A special interest is different from the general public (or membership) interest in that it seeks to obtain benefits, advantages or privileges for itself above and beyond what it ordinarily would be entitled to as an average member of the public. At Chugach Electric, the special interest is the IBEW Union, which represents the majority of co-op workers under three contracts: Outside Electrical, Generation, and Office and Engineering.
Economists use the term "Rent Seeking" for what is going on at Chugach Electric with the IBEW Union. Rent seekers are narrowly organized economic interests that get what they want from government (or electric cooperatives) by pursing privileges they wouldn't ordinarily receive without political pressure.
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