Monday, March 7, 2011

The one where I bitch about the IBEW

Last Thursday night the was a bit of a storm down Ewa way where I live. Lot's of folks lost their electricity, but my family and I were lucky not to be in the dark...yet. Things were happening fast, and by the time we were ready to roll out to work & school word came that the schools our boys went to were closed. My Mother in Law immediately offered to stay home with the boys. So with those bases covered my wife & I headed to work. By 9am I got a call that the power had now gone out at our home. As is the case in these situations, HECO has sent their repair crews out to restore power. The yellow & blue trucks along the roadside give us confidence that power will be resumed as soon as possible. Then at 3pm Friday, word comes from Twitter that the IBEW workers have decided to go on strike effective 3:30pm. Really? wow...

And that's just what they did. Why? As is most often the cases when there's a strike, it's about money (primarily). From listening to both sides, there's blame to pass around as to why they would want to strike...BUT! After a storm, when thousands of customers (and IBEW members, they are your customers too) are without power...that is not the time to walk off the job. You guys looked like greedy little children who got mad and stomped off with your ball when you didn't get your way. And no, you didn't put the screws to management, you put them to us YOUR customers.

OK Mr. Big Mouth Blogger, if you are gonna be so critical of the union, then what do you think they should have done? This:

Walk off the job at 3:30 just like you did. BUT! Alert the local news media that a statement would be made at 6pm (just in time for the local news). You announce the reasons behind the walk off, making a case for your beef with management. Get your side of the story out. THEN, you announce that in a situation like this were so many of YOUR customers are without service, you feel the need to return to work to ensure YOUR customers have their power restored. Only then, you will resume your strike.

And you would have been the heroes of the day, and you would have the public on your side.

For the record, our power was restored just before 6pm on Saturday. And several times on Saturday, we were contacted by HECO to see if power was restored. They kept checking with us, their customer. Well done, well done.