The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a complaint against the illegal bargaining tactics of Highland County Water management during negotiations with UWUA Local 477-W for a new contract. The NLRB complaint upholds charges filed by the UWUA that the company has illegally frustrated negotiations by refusing to provide bargaining information. A hearing has been scheduled for November 17 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Unfair attack on workers
The NLRB’s action is the latest development in the union’s ongoing battle with management for a fair contract. Highland County Water is a non-profit co-op owned and financed by the company’s customers through their water rates. Its 13 hourly employees, represented by Local 477-W, deliver safe, reliable drinking water to customers in Adams, Brown, Clinton, Highland, and Ross counties. The National Union is supporting Local 477-W members in their fight for a fair contract.
The company continues to take a hostile position at the bargaining table in the current round of bargaining. By hiring a high-priced attorney to represent them, management could increase water costs in the economically stressed area of Ohio.
The National Union is working with a group of customers to elect three independent candidates as directors this year, including Greg Jones, a Dayton Power & Light employee and member of UWUA Local 175.
The Members Committee for a Better Highland County Water is also proposing by-law reforms to make it easier for customers to elect directors not hand-picked by management. The company’s annual meeting is set for October 15.