Society of Energy Professionals

Society of Energy Professionals

August 17, 2005 14:42 ET

Hydro One strikers' sit-in prompts meeting with Premier

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, Energy Editor, News Editor, Tech/Telecomm Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 17, 2005) - After a 15-minute meeting with a reluctant Premier McGuinty, the head of the union of energy professionals on strike at Hydro One says he's "very encouraged."

"The premier understands he has the ability to resolve the strike, and that we will work with him to reduce costs and improve Hydro One operations," said Andrew Müller, president of the Society of Energy Professionals. "Now it's up to him to make it happen."

"He was engaged, he was listening, and I'm quite sure he knows now where we're coming from," Müller continued. "I told him we think the discriminatory proposals Hydro One wants us to accept are not the kind of thing Liberals want to be known for. We need more young professionals in the industry, but Hydro One management's proposals would drive them away."

The meeting with the Premier came about after 300 striking employees of Hydro One attempted to attend this morning at the convention of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. Premier McGuinty was to address the convention at 9 a.m. When security officials attempted to eject the strikers, they sat down and refused to leave-or be quiet-until the Premier talked to them.

Shouting "two-tier, not here," "equal pay for equal work," "end discrimination now," and the like, the strikers delayed the Premier's speech for about an hour. When the Premier agreed to meet with a delegation of four, they agreed to leave when the meeting had taken place.

Though it was loud, there were no untoward incidents during the sit-in. Officers of the Toronto Police Service were present for most of it, and expressed their appreciation to Society officials for the peaceful manner in which the event was conducted.

Energy professionals employed by Hydro One have been on strike since June 1st, fighting Hydro One's unfair demands for a wage and benefit schedule that discriminates against younger professionals (22 per cent less in wages, 50 per cent less in benefits, and an inferior pension), and an effective 11 per cent cut in wages for most employees.

The Society of Energy Professionals represents more than 6,000 professional employees in the electricity industry in Ontario, including engineers, scientists, supervisors, and others. The Society is an affiliate of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers. /For further information: please contact Brian Robinson at (416) 716-6438/ IN: ENERGY, LABOUR, TELECOMM

Contact Information

  • Brian Robinson, Communications Officer, Society of Energy Professionals
    Primary Phone: 416-716-6438
    E-mail: brian@society.on.ca