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IBEW Union Local 1600 files charge against PPL Electric

12.20.07

January 2008 edition of the Union News

IBEW Union Local 1600 files charge against PPL Electric

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsabe@aol.com

REGION, November 20th- The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Union Local 1600, Trexlertown, filed a Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Region Four in Philadelphia, against PPL Electric Utility Company, 9th and Hamilton Streets in Allentown.

The union alleges PPL Manager of Logistic Service Utility, has refused to bargain collectively with IBEW Local 1600 in violation of Section 8(a)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct) by changing the reporting working stations of the employees.

Manager “Elias Cekovic dealth directly with the employees involved and did not meet or confer with the bargaining representative,” states the charge obtained by the newspaper through the Freedom of Information Act.

According to the National Labor Relations Board the charge has been “deferred” by the agency, meaning the NLRB wants the issue resolved through the parties collective bargaining agreement grievance procedure.

The union represents around 4,000 PPL employees and are currently working under the terms and conditions of a four-year contract that will expire in May 2010. The Allentown based company has around 1.3 million customers in Pennsylvania.

The charge states within the last six months, PPL through Mr. Cekovic, has made a unilateral change in the working conditions of the bargaining unit members without negotiating with the union.

Local 1600 members voted to ratify the current contract with PPL in August, 2006. The previous pact expired on May 7th, 2006. On May 9th, 2006, the membership rejected a company contract offer and negotiations continued between the parties.

IBEW Local 1600 President Andrew Wolfe told the newspaper after the ratification, health insurance cost was a problem in negotiations, and prohibited the two sides from reaching a agreement sooner.

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