PLYMOUTH, NH – The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union #1837 representing 83 employees of New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) has announced its intent to strike today after further negotiations failed to produce a successor agreement to a contract that expired on April 30, 2018. The company has activated a contingency plan that will provide for adequate coverage of power outages and protect public safety.
Certified line crews have been engaged and will be accompanied on any outage calls by non-union NHEC employees who are familiar with the service territory. NHEC’s Control Center will still be staffed 24 hours a day and members should still report outages to the NHEC Outage line at 1-800-343-6432, or online at www.nhec.com.
Representatives of NHEC and the union have met 18 times in the past several months to arrive at a contract agreement. The company has offered union members the same pension and 401k benefits that are currently offered to non-union employees, but the union rejected that offer last week because the company wanted to reserve the right to change the benefit in the future if it became necessary to change it for non-union employees.
The company remains committed to working with the union and has requested the involvement of a federal mediator to restart the contract talks. At this time there are no new negotiating sessions scheduled.
NHEC is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative serving 84,000 homes and businesses in 115 New Hampshire communities.