This article was published in June 2020 and may be outdated.
Manitoba Hydro will begin issuing temporary layoff notices today to members of two of its unions despite a month of discussions to meet labour-cost reductions needed to support the province’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Temporary layoff notices will begin to be issued to members of IBEW and UNIFOR in accordance with the current collective bargaining agreements. Approximately 200 staff will be temporarily laid off for a period of four months – a significant reduction from the approximately 700 layoffs the utility was originally anticipating.
“As I have said previously, this was absolutely not our preferred course of action,” said Jay Grewal, President and CEO of Manitoba Hydro.
Discussions are continuing with CUPE with further information expected next week. In addition, the corporation did arrive at an agreement in principle with the Association of Manitoba Hydro Staff and Supervisory Employees (AMHSSE) to achieve savings in that group without layoffs. Members of AMHSSE, the Manitoba Hydro Professional Engineers’ Association (MHPEA) and Corporate Exempt staff will take three unpaid days off in lieu of layoffs in their areas. These groups will see their paycheques reduced by approximately 1.2 hours per pay period commencing June 25 until the end of this fiscal year, March 31, 2021.
“We will make all efforts to minimize the impact of these temporary layoffs on service to customers, while maintaining the safety of our system and employees in every aspect of our operations,” said Grewal.
“We worked extremely hard to avoid getting to this point. Unfortunately, we have no more flexibility.”
It is anticipated the first layoffs will commence in the next two to three weeks.
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