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IBEW Strike Looms at New Hampshire Electric Co-op

May 7, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

DOVER, N.H.—Workers at the New Hampshire Electric Co-op are poised to go on strike this week, after management gave them a “last, best, final” contract offer May 1 that would enable it to change pension and 401(k) plans without negotiating it with the union. “Among all the contracts we represent in Maine and New Hampshire, this is the first time in my seven years as business manager for the union that I’ve recommended a strike vote,” said Dick Rogers of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1837, which represents the 83 workers. The union negotiating committee voted unanimously to reject the offer, Local 1837 said. The union had agreed in 2012 to accept significantly lower employer contributions to pensions and 401(k) plans after management said they cost too much, but the co-op then raised its 401(k) matching for management and nonunion employees. The last offer would have restored the cuts, but raised the retirement age from 62 to 65, and the company “wanted full control to just change the plans any time they wanted,” Local 1837 said. “The union just can’t accept those terms and give up our bargaining rights on retirement plans.” The Electric Co-op provides power to 83,000 households in 100 towns. Read more

May 7, 2018

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