Region II Local Reports

Officers Report 2015, Part 5

Local 69 – Dominion Transmission

The members of Local 69 have been on the front lines fighting “right-to-work” in West Virginia. Local 69 has been providing many steward training sessions, and have even included Local 304 stewards in this training, with positive results.

Local 102 – FirstEnergy

Local 102 had a very difficult time with negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement with FirstEnergy. The members voted down the company’s offer and decided to take action against the company. After many sessions under federal mediation, the two sides finally came to an agreement, which was ratified by the union.

Local 102, Branch Local 180 – FirstEnergy, PA

Local 102 members were locked out by FirstEnergy. After a lengthy struggle, the company finally ended the lockout and implemented their last, best and final offer. Negotiations continued under federal mediation, and eventually the company and the Union came to an agreement for a new contract.

Local 164 – Westmoreland County, PA

Local 164 negotiated a five-year agreement in 2012, with 2.5% increases in wages across the board. The local preserved benefit levels, including the defined benefit pension plan, healthcare, and a week of sick time for each year of service, with no limit. They have won cases protecting job rules, and reversing the firing of two brothers discharged without just cause.

Our members were caught in a corporate struggle between insurance and medical providers UPMCand Highmark. Local 164 was able to negotiate the addition of the UPMC Health Plan to our collective bargaining agreement. Local 164 welcomed seven new members in April 2015, from Jeannette Municipal Authority and Teamsters Local 30, with improved benefits.

Four Local 164 brothers garnered national media attention for saving multiple lives from a burning home. In the pre-dawn hours of June 12, 2014, Dave Hall, Rich Salandro, Frank Francia, and Steve Rosatti sprang into action in Scottdale PA, as they repaired a water leak by using a backhoe and dump truck to remove a family of four from the second floor of a home engulfed in flames. They also kicked in the rear door of the fiery house, awaking three downstairs tenants, and escorted them to safety.

Local 220 – New Kensington Municipal Authority, PA

Local 220 members ratified a new agreement after six years without a new collective bargaining agreement. Major concessions were demanded by the municipal authority, but the union was able to beat back most of them.

Locals 242 and 666 – Steel River (Peoples Gas)

The locals work for the same employer, and their territories are next to each other. The company has indicated a preference for combining both locals under the same collective bargaining agreement. Steel River also has a Steelworker local in the same area, and would like them under the same agreement also.

Local 304 – Haywood, WV

Local 304 started 2011 bargaining for a first contract with FirstEnergy. The union and the company entered into Confidential Federal Mediation in the spring of 2014, which ultimately produced a ratified agreement in August 2014. During this process, numerous charges were filed and won with the NLRB, resulting in financial reimbursements to the members in excess of $1.25 million. The local was successful against a decertification election in June 2013, winning more support than they had in their 2010 certification election. Local 304 is currently working under a 3.5 year collective bargaining agreement, standing on its own two feet and growing as a new local of the UWUA.

Local 433 – Pittsburgh, PA

Local 433 has more than 400 members in multiple units, and multiple contracts with various employers. Members at ALCOSAN (the largest unit) received 11.2% in wage increases while enjoying fully paid health care. Local 433 organized two new groups in the last three years: a 30-member group at the ALCOSAN property, and a 25-member group at the Pleasant Hills Borough, who are currently working under their first bargaining agreement.

Local 487 – in and around Irwin, PA

Local 487 has seven different units, with seven separate bargaining agreements. There were five new agreements in 2014 and 2015. Many of these groups have negotiated new agreements with minimal or no increase in healthcare costs, while fighting to maintain post-retirement healthcare. The unit employed by Western Westmoreland Twp. has been at the table fending off excessive concessionary demands by the employer for more than three years.

Local 516 – Bloomsburg, PA

Following their agreement expiration in December 2010, Local 516 ratified a new three-year agreement in December 2011, after a twelve-month battle. This small group stayed dedicated and focused, while winning numerous charges against the employer during that time. The local is currently preparing to start negotiation of a new agreement in the fall of 2015.

Local 537 – American Water

American Water imposed unfair work changes in Huntington, WV, Maryland, and Pittsburgh, PA. The Local 537 members in Pittsburgh went on an unfair labor practice strike, which was deemed a lockout. This was very successful, and they were able to return to the table and reach an agreement. Maryland and Huntington, WV, were able to follow suit.

Local 575 – Nanty Glo, PA

Local 575 is very small and split into two entities, wastewater and potable water for the town of Nanty Glo, PA. The potable water side negotiated a new 3-year agreement in 2014, with no concessions and a sizable wage increase.

Local 580 – Indiana, PA

Local 580 completed bargaining on a new five-year agreement early in 2014, months before the expiration of the current contract. The local ratified a very good contract with a minimum of 3.5% for each year, no increase in health care premiums, while improving their pension and many other provisions of the CBA.

Local 604, Lakeland, FL

The UWUA reached out to employees of City of Lakeland’s Lakeland Electric to organize. After a challenging campaign, a brand new local emerged. Through competitive bargaining, the UWUA won a powerful contract in a “right-to-work” state. Working with the new members, the local set out to organize Lakeland Water. The Water Utility employees accepted the challenge to join their brothers and sisters of 604. They won a contract settlement in 2014.

Local 686 – Philadelphia, PA

In 2013-2014, Local 686 was faced with privatization of Philadelphia Gas Works, the largest municipally owned gas company in the country. The local secured the support of business leaders, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, state legislative bodies, and the Chamber of Commerce. The local proved that the privatization sale proposed by the mayor would hurt Philadelphia’s poor and elderly, and might compromise citizens’ safety. The sale was effectively prevented.

NEPA Solidarity Council – Central to Eastern, PA

The NEPA Council are members of Locals 406, 407, 408, 529, 332, 554 and 435. This council was developed in 2011, for the purpose of gaining strength at the bargaining table and better representation through a collective effort. The local members all have the same employer, but are geographically dispersed. The council practices local to local, member to member communication on a regular basis. The smaller groups have gained the financial resources needed for grievances and arbitration, and strengthened their hand in negotiations and grievances in 2015.