Manitoba Hydro workers may soon go on strike

Thousands of Manitoba Hydro workers could go on strike as early as Friday if a deal is not reached in ongoing contract negotiations.

On Wednesday at 11 a.m., the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 2034, which is the union that represents 2,300 Manitoba Hydro employees, issued a 48-hour strike notice.

The workers are looking for a “fair and reasonable” agreement that includes competitive wages to keep up with the cost of living.

In the event of a strike, IBEW and Manitoba Hydro have come to an agreement in order to maintain the emergency response crew’s responsibilities.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Manitoba Hydro said the Crown corporation provided an improved final offer last month, but it was rejected.

The spokesperson said Hydro is committed to reaching a fair settlement, with the goal of completing negotiations as soon as possible to minimize the impact on customers.

“As part of our responsibility to provide reliable energy to Manitobans, Manitoba Hydro has developed contingency plans to ensure emergency and essential services, as well as public safety issues, are continued through any labour dispute,” the statement said.

IBEW will be sending out picket line information to its members in the coming days.

Members of IBEW Local 2034 previously went on strike in March 2021. The strike lasted nearly 70 days.

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