Society of Energy Professionals

Society of Energy Professionals

July 06, 2005 11:02 ET

Judge: Picketing OPG for communication only

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, Energy Editor, News Editor, Tech/Telecomm Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - July 6, 2005) - An Ontario judge has ruled that striking Hydro One professionals can continue to picket at Ontario Power Generation sites.

While acknowledging that picket lines set up by the Society of Energy Professionals were peaceful, that "there was no intimidation" involved, and that "many [of those stopped at the lines] are sympathetic" to the Society's cause, Mr. Justice Colin Campbell ruled that Society picket lines must be for communication only. Picket lines set up at Nanticoke Generating Station in June, he said, went "beyond communication."

The case was brought against the Society of Energy Professionals by OPG, but lawyers from Hydro One, , the Independent Electricity System Operator, the Ministry of the Attorney General, Bruce Power, and elsewhere attended, either as intervenors or observers. In all, there were at least 15 lawyers lined up against the Society.

"That's a whole lot of lawyers ganging up on us, most of them from the government or companies owned by the government," said Keith Rattai, Vice President of the Hydro One Local of the Society. "Premier McGuinty says he doesn't want to intervene in our dispute, but I don't know what else you'd call this."

"It's just too bad he couldn't have put in a fraction of this time and energy on resolving the dispute between Hydro One and us - he's the boss."

Mr. Justice Campbell also ruled that picketing one OPG generating station presented a substantial risk to the entire system. "We would agree that the electricity system is at risk," said Society Communications Officer Brian Robinson. "Hydro One is deliberately letting the transmission system degrade as part of its 'robust contingency plan' to force energy professionals out on strike. It's not as dramatic as a generating station, but it's a very real risk that Premier McGuinty would be wise to put an end to."

Energy professionals employed by Hydro One have been on strike since June 1st, fighting Hydro One's unfair demands for a two-tier wage and benefit schedule that discriminates against younger professionals, 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: for further information, please contact Brian Robinson at (416) 716-6438 or Michelle Duncan at (416) 427-3525/ 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