Contractors: A Friend or Foe?

Wednesday, August 28, 2019
It seems as though we have always been fighting with the different companies our members work for over the use of contractors. Our contention is that the companies should hire more fulltime IBEW Local 29 employees to do the work but at the same time we realize there is a need for contractors during outages, storms along with other reasons. Over the years we have won a number of arbitrations on this very issue and most recently we won an arbitration against Duquesne Light Company on the amount of overtime they must offer when using contractors. We go back in front of the same arbitrator on September 5th for him to determine what is a reasonable amount of overtime that they must offer.
 
The contractors that are on the properties that we work at, are not our enemies and in many cases are IBEW members from other locals, we should treat them as brothers and not scabs. I write this article today mainly because of our current contract negotiations with DLC and some of the tension around the use of contractors and the Company's proposal to increase their ability to use them. I ask all of our men and women working out in the field to please treat all contractors with respect and especially our brothers and sisters that are IBEW members on our property.
We will be keeping the leaders of our International and other IBEW locals informed on the progress of our negotiations with DLC and will have their full support, so when you see a contractor that is an IBEW member thank him/her in advance for their support if it is needed during these negotiations.
All union contractors are our friends and should be treated that way, don't be afraid to speak up if you see anything different than that.

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