Today NSP laid off eight more employees. Five of these are hydro maintenance jobs located in the Valley (a Liberal stronghold), one wind technician on the Western Shore, one maintance person at Tufts Cove in Dartmouth, and one utility worker at Point Aconi Generating Station in Cape Breton. That brings the total number of unionized layoffs to 22.
The company also announced that today they are seeking expressions of interest for most work performed by unionized employees, including 1) Transmission and Distribution in metro Halifax and within an hour's drive of Halifax, 2) meter services throughout the province, 3) system maintenance (substation work) throughout the province), and 4) power production --- operating and maintaining the thermal power plants throughout the province. If successful in contracting out all of this work, it would reduce the union membership at Nova Scotia Power to a token amount. This amounts to a direct attack.
Josh Mandryk, labour activist and Juris Doctor candidate of law at the University of Toronto faculty of law, wrote an article for the Broadbent Institute about Merit Canada and its lobby campaign that targets unions and union leaders with an end goal of lowering wages for workers, specifically in the construction industry. Read Josh's article here.
After the membership rejected a negotiated tentative agreement in early September, the final contract offer from Emera Utility Services was ratified by a slim majority (34-31). Voting took place between September 25th and 27th and the results were tallied on Monday September 30th. This outside construction contract contains one of the highest per diems in Canada. Highlights include:
We trust that this ratified contract will help Emera Utility Services secure steady future work for 1928's outside construction members.
On September 27, the PEI Labour Board approved the merger of IBEW Locals 1928 and 1432. We welcome the approximately 200 outside contstruction members from 1432 who will now stand under the 1928 banner. These members work for Maritime Electric, City of Summerside, and University of PEI.
Other than a change of Local number, we plan to maintain "business-as-usual" for our PEI members as much as possible. We will maintain an office at the union hall in Charlottetown (though it will not be staffed 8 hours a day) and regular unit meetings. Several PEI members will attend shop steward school on October 7 and 8 in Truro. Business Manager Jeff Richardson, who lives in central Nova Scotia, will be over to the Island regularly. He has been taking over many of the responsibilities from past Business Manager, Brother Ray McBride, who is looking forward to finally being able to retire. We would like to thank Ray, and also Marlene in the Local 1432 office, for their many years of service to the Local and their patience during the merger process.
On the same day, the PEI Labour Board also approved the merger of inside construction members from Local 1432 under the banner of Local 625; that Local's office is also located in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Note that Maritime Electric negotiations begin the first week in November.
For any members who are working in the construction industry (yours is an "A"-type membership in the IBEW), we have created a Frequently Asked Questions document about monthly dues, and maintaining your union membership status when you are working in another Local's jurisdiction or you are laid off. Download a pdf of the Dues FAQ for "A" Members.