In union circles, they call it "burial insurance." That apt phrase denotes the severance, early retirement and re-training packages negotiated for veteran utility workers sideswiped by a changing...
The Union Label: Electric Restructuring's Hidden Side
and personality conflicts to promote their employee protection agenda. Tension among unions have existed for years, since they share territory and organizing targets. And in the past, the IBEW has felt that because of its larger size, the UWUA should merge with them.
"They're not willing to be quite as aggressive" on worker protection issues, says a UWUA official of the IBEW. "We're maybe a little more militant."
Union coordination for lobbying efforts, meanwhile, hasn't been so successful in Ohio or New York, the official says.
"This is a thing that we're all pretty reluctant to say too much about because it's an internal problem we need to overcome. If we can't overcome it, then it's going to have negative consequences for all of us." t
Joseph F. Schuler Jr. is an associate editor of PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY. E-mail: email@example.com
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