Commercial electricians across Alberta will have their salaries reduced.

Currently, electricians make $44 per hour, but starting next month, they will earn $36 – a 20 percent decrease.

This union-initiated changed caught many members off guard, and a union reps did not give an official statement on why this drop is happening.

“I’m sure that everyone will soon know what’s going on here,” assistant business manager Mike Reinhart said. “It’s not terrific, but it’s something that’s necessary.”

Electrician Peter Leon is not surprised by the wage decrease.

“I’ve been expecting this for a while with the low price of oil,” he said. “Just a matter of time.”

This $8 decrease translates to nearly $1,300 per month, plus 10 percent holiday pay.

“A lot of people quite, quite upset because this is a huge salary drop,” Leon said. “The lives we’ve become accustomed to are going to change a bit.”

With files from Jeremy Thompson