The union representing Manitoba Hydro’s subject workers says its members might strike in 48 hours if they cannot attain a good settlement with the Crown company.
The Worldwide Brotherhood of Electrical Employees Native 2034 — which represents Hydro’s front-line workers comparable to employees at producing stations and on transmission traces — offered the utility with a 48-hour strike notification on Sunday.
“This discover to the company doesn’t take our members out. It does, nonetheless, point out to the company that we’ve got now fulfilled the authorized necessities wanted to name a strike,” the memo stated.
“Ought to strike motion change into crucial, [Manitoba Hydro] will solely obtain two hours discover earlier than labour motion begins.”
The union members voted in favour of a strike mandate, in line with an inner union memo on Wednesday.
The mandate offers the union permission to strike, however the union assured members it will “exhaust each potential means of accomplishing a good settlement and can do its utmost to keep away from invoking a strike,” the memo stated.
The virtually 2,300 employees represented by IBEW Native 2034 have labored with out a contract with Manitoba Hydro since 2018.
CBC Information has reached out to each the union and Manitoba Hydro for extra info.
Province tried to freeze wages
The Opposition New Democrats have accused the federal government of attempting to intervene of their negotiations.
Within the fall, the province requested Hydro to freeze the wages of IBEW workers for 2 years. The federal government stated the “reset” is important whereas it copes with “dramatically falling revenues” and a “very massive deficit” anticipated for 2020-21, owing to the pandemic.
The federal government defended itself by stating it’s inside their purview to set bargaining mandates for the general public sector.
On the time, Mike Espenell, IBEW Native 2034 enterprise supervisor, stated the federal government’s proposal was a “troublesome capsule to swallow,” since union members took three unpaid days off to keep away from non permanent layoffs for some members early in the pandemic.
The wage freeze request comes regardless of a courtroom resolution final summer season that struck down authorities laws that sought to maintain wages the identical for greater than 100,000 public sector employees for 2 years. The province is interesting the choice.
IBEW is the biggest bargaining unit for workers at Hydro.