My December message mentioned some of our collective achievements and challenges going forward. Now, I would like to share with you what your Executive sees coming at our Union over the next several years, and how we intend to address them with your support.
Workers, especially those in a Union, are under the gun on a number of fronts. Deregulation, privatization, automation and information technology represent both threats and opportunities for our membership. Together, these forces are fundamentally changing the way people will be employed and how they will work in the future. As well, electricity, once considered a “common good” and necessity, is becoming a “service-based” commodity. In the future, consumers will pay for how much electricity they use, as well as valueadded attributes, like resiliency, for the way they want to use it. Electricity bills will look more like cell-phone packages. Consumers – residential, commercial, institutional and industrial – can now be prosumers; generating and selling power back into the grid. So, what does this all mean to people working in Ontario’s electricity sector and, in particular, the Power Workers’ Union?