Finance, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, National

Steelworkers Offer Counterproposal to End National Grid’s Lockout

November 30, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

LAWRENCE, Mass.—The two United Steelworkers locals locked out by National Grid presented the company with a counterproposal on Nov. 21. The offer, the unions’ first formal proposal since National Grid locked out 1,250 workers in June, is one “we think meets the company’s concerns and the unions’ concerns,” Local 12012 President John Buonopane told the Boston Globe. Contract talks are supposed to resume Nov. 29. The lockout began after unions rejected National Grid’s demands to eliminate pensions for new employees and change workers’ health coverage so they have deductibles and copayments. Company president Marcy Reed said those concessions were necessary because “we pass all of our costs on to our customers,” and that other unions have agreed to them. She told the Globe, however, that National Grid would not increase rates to cover the more than $1 million a day the company is spending on security and hiring and housing strikebreakers. The locked-out workers’ unemployment benefits will expire in January, and National Grid cancelled their health insurance. Bills have been introduced in the state legislature to extend their unemployment benefits and give them health-care coverage. Read more

November 30, 2018

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