Business Manager: Russell Harper ( )

CL&P Union Meeting Cancelled & Update

The CL&P Union meeting for Thursday, February 13th is cancelled due to the impending snow storm. In the meantime, here is a quick update:

There are two high impact things going on at CL&P. First is the announced closing of the Willimantic and Middletown work centers. While we hope PURA will stop the closing of those facilities, we are proceeding with discussions in the event that doesn’t happen. There has been one meeting for each facility to date and more to follow as the Company timeline nears. We certainly don’t agree with the Company’s decision to close these facilities but we have to meet over the impact.

Additionally, the Company has been pushing for a new job classification (Response Specialist). We are aware that senior management has been out in the work centers talking up this position. With the signing of the last contract we had an agreement which covered Troubleshooters and Call-men in the respective areas relative to Company needs. Included in that agreement was language that would bring us back to the table to talk about areas where those needs weren’t being met. 

The Company is now pushing hard for a position that is a) not in the contract b) would allow the crossing of District and franchise lines c) do work that Shooters do not currently do as well as work outside of a Lineman job description.

We have certainly heard the Company is poised to contract this work out which, in our opinion, would create an unsafe workplace along with a host of other issues. Due to the difficulty of finding qualified personnel, along with the time it takes to train apprentices for this work, we see no reason the Company shouldn’t consider our offer to expand the number of Shooters and shifts in the Districts and review the type of work done.

We have talked to senior management on this issue and are willing to meet further to try to find some type of arrangement that everyone can live with until we get to the next contract. If any progress is made, it will be communicated with the membership.

John Fernandes and Keith Harris
IBEW Local 457