International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 625 (Halifax).

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International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 625 (Halifax).

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The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 625 received its charter in 1908. From 1908 to 1974, Local 625 represented electrical workers primarily engaged in construction work within Halifax. In 1974 IBEW Local 1818, which represented electrical workers in mainland Nova Scotia outside the Halifax area, amalgamated with Local 625, which henceforth represented electrical workers across mainland Nova Scotia. From 1974, Local 625 created a unit structure to organize its expanded union. For administrative purposes, Local 625 was segregated into five geographical units: Unit 1 (Halifax Regional Municipality); Unit 2 (Five Eastern Counties); Unit 3 (Annapolis Valley); Unit 4 (South Shore); and Unit 5 (Western Counties).

Financial instability in the early 1970s led to the 1818/625 merger. After the merger, Local 625 re-gained its financial footing by organizing more workplaces into the union, including the Nova Scotia Armature Works' electrical workers in 1974. The late 1970s and early 1980s saw frequent and lengthy labour disputes between Local 625 and the Construction Association Management Labour Bureau, an employers' association that represented several construction contractors in negotiations with Local 625 and other construction unions. These disputes were typified by strikes and walk-outs at the Quinpool Centre and the Almon Street postal centre construction sites in 1978, and by a lengthy strike in 1983 that kept Local 625 workers off of all construction job sites for most of that year. The 1983 strike, which resulted in a partial victory for Local 625, was the last major province-wide labour dispute documented in this fonds. However, disputes and walk-outs of a smaller nature continued throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

In 1994 Local 625 faced a new economic challenge when Phillips Cables, a manufacturing company that employed union members, closed its Nova Scotia division. This incident corresponded to a pattern of unemployment faced by Local 625 workers; one of the Local's longstanding issues has been finding enough work for its members.

From the early 1990s, Local 625 assumed a larger role in the community through increased charitable activities. The union became a donor to the Foster Parents' Plan of Canada and to the IWK Children's Hospital, and Local 625 business manager Fern Tardif served on the hospital's Board of Directors for one term. Furthermore, the union has maintained a commitment to several construction industry-related associations and initiatives in order to increase its profile and to advocate for workers' rights.

The administration of Local 625 is overseen by the Executive Board, which is comprised of the Local's president, vice-president, treasurer, recording secretary, member from the floor, and the chairperson from each of the union's five geographical units. Each of these positions is elected on an annual basis. The day-to-day business of the union is directed by the business manager/financial secretary, who is elected annually and is supported by an assistant business manager and office staff.


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