On February 25, Local 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell and Senior Assistant Business Manager Dennis Seyfer joined Nevada Energy President & CEO Paul Caudill and Director of Labor Relations Ryan Bellows for a day of meetings with IBEW and company leaders at Alabama Power in Birmingham, Alabama.
Alabama Power is seen as the gold standard in collaborative relationships between the IBEW and utility management. Local 1245 and other members of the Utility Coordinating Council (which is comprised of IBEW locals representing workers at Berkshire Hathaway-owned utilities) invited Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO to the meeting in Birmingham to get a first-hand look at the benefits of a collaborative labor-management relationship. Five International Vice Presidents of the IBEW, as well as IBEW Utility Department Director Jim Hunter, joined five local union business managers at the meeting.
The day was an impressive display of collaboration, demonstrating a powerful narrative about a union and company that were able to make a transition from a polarized, adversarial relationship to a productive, cooperative one. Paul Caudill has spoken publicly about the benefits of the meeting, and we are in the process of planning a labor-management leadership seminar about Alabama Power’s effective model and collaborative process.
“Of all the Berkshire Hathaway utilities, NV Energy appears to lead the way in embracing the benefits of collaboration,” said Dalzell. “We have several years before negotiations at NV Energy begin for us to continue developing the relationship, but as things stand now, the trip to Alabama was instructive and positive.”