Business Manager Tony Sapienza
Bangor Hydro System Operators Organize to Join IBEW 1837
February 17, 2012 - The System Operators at Bangor Hydro Electric Company have unanimously decided that they would like to be represented by IBEW Local 1837 for collective bargaining. These highly-skilled workers are also commonly known as “Dispatchers.”
All of the System Operators at BHE indicated their interest in union representation by signing authorization cards which were subsequently submitted to the National Labor Relations Board. The Union has requested that the Company voluntarily recognize the new bargaining unit and commence negotiations as soon as possible.
"The System Operators at Bangor Hydro, like all of our members there, play an essential role in the operations of the Company. We're proud that they've decided to join us and we look forward to working with them to negotiate their first contract,” IBEW 1837 Business Manager Dick Rogers said.
Although there were many issues that led the System Operators to seek union representation, their desire to a have a voice in their future at the Company played a major role.
“The System Operators were able to look at their Bangor Hydro co-workers already in the Union and see that, over the years, they had gotten a much better deal from the Company through collective bargaining,” IBEW 1837 Organizer Matt Beck said. “They realized that they only way they were going to move forward was to stand together.”
There are already about 140 IBEW 1837 members who work at BHE. They include classifications in the Customer Service Center, Electrical, Line and Meter departments. Prior to the System Operators, the Customer Service Center was the most recently organized, having become part of the union in the 1980’s.
Following deregulation, Bangor Hydro Electric Company was purchased and is still owned by the Canadian firm Emera.
“I know that all the members of IBEW will join me in congratulating the System Operators and welcoming them into the Union,” Brother Rogers continued.