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

Legislative

IBEW 1837 Members Play Important Role in Defeating NH "Right to Work" Bill

IBEW 1837 members attending hearing.
IBEW 1837 members and retirees attended
hearings in Concord on "Right to Work."

February 20, 2017 - Members and retirees from IBEW 1837 joined with their union Brothers and Sisters throughout the Granite State and helped defeat a so-called “Right to Work” bill in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, 200 – 177. By doing so, the state’s Labor Movement overcame tremendous odds in thwarting a top policy priority of new Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who had GOP majorities in both bodies of the state legislature.

So-called “Right to Work” was narrowly approved by the Senate, 12 – 11, although its passage there was never really in doubt. 

Everyone knew it would be a tougher sell in the House.  Even though Republicans control that legislative chamber by a 226 – 173 margin, some of them are Union members or supporters of collective bargaining rights who recognize the true purpose of these union-busting bills. In the end, a total of 32 Republicans joined Democrats in the House and voted against “Right to Work.”

Hundreds of union members packed Representatives Hall at the State House in Concord for a public hearing on the bill before the House Labor Committee. Dozens of union members and allies from faith and community groups testified in opposition to it while only a handful of people testified in favor of “Right to Work.” Two IBEW 1837 members from Eversource testified in opposition: Rebecca Johnson, a Control Room Operator from Schiller Station, and Pat Moran, a Troubleshooter from the Hooksett AWC.

“To work beside someone who is enjoying the benefits I am paying for is not right and you know it,” Sister Johnson said, referring to “free riders” who are protected by the contract but choose to pay nothing in “Right to Work” states. “The bottom line is this bill is really not about paying dues so much as it is about splintering workers to their own corners and to take away hard fought benefits.”

IBEW 1837 Members at Eversource Generation in NH Ratify Extension Agreement

Amoskeag and Schiller Stations

May 21, 2015 - IBEW members working in the electric generation assets of Eversource NH (formerly PSNH) have overwhelmingly ratified an agreement that extends their current contract while providing additional employee protections if the fossil or hydro facilities are sold or closed.

Eversource entered into settlement talks related to the divestiture of their generating assets as the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission was responding to a law passed last year that gave them the authority to force the Company to sell them if it was in the “economic interest” of ratepayers. PSNH had been under pressure to sell in large part because costs associated with a state-mandated "scrubber" to reduce mercury emissions at Merrimack Station had led to substantial upward pressure on residential electric rates.

The union ratification vote came as the New Hampshire House of Representatives is preparing to vote on Senate Bill 221 to securitize stranded debt if a divestiture settlement is reached and approved by the PUC. The Union has participated in the settlement talks and found widespread support among the legislature and the State Office of Energy Planning for employee protections for workers who may be affected by divestiture.

The Union represents nearly 175 members at the Merrimack Station, Newington Station and Schiller Station fossil fuel plants as well as at hydropower generating facilities throughout the state. They also represent generation maintenance workers. All of these dedicated workers may soon find themselves working for another employer. It’s also possible they could be out of work if divestiture is ordered and no buyers are found for one or more of the power generating stations.

The protections in the agreement include enhanced severance pay, guaranteed retirement benefits, access to quality, affordable healthcare coverage, tuition assistance, and greater bidding rights into other jobs at Eversource without impacting the rights of other union members in the Utility branch of the company. The agreement also guarantees that any new buyer will continue to honor the existing contract for no less than two years.

Election 2014: Gubernatorial Contests are Top Labor Concern

Michaud speaks on Labor Day
Michaud speaks on Labor Day

October 22, 2014 - Re-election campaigns for the Governors of New Hampshire and Maine have been getting plenty of attention from members of IBEW Local #1837 and other pro-worker groups. New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan has been a consistent union ally while Maine Governor Paul LePage has supported union-busting “Right to Work” legislation. Both are seeking their second terms on Tuesday, November 4.

In recent letters to our represented members, IBEW 1837 Business Manager Dick Rogers and President Ray Colello continued to stress that their top priority remains giving members the best representation possible by negotiating and protecting our contracts.

“Since many of our members belong to different political parties or hold contrasting views on the various issues of the day, we are reluctant to get involved in politics,” Rogers and Colello said. “However, we feel we do have a responsibility to let you know how the decisions we all make on Election Day can affect the ability of IBEW Local #1837 to secure good wages, good benefits and a safe workplace for you. In recent years, basic worker protections – from the freedom to form a union to the right to a safe workplace – have been under attack.”

After a thorough process that includes issue questionnaires and an analysis of voting records of each of the candidates, the New Hampshire and Maine AFL-CIO’s issue endorsements of Democrats, Republicans and Independents who demonstrate an understanding of the importance of labor unions and a commitment to working people. This includes not only the gubernatorial candidates but also candidates for important state legislative races and federal contests such as the United States Senate and House of Representatives.

2014 ME & NH AFL-CIO Candidate Endorsements

Maine AFL-CIO 2014 Candidate Endorsements

FMLA Celebrates 20th Anniversary But Many Workers Don't Know Their Rights

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