Business Manager Tony Sapienza
Union Wins Unemployment Benefits for NH Co-op Workers
August 28, 2018 - IBEW Local 1837 members employed by the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) are entitled to unemployment benefits for the time that they were on strike this May. That decision from the New Hampshire Employment Security Appeal Tribunal was handed down on Friday afternoon, August 24.
During the strike, IBEW encouraged our members to apply for unemployment benefits but NHEC argued after the strike that because of the work stoppage, our members were not eligible for those payments and an initial decision by a certifying officer agreed. The Union disagreed with the Company and engaged our attorneys to fight for those payments for our members, and won!
NHEC had management personnel perform the work of our members during the strike and also hired out-of-state replacement workers (often derisively known as “scabs”). The Employment Security Tribunal Chairman determined that there was no “substantial curtailment of work” during the strike and that “a stoppage of work requires more than holes in coverage.” In addition, the Chairman noted that NHEC did not suffer a loss of revenue or customers during the strike and continued to provide electricity and make repairs for their customers.
The decision of the Tribunal to allow those benefits for our members and to charge the NHEC account may be appealed by the Company.