• 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

    Native art fair draws crowds to Dena’ina Center

    by Lauren Maxwell on Oct 23, 22:27

    The Alaska Federation of Natives convention brings Alaska Native leaders from around the state, but it also brings crafters and artisans. For many people, the Alaska Native Customary Art Fair is one of their favorite parts of the AFN convention. This year, the selection is better than ever. Hundreds of booths line the first floor […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Oct. 23

    by Carlos Faura on Oct 23, 22:22

    Kenai Peninsula – There will be isolated rain and snow on the Kenai with scattered showers from Anchorage north. Southeast - Expect rain to the south and a shower or two for the northern areas, with snow at pass levels. Interior & North Slope – It will be mostly dry with a flurry or two, […]

  • News

    Totem pole artist carves out a piece of history

    by Heather Hintze on Oct 23, 21:28

    A totem pole isn’t just a work of art for Tommy Joseph; it’s carving out a little piece of history. “That’s what a totem pole is all about is I’m telling someone’s story,” he said. “Everyone has a story.” On a warm morning in Sitka, he methodically chips away at a 10-foot cedar pole. He […]

  • Politics

    Show Me the Money: Marijuana Legalization

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 23, 21:00

      Show Me the Money: Alaska’s Fiscal Future Four issues that could change the fortunes of Alaska… Four issues that have divided us… Four issues that will unite us as we go to the polls Nov. 4th… How can you prosper in the ever-changing landscape of living life in the 49th state?   Oct. 9 @ 9 […]

  • News

    Investigators focus on pilot error in deadly 2013 plane crash

    by Dave Leval on Oct 23, 20:22

    It’s been more than a year since two people died in a plane crash at Merrill Field. Rob Lilly and his girlfriend, Jessi Nelsen, died when they tried to land after taking off from Wasilla Aug. 24, 2013. The second phase of a federal investigation into the crash found no mechanical errors with the plane. […]

  • News

    Feds to bring indoor plumbing to Alaska village

    by Associated Press on Oct 23, 15:49

    A remote Alaska village where only half the homes have indoor plumbing is among rural communities nationwide to receive a share of more than $352 million in grants and loans for upgrades to rural water and wastewater systems. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Alaska’s $12.6 million share of the funding from the U.S. Department of […]

  • News

    Governor signs bill to recognize Native languages

    by Lauren Maxwell on Oct 23, 15:39

    The number of official languages in the State of Alaska has gone from one to 21 with a single stroke of a pen. Gov. Sean Parnell signed HB216 in front of a cheering crowd at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention Thursday morning. The bill recognizes 20 Native languages, and adds them to English as […]

  • Crime

    Police: Pit bull death ‘extreme’ animal cruelty

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 23, 15:17

    Police are asking for help investigating the death of a dog found hanging from a tree near the University of Alaska Anchorage earlier this month. A man walking in the woods near East 20th Avenue and Rosemary Street made the gruesome discovery Oct. 10, according to a Thursday afternoon statement from the Anchorage Police Department. […]