Company continues to be available to meet at the table as union re-
submits 72-hours' strike notice
SURREY, BC, Sept. 20 /CNW/ - Terasen Gas was informed today by the
Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE) Local 378 that it has
resubmitted 72-hours' strike notice following the Labour Relations Board of
B.C.'s designation of essential services.
Terasen Gas wants to reassure customers that in the unfortunate event of
a labour disruption, safe and reliable delivery of natural gas or emergency
response will not be affected. Calls to our customer service at 1-888-224-2710
and our 24-hour emergency line 1-800-663-9911 will also continue to be
answered. While strike notice does not necessarily mean that a strike is
imminent, customers need to know that Terasen Gas is prepared.
Terasen Gas does not want a strike. The company remains committed to
reach an agreement through the collective bargaining process and continues to
be available to resume negotiations with COPE. However, in the event of a work
stoppage by COPE, Terasen Gas will respond to any natural gas emergencies
using essential service personnel and management.
Essential services are those that the Labour Relations Board of B.C.
considers necessary or essential to prevent immediate and serious danger to
the health, safety or welfare of the residents of British Columbia. The Labour
Relations Board ruled on essential services on September 19, 2007.
Terasen Gas has been in ongoing negotiations with COPE 378 - which
represents 465 employees working in primarily office and professional
positions - since February 2007 in an effort to reach a new collective
agreement. Terasen Gas and COPE reached a tentative agreement on May 22, 2007,
which was subsequently rejected by the COPE membership. The tentative
agreement included a wage increase of 14.8 per cent compounded over five years
and an increase in benefits of 5.3 per cent. COPE 378 would be the final group
at Terasen Gas to move toward flexible benefits. Terasen Gas has not
experienced a labour disruption in 18 years.
Terasen Gas is mainly composed of the operations of Terasen Gas Inc. and
Terasen Gas (Vancouver Island) Inc., both indirect wholly owned subsidiaries
of Fortis Inc. Fortis Inc., the largest investor-owned distribution utility in
Canada, serves almost two million gas and electric customers. Its regulated
holdings include Terasen Gas and electric utilities in five Canadian provinces
and three Caribbean countries. Fortis Inc. owns non-regulated hydroelectric
generation assets across Canada and in Belize and upper New York State. It
also owns hotels and commercial real estate in Canada. Fortis Inc. shares are
listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS.
Additional information can be accessed at www.fortisinc.com or www.sedar.com.
For further information:
For further information: Media contact: Joyce Wagenaar, Corporate
Communications Manager, Terasen Gas, Phone: (604) 592-7682, Email: