On February 19th and 20th Officers of IBEW Local 69, Ross McAuley, Charlie Jackson, and Bobby Reed attended the Texas State Association of Electrical Workers convention in Austin, Texas. Rick Levy, President of the Texas AFL-CIO, spoke at the convention about the different bills being discussed at the capitol regarding labor. There is a bill being discussed we are able to support. SB 1363 is the “move over bill” which would require drivers to move over when utility trucks are working on the side of road ways.
On February 25th the Union and Oncor met for the first quarter meeting. The meeting began with handouts from the Company regarding safety statistics from Distribution and Measurement for the year 2018. There were two lost time accidents last year. The first lost time accident was the vehicle accident on Interstate 20 when a company vehicle was traveling to West Texas and the rear duals came off of an Oncor truck. The other lost time accident occurred in an office building. There was not a lot of information given on the lost time accidents. The Union Committee brought up employees are having a difficult time getting the tools needed to perform their work safely. Company Safety Representative, Steve Barnes, stated Oncor has a tool catalog so every employee can get the tools needed to perform their work safely. Staffing discussions followed with the Company stating they are looking at hiring 75 new employees into Distribution in 2019.
On March 4, 2019, IBEW Local 69 turned in Authorization for Representation cards signed by Distribution Operation Technicians of Oncor to require a vote by the National Labor Relations Board to determine if the DOTs will be represented by IBEW Local 69. The NLRB decided to have split voting. DOTs at approximately 15 Oncor Service Centers in the Metro area will vote on March 20th at the West Distribution Operation Center in Ft. Worth, Texas and the East Distribution Operation Center in Irving, Texas. The Non Metro DOTs will vote by a mail-in ballot that must be received by April 3rd and will be counted at the NLRB office in Ft. Worth, Texas, on April 4th.
On February 13, 2019, IBEW Local 69 Fox 4 Negotiating Committee submitted a request for information to assist us in our contract negotiations. Fox 4 response dated March 5, 2019, stated; the Company objects to the Information Request because it is overbroad, unduly burdensome and seeks information that is not relevant to negotiations and is proprietary, privileged and confidential. The Union is working on a response to Fox 4’s letter dated March 5th. IBEW Local 69 has filed an Unfair Labor Practice against the Company for bad faith negotiations at the NLRB. In the meantime the IBEW Negotiating Committee will continue to look for ways to reach an agreement with Fox 4.
Until next time may God bless you, your family, and IBEW Local 69.
Bobby W. Reed