The early August storm event that caused roughly 800,000 outages raised many concerns regarding the handling and oversight of our members who have field responsibilities. IBEW 15 received many complaints from members who have wire-watching and patrolling responsibilities expressing a lack of communication, coordination, and attention to their needs for relief. In some instances, members were not getting relief for washroom breaks and meals in a timely manner and were stuck on downed wires for more than sixteen hours. IBEW 15 immediately reached out to company leadership to address the issues, but in some instances the problems continued for the duration of the storm event.
Subsequently, the issues were brought to the company’s attention during several more meetings, including discussions at the executive level. The company has committed to reviewing the entire process in an attempt to prevent such issues from happening again in the future. More meetings are scheduled to address employees’ basic biological needs as well as contractual obligations.