Local 223 Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) Negotiations Update

Jun 05, 2010, 18:08 ET from Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) Local 223

DEARBORN, Mich., June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Local 223 Utility Workers Union of America issued the following statement on the eve of contract negotiations with DTE Energy. The negotiations are currently taking place at DTE Energy.  The electrical workers contract expires at midnight on Sunday, June 6.

"We have been negotiating since April 7 in hopes of achieving a fair and equitable contract, but as we come closer to the deadline it seems that will not be the case," said Jim Harrison, Local 223 President.  "We want to reach an agreement that provides security for all of our active and retired members while fostering the growth and prosperity of DTE."  

"The attack on American workers must stop and the American people have to step up and say enough is enough as corporate America CEO's and executives," said National President of Utility Workers Union of America Mike Langford.  "Wall Street bankers, like Goldman Sachs and corporate giants like BP and DTE Energy continue to line the pockets of CEOs and executives while taking more and more from working families who are the real drivers behind the economy. Working Americans must draw a line in the sand and stop the robbing of the poor and giving to the rich."

Local 223 UWUA has the backing of Richard Trumka, President of the National AFL-CIO, who sent a letter to Anthony Earley on June 4 in a show of solidarity and support.  "The AFL-CIO and its 56 affiliates with 11 million members stand in total solidarity with the members of UWUA Local 223 in their fight for a fair contract with DTE.  If they must strike, or if you lock them out, we will make certain that they have every bit of support they need to make sure the members of UWUA Local 223 prevail," said Trumka.  "We are appalled that you would demand health care and retirement concessions while DTE made over $200 million in profits in the last quarter and your annual compensation increased by almost $2 million to $9.2 million.  We urge you to return immediately to good faith bargaining with respect for the health care and retirement protections the members of UWUA Local 223 have earned with their hard work for your company."

About the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) Local 223, AFL-CIO

The Utility Workers Union of America continues to be in the forefront of the fight for a secure energy future that protects consumers, respects workers' rights and creates good paying domestic jobs. UWUA Local 223 members are safe, productive, and skilled workers.  UWUA Local 223 represents 4,000 members at DTE Energy representing workers from Detroit Edison and MichCon who generate, deliver and restore power and supply gas.  Local 223 is the largest union at DTE and the second largest UWUA local in the nation.  Local 223 members serve as first responders in times of crisis and keep customers safe. 

Local 223 members are employed around the state of Michigan and are part of 11 different units representing employees at Warren Service Center Shops; Power Generation; Office, Professional & Technical (OPT); Gas; Meter; Stores; Electrical System – Substations; Underground Lines;  Nuclear Operations – Fermi 2; Motor Transportation, and Facilities Management & Services.  They are employed as skilled trades, power plant operators, electric and gas field service workers, meter readers, electric and gas distribution workers, customer service representatives and clerical workers, electrical line workers, technical workers and business and office workers.

The mission of UWUA Local 223 is to provide its members with a voice in the workplace and in the larger community. UWUA's goals are to protect and improve the wages, benefits and standard of living of its members and their families, to insure a safe and healthy workplace, to affirm the dignity and value of our members and the work they perform, and to create a more just and secure workplace and society.

SOURCE Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) Local 223