The union representing hundreds of workers at a Jersey Shore utility company is on strike as it fights for a new contract. However, the utility promises that its customers’ power supply should not be affected.
The strike began on Sunday.
“Over the past few months, we have been negotiating a new contract with IBEW Local 210, representing nearly 400 employees in various positions at Atlantic City Electric,” AC Electric said in a statement shared with NBC10. “The contract between Atlantic City Electric and IBEW Local 210 expired on November 2nd when we submitted our best and final offer. We are confident that the company negotiated in good faith and submitted a competitive offer that is fair to employees and customers.”
IBEW found that its members are more than just electricians, but also volunteer firefighters, trainers and business promoters The union announced this in a letter published on its website. The union then took action against AC Electric and Exelon – its parent company:
“For years, Atlantic City Electric has coerced its employees and divided them into groups to destroy the solidarity of labor organizing. But it’s not just the employees of Atlantic City Electric who are affected by corporate greed that impacts our wages, our benefits and our careers, but you as a paying customer are affected by the same in your daily life Corporate greed affected. When you look at your mountain of electricity, you don’t have to look hard to see exorbitant electricity charges that have impacted your checkbook.
“We pay the same bills. All while Atlantic City Electric has made huge profits. They’re raising their rates and increasing your bill while at the same time they’re slashing our pensions, cutting our health care, cutting our workforce to squeeze every dollar they can out of us.”
The utility argued that it pays its workers fairly:
“Our employees are compensated fairly,” AC Electric said. “The offer presented included a five-year contract with incremental increases totaling 16 to 20 percent until the end of the contract term and numerous other benefits. Currently, the average Atlantic City Electric line worker makes $177,326 per year, including overtime. Currently.” “The Union is on strike and we remain open to bringing both parties together to reach an agreement.”
For its part, AC Electric said that service to its approximately 560,000 customers should continue to run smoothly during the strike and that “contingency plans and highly qualified staff” are in place.