Dominion Lockout of Union Workers Ends, New Labor Talks Begin

lockoutOne week ago Dominion Transmission locked out over 900 union workers, many of them in West Virginia (and others in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland), preventing them from working (see Dominion Locks Out Labor Union Workers in WV-PA-OH-NY-VA-MD). Dominion has a contract with Local 69 of the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) that expired on April 1st and a new contract is nowhere near done being negotiated. Dominion said they didn’t want to run the risk of a strike or work slowdown during the winter months, so they locked out union members, including those that work at compressor stations and along pipelines (see Dominion Locks Out Union Workers at Compressor Stations/Pipelines). The dispute revolves around pension and health care. The union wants to keep the pension plan and health benefits it has now. Dominion wants to end paying full health benefits for new hires after they retire, and also wants to change their pension to a 401(k), shifting the risk of the pension to the individual and not the company. Although a new contract is still nowhere near ready, the lockout is over. Local 69 agreed to not strike or engage in work slowdowns, and in return Dominion will pay workers for their one week vacation/protest. Now they go back to the negotiating table and the new deadline is April 1, 2017–one year after the old contract expired…

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