Inside IBEW 1837

Maine PUC Approves AMI System at CMP; 141 Jobs Will Be Lost – Many IBEW 1837 Members

February 1, 2010 - The Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will be issuing an order for Central Maine Power Company to move forward with their Smart Grid Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) initiative. The PUC held deliberations on the AMI case on February 1, and all three commissioners agreed that CMP had done a good job at working toward and achieving 50% of the funding for their proposed system through a federal stimulus grant. The commissioners believe that the system will produce benefits for customers that will outweigh the costs.

Workers at WGME-TV Begin Reaching Out to Public for Support

March 31, 2010 - Workers at WGME-TV have begun public demonstrations, re-launched a website that was first started four years ago, and have collected "fans" for a new Facebook page as they struggle to get a fair contract offer from the Portland television station. At the same time, IBEW Local 1837 has filed unfair labor practice charges against the Company with the National Labor Relations Board.

CMP Plans Layoffs to Boost Profits

April 7, 2009 - Central Maine Power Company has notified the union representing some 700 workers at the state’s largest utility that they plan to lay off over 100 workers in order to boost their profit margin from 9% up to 11%. This comes less than a month after most of the union members ratified a contract set to run for another four years, and right on the heels of approval to use stimulus funds to replace 141 meter employees with automated meter infrastructure.

In Support of IBEW Workers at WGME 13, Democratic Candidates for Governor Refuse to Buy Campaign Ads on the TV Station

April 22, 2010 - All of the Democratic candidates in June’s gubernatorial primary have decided not to purchase political campaign advertising on WGME, channel 13 in Portland, to demonstrate their support for workers at the television station.

CMP Owner Iberdrola USA Sells Gas Companies to Help Pay for MPRP

May 25, 2010 - Iberdrola USA has announced its intent to sell three natural gas companies in Southern New England. The sale will help pay the $1.4 billion price tag of the Maine Power Reliability Project, a major upgrade of the state’s electricity grid that was approved this month by the Maine Public Utilities Commission. Central Maine Power Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Iberdrola USA.

IBEW Workers at PSNH Approve Contract

June 14, 2010 - IBEW members at Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH) have ratified a three-year Generation Contract and a Utility Contract after five days of voting that included polling places in Randolph, Keene, Laconia, Hooksett and Dover. Final approval of the deal on June 14 followed an unprecedented 20 bargaining sessions that began in early March, in what the head of the Union Negotiating Team termed “a difficult negotiation.”

IBEW 1837 Stewards Receive Training from Renowned Labor Educator

July 1, 2010 - Stewards from eight of our represented companies enjoyed a daylong advanced training from Charley Richardson, an award-winning labor educator and former teacher for the UMass Lowell Labor Extension Program. Gathering at the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union Hall in Augusta on June 14, IBEW 1837 stewards talked about some of the challenges and concerns facing our Union, and they developed strategies we can all use to help deal with them.

IBEW 1837 Reaches Tentative Agreement for New Contract at Bangor Hydro

July 10, 2010 UPDATE - IBEW 1837 members at Bangor Hydro have voted to pass the tentative agreement and accept the new contract.

July 1, 2010 – IBEW Local 1837’s negotiating team has reached tentative agreement with Bangor Hydro on a new five-year contract with wage increases each year. Union members in the bargaining unit will vote on whether to ratify the package at a meeting on Saturday, July 10, 11:00 a.m. at the Ramada Inn in Bangor.

Most Unit Meetings Set to Resume in September

August 19, 2010 - As a great summer in New Hampshire and Maine draws to a close, most of the Units in our Local Union are gearing up to resume regular monthly meetings in September. The only exception is Unit 6, Portland, which will resume monthly meetings in October.

Meetings for members of Unit 3, Laconia, are moving to a new date and location. The Opeechee Park Clubhouse is no longer available. Meetings for Unit 3 will now be held at the Laconia Elks Lodge at 17 Sugarbush Lane in Gilford on the third Thursday each month at 5:15 p.m..

IBEW Members at Granite Ridge Enjoy Improvements with Union and Prepare to Negotiate 2nd Contract

October 14, 2010 - Workers at Granite Ridge Energy in Londonderry, New Hampshire are preparing to negotiate the successor agreement to their first union contract. The power plant workers voted to join IBEW Local #1837 on August 4, 2006, though it took until March of 2008 to complete negotiations on the first contract. The represented workers include all 20 maintenance and operating personnel at the plant. Their first contract runs through March 26, 2011.

IBEW 1837 and CMP Reach AMI Agreement

October 15, 2010 - Months of uncertainty for more than 125 members of IBEW Local #1837 followed the February 2010 final approval from the Maine Public Utilities Commission that gave Central Maine Power the green light to move forward with their Automated Metering Infrastructure project. Once the AMI was complete and CMP’s residential and business customers had so-called “Smart Meters” installed, the positions of Revenue Data Readers and other workers in the Revenue Service department were slated for elimination.

Northeast Utilities and NStar Make $4 Billion Merger Deal

October 21, 2010 - Northeast Utilities, the owner ofPublic Service Company of New Hampshire, will purchase NStar for $4.17 Billion in a deal that both companies describe as a “merger.” If approved by federal and state regulators as well as shareholders, the new company will be New England’s largest utility with a total of 3.5 million electric and gas customers in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut. The merged company will have a total enterprise value of $17.5 Billion, according to a joint statement.

Early Retirements at CMP Impact IBEW Local 1837

January 18, 2011 - An attractive package of incentives at Central Maine Power Company has led to the early retirement from the Company of four Chief Stewards and the Treasurer of IBEW Local 1837. Chief Stewards Dale Blethen, Rodney Curtis, Gilbert Guevin, Barry Ripley and Treasurer Donald Leighton retired from CMP in January.

“I could go on and on about what these brothers have done for Local 1837,” said Assistant Business Manager Bill Dunn. “They have been great activists for us and tireless fighters for the union movement. It will be a big hole to fill.”