Cohocton Wind Watch: Clipper Windpower may unionize
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.


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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Clipper Windpower may unionize

CEDAR RAPIDS -- Some 165 employees of Clipper Windpower's wind turbine factory in Cedar Rapids will decide whether to unionize in a vote this weekend.

Local 204 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers filed a petition to represent 165 plant employees on May 20, said Bob Chester, regional director of the National Labor Relations Board in Minneapolis.

Chester said the bargaining unit sought in the petition includes all fulltime and part-time workers and lead people in the base, hub, gearbox and surface finishing operations, along with maintenance and facility employees.

The vote for union representation would be a new foothold in the wind turbine industry for Local 204, which already represents workers in the energy industry at Aquila Gas, Duane Arnold Energy Center and Alliant Energy.

Union Business Manager Dave George said the union was encouraged to organize the plant's work force by employees who were concerned about issues of fairness, safety and qual ity. He said some employees who have been with the factory since it opened in 2006 feel they have been passed over for job advancement in favor of new hires, and some employees don't feel the company's management structure enables them to speak out about issues that affect product quality.

"People are afraid to speak up," George said.

Company officials with Clipper Windpower, which is based in Carpinteria, Calif., declined to comment on the organizing issue.

One employee, Kevin Rawson, said he is opposed to bringing a union into the plant.

Rawson said Clipper has been a good employer. He said the company provides free soft drinks and coffee, and found a better health insurance deal for employees after some complaints were made about insurance benefits.

George said the union does not want to hamper the competitiveness of the plant but would like to improve it by providing more organizational structure.

The company has hired a law firm specializing in anti-union campaigns and required employees to attend mandatory meetings on the issue, George said.

1 Comments:

Blogger K said...

Thanks for the information on unionizing Clipper Windpower. I wish you all the best of luck!

We recently wrote an article on if doctors should unionize at Brain Blogger. With doctors struggling with financial issues and having issues with the government reimbursement system, should doctors unionize? But are the downsides too much; is it really worth it?

We would like to read your comments on our article. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Kelly

7:46 PM  

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