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FirstEnergy Settles With Union

December 19th, 2014 by WCBC Radio

The Cumberland Times News reports FirstEnergy Corp. announced Friday that employees of its West Penn Power and Potomac Edison subsidiaries represented by Utility Workers Union of America Local 102 have ratified a new contract that increases wages and implements new work practices designed to enhance customer service and reliability. The contract runs through April 30, 2019. Electrical workers had been working without a labor contract since May 1, according to a previous interview with Robert Whalen, president of  Local 102.UWUA Local 102 represents about 700 employees, including 415 West Penn Power and 209 Potomac Edison linemen, substation workers, meter readers and technicians. Other represented employees include support personnel and workers at the Springdale generation plant in Allegheny County, Pa. “The new contract will allow us to continue focusing on providing West Penn Power and Potomac Edison customers with the high level of service they have come to expect,” said Mark A. Julian, vice president, Utility Operations, FirstEnergy. “Local 102’s contract is now similar to agreements with other FirstEnergy utility workers in terms of wages, work practices and benefits.” Whalen had said that his members were concerned about post-retirement medical benefits that had been extended to two other labor groups. Key provisions of the new contract with UWUA Local 102 include: • Annual average wage increases of approximately 2.5 percent over the life of the contract. • More flexible work rules and operating practices that support safety, reliability and customer service. • Additional wage increases for several job classifications. • Eligibility to participate in FirstEnergy’s short-term incentive compensation program. Prior to the ratification of the new contract, UWUA Local 102 and West Penn Power and Potomac Edison operated under the terms and conditions of an expired contract.

Earlier this fall, the union rejected contract offers by FirstEnergy, Whelan said.

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