A group of Idaho Power employees want to join a union.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 125 has filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of transmission dispatchers with Idaho Power Co.
The board is scheduled to hold a hearing today in Boise to determine if the employees are eligible for the union and who would be the appropriate bargaining unit, said Rocky Clark, international representative for the IBEW in Idaho Falls.
“We are looking forward, if they are successful, to building a good relationship with Idaho Power just as we have with the 98 percent of investor-owned utilities that we represent,” Clark said.
The board will hold a hearing soon on the issue and, if it approves, a vote will follow.
“We will work with the NLRB to determine which employees should be included in the voting unit, when the election will be held and other related details,” said Dan Minor, Idaho Power executive vice president and chief operating officer. “We are working hard to ensure that our employees are educated about the process, and we hope that the voting employees will agree that union representation is not the right choice for them or for Idaho Power.”
The IBEW recently organized the transmission dispatchers for the Western Systems Coordinating Council, which runs the region’s electric transmission system. That led it to petition for Idaho Power, whose employees have never had union representation in 100 years.
“Throughout our history, Idaho Power has consistently treated its employees fairly and respectfully and has worked hard to ensure good working conditions and competitive wages and benefits for all employees,” Minor said.
Clark estimated the number of dispatchers at about 25. He said he expects the company to seek eligibility for a larger group to dilute the vote.