Utility workers push back on employer attempting to cut benefits

Although the labor movement is marching forward and workers continue to organize, even in So-Called “Right to Work” states, some workers are being undercut.

Joyce Goldstein of Joyce Goldstein and Associates discussed a group of utility workers currently being undercut and the process of a union election on America’s Work Force Union Podcast.

Utility workers being undercut

She said Energy Harbor is working to cut the benefits of their nuclear plant workers, violating their collective bargaining agreement.

The move is an effort to pull themselves out of bankruptcy. Utility Workers of America Local 270 said they are seeking arbitration with Energy Harbor after the company announced the move, which is set to take place next month.

The company planned the cuts without notifying the union, taking them by surprise, Goldstein said.

She is representing the Utility Workers Union of America in the case and said she is seeking to regain the benefits, paid in full, for the remainder of the collective bargaining agreement.

Union election process

Goldstein then educated listeners on the process of organizing a union and union election in the workplace.

She said it begins with a petition, requiring a certain percentage of the workforce to sign on and support the process. The petition is then taken to the employer and an election is followed. This is in simple terms, how a workplace organizes.

She said there are many hitches that can pop up along the way, as many employers will resist unionization, despite the right to organize.


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