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As you may have heard, in March of last year AES Solar became a Union Electrical Contractor by joining the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers). All of our installers are now also union members, and prospective new hires are required to join the union as well. We are thrilled to be a part of IBEW and believe it was an important step to take, both for our installers, customers, and for our company as a whole.

The benefits of union membership to our workers are obvious. Collective bargaining agreements give union workers more say in their work, and as a result, more stake in it as well. Historically the ability to collectively bargain has lead to vast improvements in working conditions and workplace safety, fair and sensible wages for the high quality of work done, and better benefits than non-union work. Unions also provide job security, both by recognizing and respecting how vital their workers are, and by providing them with ongoing training to keep them vital in their industries.

But how do customers benefit from union labor? All of the worker benefits listed above make for much happier, harder-working employees, for one. Union membership provides a level of job satisfaction that engenders measurable increases in efficiency. Their constant ongoing training and education also means they do higher quality work, and are well-versed in the most up-to-date procedures and equipment. This means the job requires less trouble-shooting and follow-up because it gets done right the first time, which translates directly into savings for the customer. Our customers can also enjoy knowing that they are supporting an organization that respects their workers and treats them well.

Of course, happy customers who love their solar installations and the workers that installed them are good for business! Our union crew regularly gets glowing reviews, and we love getting to post testimonials to our social media accounts and on our website. But there is also a more subtle, but equally important way that union workers help our company. As AES Solar Founder and Chief Tech, Aur Beck, puts it, “For me someone who joins the union is someone who is doing it as a career and not just a job — someone who is committed to showing up to work hard and doing continued education training to become a better worker.” In short, union workers are the kinds of people that you want working for you.

When you also consider that happier, better-paid workers mean a warmer community and healthier local economy, hiring union labor is a no-brainer. But you don’t have to take our word for it! Come visit our headquarters at 1804 Supply Rd. in Carterville, where you can see our union shop and meet our workers for yourself. As always, if you have any questions about our union, or solar power in general, feel free to email Aur directly at tech@aessolar.com.

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Aur 'DaEnergyMon' Beck, is a NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installer™ with AES Solar in Carterville and started educating himself about renewable energy as a teenager even before (at age 15) he moved into a camper in his parent's driveway to live off grid solar and ended up living off grid for 18 years. Aur understands that living how he does makes it very easy to advocate for a life of simpler living, energy efficiency and renewable energy. His name Aur (pronounced "or") means light or to enlighten in Hebrew. Can be reached at tech@AESsolar.com or 618-988-0888.

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