The Herald-Mail reports:
FirstEnergy is trying to reach new labor agreements with two of its Utility Workers Union of America bargaining units.
They include Local 102, which represents several hundred workers in FirstEnergy’s Potomac Edison territory in Maryland and West Virginia and its West Penn Power territory in Pennsylvania.
The members of Local 102 are working as linemen, substation workers, meter readers and technicians.
Now union-busting parent company FirstEnergy's labor dispute with Potomac Edison workers is heating up:
Robert Whalen, system president of Local 102, said Thursday that so far, FirstEnergy hasn’t threatened to lock out his Potomac Edison and West Penn members. Local 102 began contract talks with FirstEnergy in March 2013.
About 125 of Local 102’s members work at PE service centers in Williamsport; Frederick, Mount Airy and Thurmont, Md.; Martinsburg and Berkeley Springs, W.Va.; and Waynesboro and McConnellsburg, Pa.
Whalen said many of the company’s offers are unacceptable.
“Every benefit — health care, long-term disability, dental plan, vision plan, 401(k) — that’s in our contract now, they (FirstEnergy) want to make them completely at the discretion of FirstEnergy to modify, terminate or amend,” Whalen said.
Company spokesmen disputed such arguments, and said FirstEnergy’s offers have been fair.
The company is “cautiously optimistic we can come together on something,” spokesman Todd Meyers said about negotiations with Local 102. “I think we have a good offer.”
But as to the lockout in Pennsylvania, FirstEnergy spokesman Scott Surgeoner said the company isn’t backing down.
“We think our last best offer is very, very fair, and we are committed to seeing this lockout through,” Surgeoner said.
And what if it snows? Are we going to see Gary Jack scowling at downed wires from a bucket truck?
As fun as this sounds, I don't think it's a good idea. FirstEnergy would do better letting qualified workers work and keep their "managers and supervisors" shuffling papers and making crap up for the media, where they belong.
FirstEnergy is failing its employees, its customers and its stockholders.