CONCORD,NH – New Hampshire Electric Coop Employees went on strike today. According to the NHEC 83 employees represented by The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 1837 went on strike after negotiations failed.
The contract between the union and the NHEC expired on April 30th and despite meeting 18 times over the past several months workers and the company could not come to an agreement on a new contract.
The company has offered union members the same pension and 401k benefits that are currently offered to non-union employees, but the union rejected that offer last week because the company wanted to reserve the right to change the benefit in the future if it became necessary to change it for non-union employees.
NHEC said in a press release that they have a contingency plan that will provide for adequate coverage of power outages. The Coop said “Certified line crews have been engaged and will be accompanied on any outage calls by non-union NHEC employees who are familiar with the service territory.”
NHEC’s Control Center will still be staffed 24 hours a day and members should still report outages to the NHEC Outage line at 1-800-343-6432, or online at www.nhec.com.
The company said “The company remains committed to working with the union and has requested the involvement of a federal mediator to restart the contract talks. At this time there are no new negotiating sessions scheduled. ”