UWUA Local 470-1 members ratified a new three-year agreement last month with Avangrid, the U.S. subsidiary of Iberdrola, a Spanish multinational that is one of the largest electricity companies in the world.
The contract, which covers 425 members of what was Connecticut’s United Illuminating Company, includes 3% wage increases every year, a no layoff clause for the duration of the contract, and no givebacks.
“This contract guarantees employment for everyone for three years, that’s big,” said Local 470-1 President Moses Rams. “Our pension and our medical remain the same and we won some other improvements. This agreement will keep us competitive with the region.”
Local members work in electrical distribution and include: lineworkers, substation operators, electricians, underground splicers, meter readers as well as call center and clerical employee.
“The most difficult part of these negotiations was establishing a working partnership with a new multinational company that has multiple layers of management, including a parent company across the ocean,” Rams explains. “This is something we, as UWUA members, officers and staff, are dealing with more and more.”
Avangrid serves about 3.1 million customers throughout upstate New York and New England. The parent company, Iberdrola, has more than 31,000 employees in dozens of countries on four continents and serves 31 million customers.