Tom Dalzell has spent his adult career working as a lawyer for the labor movement. Dalzell currently serves as the business manager and financial secretary of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245. The union represents 18,000 men and women working on the frontlines of electrical power needs in California and Nevada at public entities like the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and at investor-owned utilities like PG&E.
Dalzell began his career working with the United Farm Workers in rural California in 1972. Since 1983, he has devoted a considerable portion of his life to the study of American slang, and is recognized as a national expert. He has authored two books on slang, Flappers 2 Rappers: American Youth Slang (Merriam-Webster, 1996), The Slang of Sin (Merriam-Webster, 1998) and Damn the Man: Slang of the Oppressed in America (Dover Publications, 2010).
Dalzell was initiated into Local 1245 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, ALF-CIO in 1981. He joined the Staff of Local 1245 as a Staff Attorney and was promoted to Senior Assistant Business Manager in 2001. Dalzell was elected Business Manager of Local 1245 in 2007 and re-elected in 2010, 2013 and 2016.