The Imperial Irrigation District’s rank-and-file employees have spoken: The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 465 will continue to be their sole representative in negotiations with the district.
IBEW 465 was the target of a decertification campaign by IID employees who claimed the union did not represent them fairly nor was transparent in how it allocated its funds. Some said they wanted a choice in who represents them.
A vote of 50 percent plus one was needed to unseat IBEW 465. By the time polls closed Thursday, 677 employees had cast a vote, with 421 voting to keep IBEW 465 as sole representative and 256 voting against, said Sally Butler, IID work order scheduler and organizer of the campaign against IBEW 465.
IBEW 465 business representative George Moses said he was happy with the outcome, and hoped the union can go back to negotiating a three-year contract with the district on behalf of rank-and-file employees.
“We’re pleased,” Moses said. “Maybe this issue is finally resolved.”
IID Human Resources Manager Dan DeVoy confirmed the district and the union are at an impasse, with mediation scheduled for December.
It is not clear why the two parties are unable to move forward.
Moses said the impasse was declared by John Hunter, IBEW 465’s business representative.
Hunter simply said “no comment,” when he was reached by telephone.
Although the initiative to decertify IBEW 465 as the sole representative of the district’s rank-and-file employees is finished, Butler said she will continue to scrutinize the way the union conducts its business, but from the inside.
“I’m going to become a full-fledged member of IBEW,” she said.
Staff Writer Antoine Abou-Diwan can be reached at 760-337-3454 or email@example.com
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