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International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) has been in Canada since 1899, with locals in Saskatchewan as early as 1907. Local 2067, which currently represents workers at SaskPower, Luscar and the city of Swift Current, grew out of Local 21 of the Civic Employees Association which at the time represented electrical workers for the city of Regina. In February 1950, the Electrical Utilities Employees Union (EUEU) Local 9 was certified as the bargaining agent for all workers employed in the city of Regina electrical system.

A strike that occurred July 23, 1950, left dissatisfaction within the membership and the Canadian Labour Congress encouraged workers from EUEU Local 9 to select an appropriate union operating in their field. A vote was held between the IBEW, the National Union of Municipal Employees and the Oil Chemical and Atomic Workers Union (OCAW). The IBEW won and thus IBEW Local 2067 was chartered on November l, 1959, with C.C. McVeigh becoming the first president/business manager.

In 1965, the Saskatchewan Power Corporation (SPC) purchased the electrical-generating plant and distribution system from the city of Regina. Along with these facilities came the workers and their union, IBEW Local 2067. In 1966, after a representational struggle between OCAW and IBEW at SPC, 900 electrical workers joined IBEW Local 2067.

Although organized since 1907, IBEW Local 319 was not chartered by IBEW until 1927. It received a Labour Relations Board certification order in 1951 granting it the right to represent all electrical workers at the electrical utility and the communications department for the city of Saskatoon.

The two construction locals of IBEW, Locals 2038 (chartered in 1959) and 529 (chartered in 1947), represent workers in the southern and northern sections of the province. Their jurisdiction covers all outside and inside electrical work.

Local 2067 members were legislated back to work in January 1975, and again in 1976, after a strike occurred to protest a wage roll back under the federal government Wage Controls legislation. In 1998, the government legislated an end to a lockout by SaskPower.

Mike Kaytor

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