May 3, 2005
Ontario's professional engineers agree with Society: Lockout would endanger electricity system
TORONTO, May 3 /CNW/ - The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) have written to Labour Minister Chris Bentley to express "dismay" with the possibility that Hydro One's professional engineers may be forced out of their workplaces (locked out).
In the letter, OSPE President Annette Bergeron, MBA, P.Eng expresses OSPE's belief that "the government is sincere in its undertakings to improve the reliability of Ontario's electricity system." However, she says, OSPE is concerned about the possibility Hydro One would lock out employees who are "responsible for the protection and control of transmission operation and supervision of the safety of work crews," and whose "role is critical to recovery from outage situations such as the August 2003 blackout."
She goes on to say, "We sincerely hope that it is not the intention of the government to allow Hydro One to endanger the safety of the power system by allowing the work of these experienced professional engineers to be done by unlicensed or inexperienced replacement workers."
"OSPE is a very prestigious organization, and they speak for professionals who take their responsibilities to our province and its people very seriously," said Andrew Müller, president of the Society of Energy Professionals. "We very much welcome their support, and their confirmation of what we've been saying about Hydro One's reckless threat. Minister Bentley and Premier McGuinty would be wise to listen to their carefully considered advice."
OSPE is the advocacy voice for Ontario's 67,000 professional engineers.
The Society of Energy Professionals represents more than 6,000 professional employees in the electricity industry in Ontario, including telecommunications and information technology professionals, engineers, scientists, middle managers, and others. There are approximately 400 engineers employed by Hydro One. The Society of Energy Professionals is not affiliated with OSPE in any way.