• 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

  • Sports

    UAA volleyball falls in national final

    by Dave Goldman on Dec 10, 16:10

    The run ended one short. After a magical ride, University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves volleyball team dropped a straight sets match in the Division II National Championship to top-ranked and top-seeded Concordia University St. Paul — 25-19, 25-12, 25-12 — at the Sanford Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. UAA (34-3) had no answer in […]

  • Sports

    Army beats Navy 21-17 to end 14-year losing streak in series

    by David Ginsburg / AP Sports Writer on Dec 10, 14:48

    The U.S. Army ended a 14-year run of frustration against the U.S. Navy, using an overpowering running game and opportunistic defense to carve out a long overdue 21-17 victory Saturday. With future commander-in-chief Donald Trump looking on, the Black Knights blew a 14-point lead before quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw scored on a 9-yard run with 6:42 […]

  • Police: Suspect in Fred Meyer bank robbery caught in nearby mall

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 10, 14:43

    A man police say likely robbed a midtown bank Saturday afternoon has been taken into custody thanks to the help of an observant witness. The robbery was reported around 12:10 p.m. at the Alaska USA located inside the Northern Lights Boulevard Fred Meyer, police said in a statement. “It was reported to police that a […]

  • Troopers involved in shooting with suspect identified

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 10, 14:33

    On Saturday, Alaska State Troopers identified the officers involved in a Dec. 7 shooting that injured a suspect. The four troopers are Lt. Dane Gilmore, Sgt. Jeremy Grieme, Sgt. Michael Zweifel and David Lorring. All have several years of experience with the Alaska Department of Public Safety, according to an online trooper dispatch, and Gilmore […]

  • News

    Turkish official: 15 killed, 69 wounded in twin bombings

    by KTVA / AP on Dec 10, 14:01

    Last updated at 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10 A Turkish official says that twin blasts outside a soccer stadium in Istanbul have killed 15 people and wounded 69 others. The attack, which appeared to have targeted police, struck shortly after the conclusion of a match late Saturday. Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu says one of […]

  • Lifestyle

    Bristol Palin announces she is expecting her third child

    by Associated Press on Dec 10, 10:44

    Bristol Palin is expecting her third child, she tells Entertainment Tonight. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s daughter announced her pregnancy on ET. She and husband Dakota Meyer said they are excited and “blessed” to welcome a baby in the spring. A Palin family spokesman declined to comment. Bristol Palin launched an abstinence campaign after giving […]

  • Troopers: Fairbanks woman arrested for death of domestic partner

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 10, 10:32

    Alaska State Troopers arrested a woman after her domestic partner was found shot to death in Fairbanks Friday night. According to an online dispatch, troopers were notified of a death at a Fairchild Avenue home around 11:30 p.m. They found 66-year-old Steven Halonen had succumbed to his injuries following a shooting. Mary Gansman, 47, faces […]

  • Lifestyle

    Eroding village to seek disaster designation for relocation

    by Associated Press on Dec 10, 10:28

    A western Alaska village is eroding due to climate change and officials plan to ask President Barack Obama for a disaster declaration so that federal funds can be pursued to relocate residents. Alaska’s Energy Desk reports that engineers predict as many as six Newtok homes will be lost by fall followed by the village school […]