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 201
Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 743-1652, Fax: (603) 743-1654

Workers Speak Out Against NH "Right to Work" Bill


The Zoom hearing had some 100 witnesses and took
more than six hours to complete.

March 25, 2021 - At a hearing of the New Hampshire House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee, the overwhelming majority of people testified in opposition to the so-called “Right to Work” bill. Elected union leaders were joined by rank-and-file union members in urging committee members to vote “Inexpedient to Legislate” on the union-busting bill, SB 61. Similar bills have been considered dozens of times in the State Legislature and have always failed to become law.

“The only purpose of this bill is to increase corporate power at the expense of working people,” IBEW Local #1837 Business Manager Tony Sapienza said. “Obviously, wages and benefits will erode faster or grow slower if corporations are empowered and collective bargaining rights are eroded.”

In addition to workers and their unions, other opponents of the bill included faith leaders, economists, small business owners and larger companies that rely on union apprenticeship programs for a reliable source of skilled workers.

Corporate lobby groups such as NH BIA were joined by the Virginia-based National Right to Work Committee in support of the bill. All testimony was given on Zoom at the virtual hearing.

Prior to the hearing, it was announced that just over 200 people from New Hampshire had signed on in support of the bill on the NH General Court website while more than 1,700 had signed on in opposition to it, a margin of more than 8 to 1 against Right to Work.

One of the last people to testify against the bill was Pat Moran, a Troubleshooter for Eversource NH and a Chief Steward for IBEW Local 1837.

IBEW 1837 Joins Effort to Save Brookfield Dams on the Kennebec River


Ed Goodale working on a West Buxton Dam
on the Saco River where IBEW 1837 also
represents Brookfield workers

March 16, 2021 - A proposal to amend the state’s Kennebec River Management Plan would remove at least two and eventually as many as four dams where IBEW 1837 members work generating electricity. The dams are owned by Brookfield Renewable Partners.

Maine’s Department of Marine Resources (DMR) said removing the Lockwood Dam in Waterville and the Shawmut Dam in Fairfield would allow endangered Atlantic salmon to move upriver to spawn and create new recreational opportunities and economic development. But others noted that removal of the dams would negatively impact recreational opportunities that the dams provide, hurt the local economy, cause tax increases in local communities and lead to the loss of good-paying union jobs. and properties along the river, create job losses and cause municipal tax rates to increase.

IBEW 1837 member Ed Goodale testified at a public hearing about what he’s learned after working on Maine rivers for nearly 33 years.

“The people doing these jobs truly care about their river system and feel more like a steward of the river than just a hydro tech,” Goodale said.  “Brookfield and their employees have proven they can and will operate their generating stations both safely and environmentally friendly. All work is done with safety and the environment in mind first.  Brookfield and their employees maintain the motto of doing the right thing.”

Matt Beck is an Organizer and Business Representative for IBEW 1837 and helps to represent 29 workers at Brookfield throughout the state.

“As Maine lost thousands of good-paying Union jobs in manufacturing throughout the state, jobs that allowed people to buy a home, raise a family and have enough financial security to retire with dignity, those kind of jobs became harder to find. Any steps that may be taken to remove dams will have unintended consequences that will be difficult to reverse,” Beck said. “If the dams go away, many of those good jobs will go away, too. As was the case with shuttered factories and mills, those workers, our members, are unlikely to ever find jobs with the wages and benefits that they have now.”

Frontline Workers at CMP Insulted by Low Company Bonus


CMP Workers restoring power (file photo)

March 10, 2021 - Workers at Central Maine Power Company (CMP) are angry and disappointed by the decision of company officials to give an unusually low 1.4% annual bonus to their non-management employees. At the same time, CMP managers will receive a bonus payout of 8 – 9% of their annual pay.

As we reach the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, CMP’s lineworkers, clerks, dispatchers, customer service representatives and other unionized employees have continued doing their vitally important jobs providing electricity to Maine families and businesses. In the past year, more than 20 storms have led to outages affecting CMP’s customers and CMP’s frontline employees have worked around the clock restoring their power. At the same time, Maine’s largest utility has been saying that their financial condition is excellent, making this low bonus payout even more difficult to understand.

“Our Union members are proud to do the work that they do supporting Maine communities,” said IBEW Assistant Business Manager Renee Gilman. “We know CMP’s management says that they appreciate their employees but their actions speak louder than words. We hope that they will reconsider this insultingly low bonus payment and show their employees that they value them every bit as much as they do their management team.”

Members of IBEW Local 1837 at CMP comprise the largest bargaining unit of the local union, with more than 600 members represented. The contract covers field and support workers in the line departments, meter departments, substations departments, customer service representatives, area and systems dispatchers, engineers, programmers, communications center and field offices, GIS and CADD technicians, offices services personnel, technical services representatives, and a variety of other support personnel.

Working Families in NH Face Another Attack on Their Unions


February 9, 2021 - Anti-union politicians in Concord and out-of-state special interest groups are back at it again. They’re trying to cut wages and benefits for union members by supporting more deceptively titled “Right to Work” legislation, Senate Bill 61.

Right to Work should be called “Right to Work for Less!” It doesn’t create any jobs or give anybody rights. It simply undermines the ability of working people to join together in strong unions by attacking their unions’ financial health. When unions are undermined in this way, wages, benefits and safety for workers all suffer as a result. In fact, what these special interest groups really want to do is abolish unions altogether.

“This will be devastating for the hardworking men and women in New Hampshire,” said IBEW 1837 member Pat Moran, a Troubleshooter at Eversource.  “This will lead to low paying jobs, jobs with less benefits and in general employees that have no care for their employers.”

If Senate Bill 61 is passed by the New Hampshire Senate, it would then move on to the House of Representatives where it would face additional hearings and a vote by that legislative body.

“Our members know that these bills are designed to hurt them and their families and they’re speaking out and contacting their elected representatives,” said IBEW 1837 Business Representative Matthew Beck. “Wages in so-called right to work states are 16% lower on average and why would anybody think that’s a good idea?”

IBEW 1837 Supports Maine Med RNs’ Effort to Form Union



February 8, 2021 - A union organizing campaign by registered nurses at Maine’s largest hospital has captured the attention of union members and hospital patients throughout Northern New England. It also has earned a rare public endorsement from IBEW Local Union #1837.

“We’re proud to stand with the registered nurses at Maine Medical Center as they join together to form their union,” said Michelle Crocker, President of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local #1837. “Our local union E-Board, made up entirely of rank-and-file union members from our represented companies, voted unanimously to support them in this important effort.”

IBEW Local #1837 represents nearly 1,600 union members in Maine and New Hampshire working at utilities and broadcast outlets.

“We regret that the hospital administration seems to be employing the same tired, old union-busting tactics that their anti-union consultants often favor,” Sister Crocker continued. “We urge Maine Med’s administration to show these heroic RNs the respect they deserve and let them make their own decision without the unrelenting pressure that only serves to make their jobs more difficult.”

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