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International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 37

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 37 logo

Overview

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 37

The IBEW is the largest union of electrical workers in the world, with over 700,000 members.  Recognized as one of the most progressive unions, we have adopted a code of excellence that promotes excellence in Safety, Professionalism, Accountability, Quality, and Relationships, and we take pride in improving the lives of our members, their families and the communities in which they live.

Our union has extensive experience representing workers in North America’s utility industry.  Approximately 200,000 IBEW members are directly employed to operate, maintain and provide support for the electrical utility sector in Canada and the United States. 

Our union has extensive experience representing workers in North America’s nuclear industry.  Approximately 15,000 IBEW members are directly employed to operate, maintain and provide support at 69 operating nuclear reactors in the United States and Canada. 

An additional 70,000 IBEW members are regularly involved as temporary contractors or vendor specialty crews providing service and maintenance to the North American fleet of reactors. 

The IBEW International has staff devoted to nuclear matters, and each year hosts a Nuclear Conference so that our members in the nuclear industry can share operating experience and best practices. In addition, at its 39th International Convention, over 3000 IBEW delegates made a formal commitment to supporting the nuclear industry by passing Resolution #37: Support for Nuclear Energy - which included that the IBEW supports the following:

  1. Continued operation and maintenance of all existing nuclear electricity generating stations in Canada and the U.S. and calls for the construction of new nuclear power stations; and
  2. Partnerships between private industry and the federal government for the research and development of standardizes advanced reactor design which will improve safety, economy and performance to help meet increasing electricity demand; and
  3. Partnerships between private industries and agencies that promote a well-trained workforce for the nuclear industry.

With the extensive expertise in the rapidly evolving nuclear industry gained over the past thirty plus years, we’ve shared our insights and provided valuable information to decision makers, and the public, by participating in various public hearings, panels, roundtables, and consultations, concerning the industry.

In New Brunswick, IBEW Local 37 represents approximately 92% of NB Power’s 2,400 employees which also includes 92% of the workers – approximately 900 employees – at Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station (PLNGS). These IBEW members have been safely and reliably operating and maintaining PLNGS since the plant began operating over thirty-five years ago.

Work in the nuclear industry is extremely complex, requiring significant skill sets. Our members working at PLNGS are highly skilled and experienced and have a significant impact on ensuring the safe and effective operation of the station. In addition, NB Power consistently places the safety of the public and their employees first. The company has invested in a high level of education and training for their employees to ensure PLNGS operates safely and reliably.

IBEW Local 37 fully supports the development and deployment of SMRs in Canada and as such, fully supports the NRCan and Partners Statement of Principles - a shared commitment and intention to respond to the recommendations of Canada’s SMR Roadmap.

We recognize that globally, SMRs are going to be an important part of the future energy mix with their potential to generate a reliable, non-carbon emitting, safe, base-load electricity. We also recognize that there are significant opportunities associated with SMR development and deployment taking place right here in Canada.

We recognize that nationally, a growing SMR industry will yield significant economic benefits, including conservative estimates of up to 60,000 direct and indirect jobs between 2030 and 2040, and up to $10 billion in direct impacts, and $9 billion in annual indirect impacts, over the same timeframe (Canadian Small Modular Reactor Roadmap Steering Committee, 2018. A Call to Action: A Canadian Roadmap for Small Modular Reactors. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada).

These will be new, high value jobs in the construction, operation, maintenance, and supply of technical services to support a fleet of SMRs - creating more opportunities for youth, minorities, woman, and indigenous people. 

We believe that Canada has the skill, experience, capacity, and infrastructure to safely and efficiently manufacture, operate, and maintain a fleet of SMRs.  Not only would this position our nation to be a global leader in this technology, but also to be a significant part of the solution to reduce global carbon emissions. 

As the union representing nuclear workers in New Brunswick, we pledge our commitment to taking action that will support our members, NB Power, and the nuclear sector in the shared effort to move SMR development and deployment forward.

ACTIONS

DEMONSTRATION & DEPLOYMENT
Support and partnership
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
IBL01

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): N/A

ACTION

Continue to support, advocate, and endorse the efforts of NB Power, ARC Nuclear, and Moltex Energy to safely develop and deploy SMR’s in New Brunswick and build the supply chain to support their operation and maintenance.

EXPECTED RESULTS

Further strengthening our long-standing ability to work together to influence positive change, drive innovation, and make improvements that benefit both our workforce and communities.

CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Training programs and education curriculum
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
IBL02

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 48

ACTION

Provide and support continuing education and training opportunities for IBEW members engaged in the nuclear industry through the award winning IBEW Local 37 Training Trust Fund

EXPECTED RESULTS

Well trained nuclear workforce prepared to build, deploy, operate and maintain SMRs, and support SMR fleet services.

CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Dissemination of nuclear energy information/ engagement on SMRs
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
IBL03

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 50, 53

ACTION

Participate, promote, and engage in public and private dialogue that communicates the facts about the nuclear industry and the economic, social, and environmental benefits associated with the safe development and deployment of SMRs.

Pro-actively engage/respond to media about SMR issues, when requested or required.

Seek and create opportunities for stakeholder and Indigenous rightsholder engagement that is focused on understanding concerns, sharing information, and seeking input about SMR development and deployment.

EXPECTED RESULTS

Better informed public, private sectors, media, stakeholders, and rightsholders that are more aware, accepting and supportive of both the nuclear industry and SMR development and deployment.

CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT & PUBLIC CONFIDENCE:
Diversity of next-generation nuclear talent
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
IBL04

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 39, 49

ACTION

Continue to support and promote increased representation of women, youth, minorities, and Indigenous persons in the nuclear industry.

Endorse “Equal by 30” under the Clean Energy Ministerial, and other initiatives to promote a diverse and inclusive workforce including the IBEW Strong – Lift Campaign that is about making sure that the IBEW genuinely represents the interests of every single worker in our industries and make each and every one feel that they belong.

The IBEW strives to be a union that welcomes diversity in its membership and leadership and will work to fully respect and include all workers, regardless of their differences, in order to build strong communities.

EXPECTED RESULTS

The nuclear sector is supplied with a diverse, equitable SMR workforce that is fully representative of highly skilled women, youth, minorities, and Indigenous people.