The Society of Energy Professionals

The Society of Energy Professionals

September 08, 2011 07:30 ET

Energy Professionals to Onex CEO: C'mon, Gerry, Communicate!

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 8, 2011) - Leaders of Ontario's energy professionals picketed the headquarters of Onex Corporation in downtown Toronto today, calling for action from the Onex CEO.

"We're trying to bring it to Gerry Schwartz's attention that one of his companies is refusing to negotiate with our sister union, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace," said Rodney Sheppard, the President of the Society of Energy Professionals.

He was referring to negotiations for a renewal collective agreement between Spirit Aerosystems of Wichita, Kansas, and SPEEA, a local of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE). The Energy Professionals are also a local of IFPTE. Spirit is a manufacturer of commercial airplane structures such as fuselages and cockpits. Spirit is 58 per cent owned by Onex; Onex's shares give them 92 per cent of voting rights.

"What SPEEA wants is a good working relationship with Spirit, one in which both owners and managers can share the good times and bad," Sheppard said. "Spirit management won't talk even when the union's saying yes!"

Sheppard says since Schwartz got his start founding Canwest Global Communications, he surely knows the value of communicating.

Sheppard's picket was timed to put pressure on Schwartz on the first day of bargaining since SPEEA members voted 96 per cent to reject Spirit's "final offer."

The Society of Energy Professionals represents more than 8,000 engineers, telecommunications and information technology professionals, scientists, supervisors, and others who for generations have designed, built, operated, and helped safeguard Ontario's vast electricity system. These women and men manage our electricity system and ensure our power is there when we need it, reliably and safely. The Society's members work for Ontario Power Generation, Hydro One, Bruce Power, the IESO, the OEB, the ESA and other key electricity sector employers.

Contact Information

  • Society of Energy Professionals (IFPTE Local 160)
    Brian Robinson
    (416) 716-6438