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Three More Towns Deny National Grid Permits Until Lockout Ends

August 25, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

QUINCY, Mass.—Three more Massachusetts towns have announced that they will deny the National Grid gas company permits for any non-emergency work until it ends its two-month lockout of more than 1,200 union workers. On Aug. 14, Mayor Thomas Koch told the company that would be “the formal policy of my administration,” and the Melrose Board of Aldermen unanimously passed a similar resolution Aug. 20. The Winthrop town council voted for a moratorium on new gas mains Aug. 21. National Grid has been using management and temporary employees to do the jobs of locked-out members of United Steelworkers Locals 12003 and 12012, and “the fact that some of these underqualified and undertrained workers may be working on a potential gas leak is extremely concerning to me,” Winthrop Councilmember Tino Capobiano said. The company is demanding a contract that would eliminate pensions for new employees and give current and retired workers what the union calls “a drastically reduced medical plan.” About 20 other Massachusetts cities and towns have adopted similar moratoriums. Dracut’s Board of Selectmen, which last month rejected a full moratorium, voted Aug. 21 to leave non-emergency work up to the town manager’s discretion. Read more

August 25, 2018

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