energy sector / secteur énergieThe challenges in the energy sector differ from one province to the next. However, attacks on pension plans and privatization are constants that keep recurring.

In Quebec, under austerity, the different locals must work to hold onto gains and to improve working conditions and benefits.

Currently, several laws and bills are aimed at reducing negotiated pension benefits. Crown corporations such as Hydro-Québec have been spared. However, Quebec participants believe that we have not seen the end of this issue.

In Ontario, in addition to the attack on pensions, the issue of privatization is very much in evidence. The current Liberal government has stated its intention to sell Hydro One. CUPE is running a campaign opposing this project. But recently, the government announced the immanent sale of 15 percent of Hydro One, despite promises made to union members at the negotiating table.

In Alberta, despite a context of deregulation, 15 collective agreements have been negotiated. However, outsourcing remains the greatest threat to employees, and pension plans also are threatened.

In Manitoba, where an NDP Government is in power, the situation is more favourable to unionized employees in the sector. However, the threat of outsourcing soon may arise, as there will be elections next year. A new Liberal government might attack gains and open the door to privatization and outsourcing.