• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 17s

Union lawyer: Enstar trying to cause strike

By Bonney Bowman Photojournalist: Nick Swann - 8:23 PM July 10, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

Reps for Enstar’s workers’ union say employees will walk off the job after eleventh-hour negotiations fell apart.

The gas company and their union are at an impasse.

Union reps say the strike will happen on or after July 24. If their employees do walk off the job, Enstar will be to blame, they said.

The union says time and time again they’ve offered concessions and proposals and time and time again Enstar hasn’t budged.

After two days of discussion, Enstar’s best and final offer was almost identical to the one union members rejected three weeks ago, said Chuck Dunnagan, lawyer for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 367.

“That doesn’t fix the health, it doesn’t really fix the pension, it wasn’t enough money so we could actually take this to anybody and say hey, they’ve put it someplace else, think about this again,” Dunnagan said.

Enstar is owned in part by Michigan-based company Semco.

Dunnagan says he thinks it’s these Michigan managers who are pulling the strings.

“They say it’s purely coincidental the 2.25 percent is what the Semco employees got, it’s purely coincidental that they ended the pension plan for the Semco employees and so on.”

Some of those Michigan managers are already here in Alaska. Dunnagan says Enstar employees are being forced to train them in field work.

“When the employees go out on strike, they’re just going to simply assign their managers to do those jobs until the strike is over,” said Dunnagan, adding it isn’t a safe solution.

KTVA reached out to Enstar for comment. Business development director John Sims said he didn’t have time to go on camera with us, but he issued this statement:

“Enstar and Local 367 have met and proposals have been exchanged where substantial movement was made. Enstar’s last proposal to the union had no reductions in health care and retirement benefits for all current employees and included an increase in wages for the next three years.”

Dunnagan says that’s true, but those wage increases don’t keep up with inflation and new employees would be kept out of those benefits.

He says it’s an example of how he thinks Enstar is twisting the truth.

“I think they’re trying to cause a strike. I think that they have misstated any number of things to us and I’ve told them that,” Dunnagan said. “That’s actually a problem now with working with them, that there isn’t a great deal of trust.”

After receiving his initial comment, KTVA reached out to Sims with more questions, including why Enstar brought in out-of-state workers before negotiations wrapped up, what role Semco is playing and why the company is working to cut benefits during a time of record profits.

He never responded to our questions.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Kodiak mayor not pleased with plans for city’s DA position

    by Associated Press on Jul 25, 6:58

    KODIAK, Alaska (AP) – An Alaska city’s district attorney’s office is down its lead position, and officials say a replacement will not be hired. The Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Monday the Director of the Alaska Department of Law’s Criminal Division, John Skidmore, says instead of hiring another district attorney to replace former Kodiak District Attorney […]

  • Reports: Trump discussing firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions

    by CBS/AP on Jul 25, 6:38

    WASHINGTON — President Trump has spoken with advisers about firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions as he continues to rage against Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from all matters related to the Russia investigation, according to reports. The president’s anger again bubbled into public view Monday as he referred to Sessions in a tweet as “beleaguered.” Privately, […]

  • Community mourns the loss of Bartlett sophomore

    by John Thompson on Jul 24, 22:59

    Tragedy struck the Hmong and Bartlett High School community last week, as 16-year-old Mlooglug Chervang succumbed to injuries related to a swimming accident.   The sophomore at Bartlett was a member of the football team and very involved in his school’s performing arts programs.   “He kinda represented what we want kids to be like […]

  • News

    Last baby orca born in captivity at SeaWorld park dies, company says

    by CBS News on Jul 24, 22:36

    ORLANDO, Fla. — The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld’s former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company’s San Antonio park, SeaWorld said. Veterinarians were treating 3-month-old Kyara for an infection last weekend, but her health continued to decline, the Orlando-based company said in a news release. “Kyara had a tremendous impact on the entire zoological team, […]

  • Lifestyle

    The pressure is on Alaska’s senators ahead of Tuesday’s healthcare vote

    by Steffi Lee on Jul 24, 22:25

    Alaskans are continuing to pressure their senators to stand against overhauling the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and they also want them to vote “no” on Tuesday’s procedural vote to open debate on a healthcare reform bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pushing for a motion to proceed and Senate Republicans are trying to get […]

  • News

    How the SAP project went from $10 Million to $81.5 Million in 6 years

    by Daniella Rivera on Jul 24, 19:02

    It’s been called an expensive, monster of a project and it’s about to eat up another $5.8 million. That’s the amount Anchorage Assembly members will be asked to approve Tuesday night, to wrap up the controversial SAP software project that’s years overdue, and millions of taxpayer dollars over budget. When former Mayor Dan Sullivan proposed the […]

  • News

    Sales tax could double for some Mat-Su communities

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jul 24, 18:45

    No one likes to pay taxes, but people who live in the Mat-Su may find themselves paying a lot more if propositions for new sales taxes go through. The cities of Palmer, Houston and Wasilla already have city sales taxes but residents might also decide to pay a new tax proposed by the Mat-Su Borough. […]

  • Story Time with Aunt Phil: Alaska crude oil’s explosive discovery

    by Laurel Downing Bill on Jul 24, 18:04

    Richfield Oil Corporation found crude on the Kenai Peninsula this week in July 1957. That discovery helped Alaska on its way to statehood two years later, as Congress believed that Alaska would now be able to fund its own government. But that wasn’t the first time Alaskans had found oil. Alaska Natives used the black […]