The Chicago Gas Workers Union Local 18007 have overwhelmingly ratified a new five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement with Peoples Gas Chicago and its parent company Wisconsin Energy on Thursday night January 18. Some highlights of the agreement are: five years of labor stability, general wage adjustments between 6 and 8 1/2%. A general wage package of nearly 15%, with continuing pension protections, and enhanced Health Savings Accounts company contributions.
When reached for comment Lead Negotiator and Business Manager of Local 18007 Richard Passarelli responded, “After 12 months of contract preparations, producing dozens of meetings on legal strategies and proposals, the last four months of intense negotiations have been completed. I am pleased with the overall outcome of the agreement. I could not be prouder of the bargaining team, Executive Board, Stewards, attorneys and back office support team, who conducted research with scores of supporting documents and proposals over these last 12 months.”
When asked of Passarelli, to what does he attribute the local’s success in reaching its three consecutive long-term agreements, Passarelli stated, “We as a team have never waited to become a victim of bad contracts, we start early and come to the table with solutions that keep the whole membership in a position to succeed. You have to start early and prepare well for potential scenarios.” Passarelli continued,”This team has worked tirelessly to help educate the membership on issues facing labor with most notably the potential right-to-work concerns and its impact to the membership and our benefits. This contract serves as labor stability for my membership and the benefits of being under a long-term contract and the protections it offers.”