Thursday, October 08, 2009

It's all over except for the clean-up. Pending ratification tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 9) Manitoba Hydro and negotiators for IBEW Local 2034 have come to an agreement at five this afternoon for a new contract. Details of the contract are still sketchy as it has yet to be presented to the membership. You can read the union's official statement(s) at their website. Without strike pay, and operating in an environment where the two other unions representing other Hydro workers had accepted deals, it would have been hard for IBEW members to hold out much longer.
What is in question is whether the membership of Local 2034 will see its way to correcting the defects that led to such a position of weakness. A strike fund should, of course, be established, and it's amazing there hasn't been one for so many years. Any future job action should be coordinated with the other unions involved, and the three entities should act as one. There are undoubtedly other lessons to be learned as well. Whether the will be only the future can tell.
Here's the story, fresh from the good old Mother Corp, the CBC.
Manitoba Hydro strike ends:
CBC News
A nearly week-long strike involving about 3,000 Manitoba Hydro workers has ended.

A statement on the website of Local 2034 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers said an agreement has been reached.

The tentative pact, which has yet to be ratified, calls for a contract of less than three years, with a "fair general increase" for all union members.

"They will now be taking the tentative agreement to their members for a confirmation vote, and hopefully things will get back to normal," Hydro spokesman Glenn Schneider told CBC News.

An update on the IBEW website said people should return to work either Friday or on their next scheduled shift if they don't receive a phone call from an immediate supervisor calling them back to work.

"We ask that our members return to work with the same dedication, commitment, diligence and respect for the corporation and its employees as they have in the past," the union said in a statement to workers.

Schneider said pickets were expected to end Thursday night.

Electrical workers, truck drivers, transmission technicians and clerical and customer service employees in the IBEW walked off the job Friday night after rejecting the utility's latest contract offer.

They were seeking higher salaries and a shorter contract term.

On Tuesday, Hydro settled two other contracts with unions.

The Crown corporation reached agreements with workers from the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union (CEP) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

CEP represents Hydro's gas utility employees, while CUPE represents Hydro's office and support workers.

The deal, which is retroactive to Jan.1, 2009, means more than 1,500 Hydro employees will receive pay and benefit increases of 9.6 per cent over four years.

No comments: