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CUPE Local 500 has met with Winnipeg city officials to voice its serious concerns about an offer from Manitoba Hydro to purchase Winnipeg Hydro.

Local president Paul Moist says the proposed sale, which affects 500 of the local’s members, raises many questions, especially because the deal is proceeding so quickly. City Council must decide on the offer by February 28.

Slow down and carefully consider both the short and long term consequences of selling Winnipeg Hydro,” Moist said. “If it’s a good deal now, it’ll still be a good deal in a month.”

CUPE is looking for answers on what will happen to members’ jobs, wages and benefits, particularly pensions. While assurances to protect pensions have been given, few of the details have been worked out and Moist says these issues must be addressed up front.

As well, the bundling of all electricity and natural gas suppliers under Manitoba Hydro makes the provincial utility a more attractive privatization option for a future provincial government.

The Doer government recently brought in legislation that prevents the sale of Manitoba Hydro without the consent of a majority of Manitobans through a referendum.