Society of Energy Professionals

Society of Energy Professionals

June 28, 2005 11:20 ET

McGuinty government intervenes in OPG injunction hearing

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, Energy Editor, News Editor, Tech/Telecomm Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 28, 2005) - After weeks of refusing to do anything positive to resolve the Hydro One labour dispute, Premier McGuinty sent lawyers from the Ontario Attorney General's office to intervene in a strike-related injunction hearing yesterday.

Ontario Power Generation applied for an injunction last Friday to limit picketing at Nanticoke Generating Station in Haldimand County. Evidence was heard in Hamilton yesterday.

In spite of Hydro One and McGuinty government claims that their "robust" contingency plans have the electricity system running smoothly, counsel for the Attorney General claimed the public is in jeopardy due to strike activities. Society lawyers argued that Society picketing was entirely peaceful, there was no threat to public safety, and that police on the scene had had no reason to intervene.

In closing submissions to the Court, Counsel for the Society of Energy Professionals commented:

"In this case, Hydro One, which is owned entirely by the Ontario Government, unilaterally chose to withdraw from final and binding mediation-arbitration with the Society of Energy Professionals, preferring instead strike/lockout. Over the last number of weeks, the Society has repeatedly asked the Ontario Government to intervene in this dispute, but the Government has steadfastly declined.

"In this motion, Ontario Power Generation, which is also owned by the Ontario Government, comes to this Court and asks it as a third party to intervene in this dispute and order an injunction. Despite its refusal to intervene in the collective bargaining process, the Attorney General on behalf of the Government intervenes in this motion in support of Ontario Power Generation, the Government owned generation company. The Government owns all of these entities and is clearly picking and choosing when it wishes to become involved in this process."

Mr. Justice Kent has reserved his ruling until 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 28th, in the John Sopinka Courthouse, Hamilton.

Professional employees at Hydro One are currently on strike to resist Hydro One's demand that they accept 11 to 22 per cent in pay cuts, and a discriminatory two-tier wage system for newly hired 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