The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 567 welcomes a new signatory contractor to our family – Moulison North Corp.
They have extensive airport runway and traffic signal experience.
The move to become signatory stems from Ken Moulison, who was looking to grow his business and market share with the support and expertise provided by the members of Local 567.
We welcome Ken and his company as we look forward to a long and prosperous relationship!
Please read this latest example of how Maine Labor and management are coming together with common purpose.
As President John Quincy Adams once said, “patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”
For members of IBEW Local 567, grasping that kernel of New England pragmatism was the key to winning a 16-year effort with the Aug. 8, 2013 signing of a well-established and respected electrical contractor.
The company, Moulison North, has specialized in installing traffic signals and lighting at airports and bridges across the region and IBEW’s Second District.
“Our members pass Moulison’s trucks all the time during their commutes to the job. Now, as they pass through E-ZPass booths maintained by the company, they can take pride in seeing the IBEW bug on their windows,” said Local 567 President Allan Shepard.
Company owner Ken Moulison was never an anti-union die-hard, says Shepard. In fact, he has been a Brother and IBEW member who engaged in respectful discussions with the IBEW from day one.
But Moulison’s workers always performed functions across multiple trade and craft boundaries. The owner was reluctant to negotiate a contract that would necessitate breaking out specialized skills and reducing overlap, believing this could sap efficiency and profitability.
Shepard says Moulison showed great concern for his electricians and was genuinely anxious about how they would feel about becoming part of a bargaining unit.
With support from others throughout New England, Local 567 systematically addressed all Moulison’s and his workers’ concerns about skill levels and the benefits of a union contract in deeds, not just words.
With the owner’s knowledge, IBEW electricians were put to work on Moulison North Projects as “salts”. “The salts performed beyond the company’s expectations,” says Shepard.
Firsthand experience with union hands convinced Ken Moulison that the union’s training center in Lewiston and other locations throughout the district were turning out top-quality electricians.
Today, rather than seeing the union’s focus on one trade as a limitation, Moulison is considering using union electricians to diversify his customer base—expanding into a wider range of commercial jobs, even hiring a commercial estimator to compile bids
With so many of the company’s projects being outside—subject to New England’s tough winters—gaining inside commercial work would also allow Moulison to keep his electricians busy rather than putting them on furlough or reducing their hours during inclement weather.
The bulk of Moulison’s work on projects, like lighting at Bangor International Airport, is covered by prevailing wage regulations. But the company’s employees, including the firm’s controller, were concerned about how the benefits package under a collective-bargaining agreement would work.
Shepard and Local 567 Business Manager Richard Deering met with the electricians, the controller and other office staffers. They demonstrated that—by signing a letter of assent with the local—workers would gain a better benefits package, Moulison’s costs would not rise dramatically and the union hall would help administer the plans.
“We got a great deal of cooperation from locals and contractors throughout the Second District,” Shepard said. Providence, R.I., Local 99 helped Moulison by dispatching members to a large project.
Boston Local 103 Business Manager Mike Monahan Pledged to support Moulison’s continuing performance of electrical maintenance at the Kraft Food large processing plant in Woburn, Mass., using the new members of Local 567 through the IBEW’s portability language.
Only hours after the signing, representatives of the National Electrical Contractors Association were calling Ken Moulison to offer him help network with others throughout the region.
Moulison announced the signing on a billboard outside of the company’s yard facing Route 1 in Biddeford, a heavily traveled commuter road in Maine: “Proud Member of Local 567 IBEW.”
Deering said when the announcement of the letter of assent was made at a local union meeting, the membership was excited.
“Most of our members were excited to know that we have a new player in the market that is already looking to take on new work currently done by nonunion outfits,” said Deering.
Local 567 is currently testing Moulison electricians to properly place them in apprentice or journeyman slots.
“Persistence by Business Manager Deering and Organizer Allan Shepard proved to be the key element in winning this top-down campaign,” says District Organizing Coordinator Bob Corraro. “This is certainly a proud moment in the Second District.”