In Maine: IBEW Local 1837
16 Old Winthrop Road
Manchester, ME 04351
Phone: (207) 623-1030, Fax: (207) 621-8384
In New Hampshire:
680 Central Avenue, Suite 202
Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 743-1652, Fax: (603) 743-1654

Labor News

New Owner, New Contract for IBEW Members at Granite Ridge

March 25, 2016 - An 18-month collective bargaining agreement for 20 members of IBEW 1837 working at Granite Ridge has been ratified and will go into effect on Sunday, March 27, 2016. It’s the first contract for the union local with Calpine Corporation, a Houston-based generator of electricity from natural gas and geothermal resources with more than 80 power plants.

Calpine purchased the Londonderry, New Hampshire, gas-fired plant that had been operated by NAES and has renamed it Granite Ridge Operating LLC. IBEW Local #1837 immediately reached out to the new Company and sought to reach a new agreement that would benefit our members. The previous agreement with North American Energy Systems (NAES) did not include contract successor language, so Business Manager Dick Rogers and Assistant Business Manager Tom Ryan knew it was vital to build an amicable and mutually constructive relationship with the new owners as quickly as possible.

“We’re pleased that we were able to reach an agreement quickly with Calpine and that they recognized the skills that our members bring to their new asset,” Brother Ryan said. “We look forward to working with them to ensure that Granite Ridge remains profitable and our members continue to enjoy the good jobs that they have there.”

Members will begin the new contract with the 3 3/8% increase that had previously been negotiated with NAES and will receive a 2 ½% wage adjustment on the contract’s first anniversary of March 27, 2017. The contract will run through September 27, 2017, with an agreement that any future wage adjustment would not take effect until at least March 27, 2018.

Emily Cain Garners IBEW 1837 E-Board Endorsement

IBEW 1837 E-Board members shared a
laugh with Emily Cain (right) during a
recent meeting.

January 26, 2016 - The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union #1837 Executive Board has voted to endorse Emily Cain for Congress in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.

“Emily has always worked to improve access to education and training, to create and sustain good jobs and to fight for fair wages,” said Dick Rogers, IBEW Local 1837’s Business Manager. “We always know where Emily stands because it is always right beside Maine’s working people. We need Emily’s leadership in Congress and our rank and file members on the Union’s Executive Board were proud to endorse her campaign.”

IBEW 1837’s Executive Board took note of Cain’s opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal during their deliberations. They also recognized her longstanding opposition to so-called “Right-to-Work” bills and her 100% Working Families rating from the Maine AFL-CIO.

“The members of IBEW Local 1837 play a crucial role in Maine's economy and I am honored to earn their endorsement,” said Emily Cain. “They deserve a U.S. Representative who works as hard as they do, and one who will fight to create jobs, strengthen the middle class and ensure the American Dream is accessible for everyone.”  

The IBEW Local #1837 endorsement does not include any financial support. No IBEW Local #1837 union dues money is ever donated to political candidates and it is prohibited by federal law.

IBEW 1837's Ray Colello Steps Down After Nearly 25 Years as President

IBEW 1837 Business Manager Dick Rogers thanked
outgoing President Ray Colello (center) for his
many years of dedicated service to IBEW 1837 as
incoming President Bill Tarallo looked on.

January 6, 2016 - Throughout the years, first as a Union Steward and Chief Steward in the 70’s and then as a Union Executive Board Representative throughout the 80’s, leading to his role as President of IBEW Local #1837 beginning in 1991, Ray Colello has always been a devout and dedicated trade unionist. His decision last month to pass the baton to Vice President Bill Tarallo to finish out his term was one he made because he thought it would be best for the Union.

Brother Colello started his full-time career as a General Helper for Central Maine Power in 1972 working at Wyman Station on Cousins Island, Maine. Later, with deregulation of electric utilities and after the sale to Florida Power and Light (now known as NextEra), Ray would work as a Senior Production Tech A as a shift worker for the last ten years. His father had worked at Wyman beginning in 1964 after several years at the South Portland Cape Steam Station beginning in the mid-to-late 50’s.

“I learned most of what I knew about unions from my dad and joined the union as soon as I could,” Colello said. “Union members have somebody to speak for them when they are mistreated. They also have the right to a safe workplace. If the working people are put in a bad situation, it’s not just you that the company is affecting but your family and your family’s future.”

In more than 24 years as President of the Local, Ray Colello has faced many difficult challenges but feels especially proud that the union’s leaders and members stepped up to make changes to the dues structure that were necessary to be effective representing our members.

“We often had a financial inability to represent people when we needed to (before the dues change). The change to the by-laws that included a percentage of pay (2 hours) gave us the financial structure we have now,” he said.

A change of this magnitude required President Colello and other E-Board members to travel throughout Maine and New Hampshire for three months to meet with members and explain the need for the change. The Local was having difficulty meeting operating expenses and the decision to arbitrate some member grievances had to be weighed against the significant costs of the process.

IBEW 1837 Member Bids to Become Maine AFL-CIO President

Cynthia Phinney would be the
first woman elected to be
Maine AFL-CIO President.

UPDATE: October 23, 2015 - Cynthia Phinney won election to a 4-year term as President of the Maine AFL-CIO at their state convention in Bangor.

October 15, 2015 - Cynthia Phinney's dedication to making things better for working people is a big part of who she is and what she has done since first joining the Union in 1992 as an employee of Central Maine Power Company. The first person hired strictly as an Organizer for IBEW Local #1837, she held that job for several years before serving two terms as the Union's Business Manager and Financial Secretary. Her decision to run for President of the Maine AFL-CIO seemed to be a natural progression to those who know her, and to Cynthia herself.

"Certainly, some of my experience being an active participant in our Local has helped both to shape my vision and give me the skills for this position," Sister Phinney said.

Delegates to the Maine AFL-CIO State Convention in Bangor from October 22 - 23 will elect a successor to President Don Berry, who will be retiring at the end of his current term. John Portella, a Machinist from Local S6 is also a candidate for the post.

Since leaving the staff of IBEW Local #1837 and returning to Central Maine Power as a Meter Reader, Cynthia has remained active in the Labor Movement, attending many IBEW meetings, serving on the Maine AFL-CIO Executive Board and as Secretary of the Western Maine Labor Council. Phinney has also stepped up to become President of the Maine Fair Trade Campaign, serving the coalition seeking to educate the public and political leaders about the failed NAFTA-style trade model that threatens the jobs of Maine workers.

Union Members Celebrate Labor's Day in New Hampshire and Maine

September 1, 2015 - The first Monday in September is a day for workers: Labor's Day. It's a popular time for union members and their families to possibly enjoy one last taste of summer while taking stock of the many challenges facing working people today. Special guest speakers and awards are part of the program at some events sponsored by the two State AFL-CIO's and some Central Labor Councils.

Breakfasts and barbecues in New Hampshire and Maine draw hundreds of workers every year and Labor Day 2015 will be no exception. Some events are free or low priced, while others request a larger donation to benefit those labor organizations.

Here's a handy list below of some of this year's activities with contact information if you need additional info:

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