Nearly a year to the day after a Turlock Irrigation District power outage left 49 customers without electricity for 45 hours, the district will resume negotiations with the union blamed for the outage.
TID and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers have been engaged in a labor dispute since December 2011, when the IBEW's last contract with the district expired. IBEW members have been working without a contract since that time.
The labor dispute resulted the aforementioned power outage, from Sep. 28 to 30, 2012. During that weekend outage TID staff attempted many times to contact line crews, represented by IBEW, to no avail. All 40 qualified TID electric workers did not answer their phones when called for help.
TID then requested assistance from multiple nearby utilities, but their IBEW-represented crews declined to help. Private electric contractors were called to help, but were convinced to leave by IBEW members.
“But a TID employee, a member of the Lineworker’s union, interfered with the job, thus causing the contract crew to leave the site due to concerns by the contract crew of a potential hostile work environment,” TID General Manager Casey Hashimoto said at the time.
A Pacific Gas & Electric crew ultimately repaired the lines.
Since the incident, the two parties have met numerous times as they work to hammer out a contract.
On Tuesday, the Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors is expected to:
• Hear regular weekly updates on power generation, irrigation water availability, and the status of irrigation season.
• Approve requests to abandon nine parcels from twelve improvement districts.
• In closed session, discuss three cases of anticipated litigation.
The TID Board of Directors is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the board room of the TID Main Office Building, 333 E. Canal Dr.