Nfld. & Labrador

Electrical workers union local suspended, facing allegations of financial wrongdoing

Senior union officials have temporarily shut down a local chapter of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in N.L. amid allegations that members' money was misused.

IBEW 2330 Union officers suspended pending June 24 hearing

This sign is from a protest in 2018, when members of IBEW Local 2330 said they were not receiving financial information to which they were entitled. The local has been suspended following allegations of financial mismanagement. (Katie Breen/CBC)

A Newfoundland chapter of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has been temporarily shut down amid allegations that officials from Local 2330 misused union money.

A letter signed by IBEW international vice-president Tom Reid, obtained by CBC News, details the allegations against the officers of Local 2330, as well as the actions taken by senior union members in response.

The officers are accused of a series of misuses of union money, including spending it without the approval of membership, approving employee pay raises improperly, paying unauthorized severance to ex-employees, and paying an "inordinate" amount of money for taxis for the local union president in addition to an automobile allowance.

In addition, "an alleged attempt was made to remove an officer without proper authority" as recently as May 22, says the letter, which also notes the local union treasurer is "allegedly interfering with the proper financial procedures for the local union, including prohibiting the financial secretary from accessing local union accounts for deposit."

Based on the allegations, Reid has put Local 2330 under trusteeship and suspended all of its officers. All meetings of the local have been suspended, and officers must turn over all books, chequebooks, minutes and all Local 2330 property.

When the CBC called and asked about the matter, an assistant for Reid said the union has no further comment at this time, calling it an internal issue.

In July 2018, members of IBEW Local 2330 blocked the local union office on the Holyrood Access Road, saying union management hadn't been forthcoming with information about financials or work agreements. Some members brought a list of demands that included that members be presented with copies of quarterly financial reports and annual financial audits.

At that time, some members had hoped that they could get the international union involved at the national level, in order to get more information and bring some clarity to the situation, which has now happened, as per Reid's letter.

A hearing will be held June 24 at the union's offices in Holyrood to determine if the trusteeship should be continued. Reid's assistant said it will also be determined at that meeting if there will be further investigation of the allegations.

CBC was unable to reach officers of Local 2330 for comment. Several voicemail boxes were full and not accepting messages, while a message was left for the business manager.

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