Enbridge Gas Faces Union Backlash Over Toronto Shift Cuts

Enbridge Inc.'s ENB gas unit is under scrutiny following claims from Canadian labor union Unifor that the company plans to cut its emergency response shifts in Toronto, aiming to reduce costs. Per a Reuters report, the cuts, if implemented, might affect evening and overnight shifts, along with compliance tasks like valve checking and inspections.

Unifor has raised alarms over the proposed reductions, urging local government agencies in Toronto to scrutinize Enbridge's contracts related to the maintenance and safety of natural gas lines. Lana Payne, the national president of Unifor, expressed concerns in a letter to government authorities, highlighting that the absence of overnight shifts would necessitate increased reliance on emergency services, delay critical interventions, and elevate the risk of gas incidents, ultimately placing the public at risk.

Earlier this year, Enbridge Gas implemented substantial job cuts, eliminating hundreds of positions. This move was part of its cost-reduction strategy, following the acquisition of three U.S. gas utilities from Dominion Energy for $14 billion.

Despite the job cuts, Enbridge Gas asserts that its emergency response capabilities remain intact. The company stated in an email to Reuters that the claim of insufficient employees to provide emergency response is categorically false.

According to the report, Enbridge Gas also mentioned that it is actively engaging with Unifor and working through the grievance and arbitration process to address the union's concerns.

As the situation unfolds, the focus remains on the potential impact on public safety and the effectiveness of Enbridge's emergency response capabilities in Toronto.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Currently, Enbridge carries a Zack Rank #3 (Hold).

Investors interested in the energy sector may look at some better-ranked stocks like Archrock Inc. AROC, Sunoco LP SUN and SM Energy Company SM. While Archrock and Sunoco sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) each, SM Energy carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present.

Archrock is an energy infrastructure company based in the United States, with a focus on midstream natural gas compression. It provides natural gas contract compression services and generates stable fee-based revenues.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for AROC's 2024 EPS is pegged at $1.07. The company has a Zacks Style Score of A for Growth. It has witnessed upward earnings estimate revisions for 2024 and 2025 in the past 60 days.

Sunoco is a leading wholesale motor fuel distributor in the United States, boasting a vast distribution network spanning 40 states. With long-term contracts servicing more than 10,000 convenience stores, it distributes over 10 fuel brands, ensuring a stable revenue stream. SUN currently has a Value Score of A.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2024 and 2025 earnings per unit is pegged at $7.29 and $7.17, respectively. The partnership has witnessed upward earnings estimate revisions for 2024 and 2025 in the past seven days.

SM Energy is set to expand its oil-centered operations in the coming years, with an increasing focus on crude oil, especially in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford regions. The company's attractive oil and gas investments should create long-term value for shareholders.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for SM's 2024 EPS is pegged at $6.63. The company has a Zacks Style Score of A for Value. It has witnessed upward earnings estimate revisions for 2024 and 2025 in the past 30 days.

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