MILFORD, Mass., Jan. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union voted overwhelmingly on Monday, Jan. 7, to ratify a new six-year agreement with National Grid, ending a nearly seven-month lockout imposed by the utility company last June.
The contract includes significant wage increases and preserves affordable benefits for about 1,200 members of USW Local 12012 and USW Local 12003. The agreement also includes additional health and safety provisions and other protections for the natural gas workers and residents.
"This agreement is a testament to the commitment these hard-working union members have to their community and to each other," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. "They demonstrated their strength and solidarity every day, and they should be proud of what they've achieved with this contract."
Union members, local and state officials, and residents from across the community stood behind the locked-out USW members throughout their seven-month ordeal.
"The bottom line is that when working people stand together and fight for each other, they win," said USW District 4 Director John Shinn. "This contract is a win for these workers and for the entire community."
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker recently signed a bill extending unemployment benefits for the locked-out workers.
"We want to thank all of our elected officials, including Governor Baker, Attorney General Healey, Secretary of State Galvin, Senators Warren and Markey and our whole Congressional delegation, Speaker DeLeo, Senate President Spilka, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, our local mayors and town officials, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, the Greater Boston Labor Council, and all of our union and community partners for their tremendous support," John Buonopane, president of United Steelworkers Local 12012, and Joe Kirylo, president of USW Local 12003, said in a joint statement.
"Our first priority is the safety of our communities and we look forward to returning to our crucial work of providing the safe natural gas service the Commonwealth of Massachusetts deserves," they said.
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. For more information: www.usw.org
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)