and home to the state’s two largest municipalities — Newark and Jersey City.
The Gateway Region is considered part of the New York City Metropolitan area. The region is home to Ellis Island, which is still the gateway for many immigrants entering the U.S., and the area is one of the most ethnically and socio-economically diverse in the country.
For more information, call (201) 265-1700 or fill out the organization’s contact form at www.ibew164.org/contact.aspx